DEP ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM GROWS TO 1,000
ELIZABETH CONTAINER COMPANY’S EFFORTS HELP INNOVATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL
PROGRAM REACH MILESTONE
(14/P77) TRENTON – An innovative Department of Environmental Protection compliance program has hit a significant milestone with the recent recognition of an Elizabeth container company as the 1,000th participant in the DEP’S Environmental Stewardship Program.
Consolidated Container Co. in Elizabeth became the 1,000th entity recognized in the program. It was recognized for its general environmental policy, its annual environmental reporting, carbon footprint analysis, green building implementation, water use reduction programs, and materials conservation.
“The fact that we have now hit 1,000 participants is a true reflection of how much the regulated community really cares about their communities and the environment,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “They are going well beyond meeting the requirements of their permits by integrating a whole host of programs in their day-to-day operations that benefit the environment, their employees, their neighbors and their state. The stewardship program is working and growing as a result of a very simple premise – people want to do what’s right for the environment.”
The DEP’s Environmental Stewardship Program, now entering its seventh year, recognizes manufacturers, chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, utilities authorities, medical facilities, schools, and others for voluntarily incorporating multifaceted environmental protection efforts into the way they operate.
The driving force behind environmental stewardship is that businesses and other organizations will go beyond what’s required of them by laws and regulations to protect the environment, if incentivized to act innovatively and proactively.
“Consolidated Container Co. is committed to being a safe and environmentally responsible company,” said Ken Anderson, the company’s Director of Environmental, Health and Safety. “We promote environmental sustainability through recycling, re-use, and engineering controls. We are proud of our track record but are more excited about our goal of achieving zero injuries and zero pollution. We believe all of these actions are consistent with being a responsible corporate citizen.”
The company reuses all scrap from plastic bottle manufacturing. Any scrap that cannot be recycled to make bottles is collected and sent for recycling in a different application, such as trash cans or non-food grade bins.
To be certified as an environmental steward, the DEP’s Compliance and Enforcement Program sends inspectors to facilities armed with a checklist of questions about programs that companies are implementing to reduce the amount of waste or pollution they generate or generate other environmental benefits.
“The stewardship program is an integral part of the DEP’s compliance efforts,” said John Giordano, Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement. “This program gives credit to those who know that environmental protection is not just good business, it’s the right thing to do. But make no mistake: The DEP is out there on the environmental beat every day, making sure everyone complies with New Jersey’s laws and regulations.”
The stewardship program has 21 categories, covering a wide range of activities that go far beyond what facilities are required to do under permits. These activities include developing comprehensive environmental plans, water and energy conservation programs, material-use reduction programs, green building standards, environmentally friendly purchasing practices, community outreach programs, and programs to encourage employees to carpool and use mass transit.
Based on the number of stewardship categories they have achieved, New Jersey’s Environmental Stewardship leaders include: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Plainsboro (20); Colgate Palmolive, Piscataway (19); Duke Farms, Hillsborough (19); Ethicon Inc., Bridgewater, (19) and Bristol Myers Squibb, Lawrenceville (18 categories)
All of the top-ranking environmental stewards have adopted policies that establish the organization’s environmental goals and principles and affirm its commitment to conduct operations in a manner that is protective of the environment.
For more information on the program and a full list of participants and what they are doing to qualify as environmental stewards, visit: www.stewardship.nj.gov