Letter from the Manager
For those of you whom I haven’t had the opportunity to work with yet, let me introduce myself as the new program manager for our Partnership Program. I’ve been involved with the program since its inception, and have seen it grow from a mere concept to a mature program that many other states look to as a model. I’m proud to be a part of this effort, and look forward to getting to know you all as we work toward our common goal of improved environmental performance and a more sustainable Georgia.
The dust is settling from our recent staff changes, our first cycle for on-line APR submittals, and our spring enrollment period. Whew! We’re coming up on two meetings this summer of our program’s Advisory Panel, during which the panel will be reviewing APRs and recent Blue Level Partner applications. Look for an official welcome for our new Partners soon, as well as announcements of our new team members.Finally, I would like to bring your attention to the reminder in this e-news of the technical assistance services that are available to you as Partners. We would love to see more of you taking advantage of these free services as tools to help move your program further along. Feel free to call 404-165-5686 or email me anytime with questions or comments about our program. Hope you are enjoying some extra time relaxing with family and friends this summer. — Suzanne
Yellow and Red Level Partners are invited to attend an EMS training session in Calhoun July 13. This four-hour course will cover the basics of an EMS: the elements of an environmental policy statement, how to implement action plans, documenting roles and responsibilities, developing procedures, measuring successes, and explaining the program to employees and the community. We encourage all Partners in the area to send two or three staff members, first-timers as well as those needing a refresher course. The class will be from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Holiday Inn in Calhoun (125 Hampton Dr., 706-629-8566). To register, call or email Suzanne, 404-165-5686.
Please plan to join us Oct. 4 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Emory University Conference Center in Atlanta for our annual Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia awards luncheon. This year’s event will also feature a morning workshop where your fellow Partners will be sharing best practices. Come hear how other Partners are meeting their commitments in performance, community outreach, supply chain activities, mentoring and sustainability. Then stay for lunch and find out who are this year’s top performing Partners. More information to come.
Red and Blue Level Partners are invited to apply for a matching grant to fund projects to evaluate or implement pollution prevention practices at their facilities. The deadline to apply for the P2 Adoption Funds is Aug. 1, 2006. Because the grants are made possible by the U.S. EPA’s Pollution Prevention Grants program, federal facilities are not eligible. Limited funds (up to $15,000 per project) are available on a competitive basis and require a one-to-one match. The amount awarded per project will depend on the number of proposals accepted and the amount of funding received from EPA. For more information about eligible projects and how to apply, go to the Partnership benefits Web page.
Earlier this year, several Blue Level Partners and the program’s Advisory Panel gathered for the first Partnership Program Green Retreat, an opportunity for these environmental leaders to participate in a facilitated discussion of the role of the program in helping the state’s industries, businesses and institutions work toward a sustainable future. After a day and a half of brainstorming and thought-provoking conversation, the group created several broad recommendations of how the Partnership Program could help achieve a sustainable Georgia.
P²AD is soliciting your input into turning these recommendations into action items to improve our program. The following working groups will convene in late July and explore these questions:
- Program Flexibility Working Group – how can the program requirements be flexible enough to appeal to and maintain busy Partners, while encouraging results and ensuring credibility?
- Partner Support Working Group – how can the program’s benefits and incentives be improved to better support the good work of current Partners and attract new ones?
- Program Marketing & Capacity Working Group – how can the program attract influential sector leaders (and find our “tipping point”), and manage exponential growth when it comes?
- Sustainability Indicators Working Group – how can the program be expanded to address economic and social indicators, the other two legs of the sustainability stool?
If you are interested in these questions, and in helping the Partnership Program become a greater force for promoting sustainable business, please consider offering a few hours of your time to participate in a Working Group. We anticipate that each group would have a finite scope and be limited to two to three meetings, concluding with a list of action items for program staff to implement over the coming months. Please contact Suzanne (404-165-5686) with your interest and availability the last week in July for the initial meeting.
As a Partner, you have access to many benefits including free, on-site technical assistance. Yellow Level Partners qualify for a baseline assessment. If you need help documenting your resource use, waste streams or emissions, this assessment will be invaluable. You will use the findings of the baseline as a starting point against which you will measure your progress. Yellow and Red Level Partners qualify for a gap assessment. This assessment will help you compare your current environmental management practices with the requirements of the Partnership Program or with an environmental management system (EMS). This exercise will help you find ways to develop or enhance your EMS. Learn more about the services available to you by visiting the benefits page on the Partnership Web site.
Builders, contractors and others in the construction industry now have an easy way to search for environmentally preferable products (EPP) manufactured in Georgia. EPP refers to goods that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products that serve the same purpose. EPP goods include those that contain recycled material, those that use less energy to produce, and those that are less toxic. The list is available from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Facts Web site. EPP items are identified by the symbol. If you manufacture an environmentally preferable building product and would like to be added, the site has a feature where you can add your company and product details.
EMS Training. July 13. Calhoun, GA. For Yellow and Red Level Partners. See announcement above for more details.
Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition Meeting. July 13. Macon, GA. RSVP to Charise Stephens, 478-165-9178.
Georgia Association of Water Professionals Annual Conference & Expo. July 31-Aug. 2. Georgia International Convention Center, Atlanta, GA. Sessions include compliance, wastewater, odor control, regional water planning, energy efficiency, financing.
Georgia Environmental Conference. Aug. 16-18. Savannah, GA. Topics from air quality and water treatment to transportation and endangered species. Registration is $275 before July 15 ($325 after).
Celebrating Rural Georgia Conference. Aug. 21-23. Augusta, GA. Sessions on innovative agriculture, environmental stewardship, economic development, quality growth, fostering public-private partnerships.
Understanding Environmental Compliance Conference. Sept. 7. Dalton, GA. Presented by Georgia Tech. Examine the environmental issues associated with specific regulations, learn the steps to complying with permits, plans and other requirements, and discuss the technologies used to meet permit limits. Register online (keyword search ENV 140) or by phone at 404-385-3501 or 404-385-3500.
Environmental Compliance Assistance Workshop for Georgia Colleges & Universities. Sept. 20-21. Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. Sponsored by U.S. EPA Region 4, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Topics will include hazardous waste management and best practices, reducing waste generation, lab safety and compliance, Clean Water Act and stormwater management, and Clean Air regulations.
2006 PACE Awards. Oct. 5. The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA. Sponsored by the Clean Air Campaign. Entries must be received by Aug. 21.
25th Annual National Recycling Coalition Congress & Expo. Oct. 22-25. Atlanta, GA.