EPA announces first member of environmental excellence programme

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named a computer accessory manufacturer which has lowered its air emissions by 75% as the first company to meet the standards required for entry to its environmental excellence programme.

Epson Portland Inc., of Hillsboro, Oregon, the sole US manufacturing affiliate of Japan’s Seiko-Epson Corp, is now a charter member of the EPA’s new National Environmental Performance Track. According to the EPA, the programme is designed to motivate and reward the environmental performance of companies which exceeds standard pollution control requirements.

By the end of 1999, Epson, a manufacturer of computer print cartridges, circuit boards and other computer products, had voluntarily reduced landfill wastes by 60%, lowered air emissions by 75%, and increased its recycling programme. According to the EPA, the company is planning further pollution prevention, as well as a commitment to use a ‘green’ purchasing approach to its raw products.

As well as the ecological and health benefits that result from good environmental stewardship, companies such as Epson are also saving money and improving productivity, points out the EPA (see related story).

As a charter member Epson is now eligible for special recognition in EPA publications and web sites and regulatory benefits, including streamlined reporting arrangements and more flexible procedures. Applications for charter membership have now closed, though the EPA has received over 100 submissions from US facilities.

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