The Aspects and Benefits of a Pro-Active EHS Management Program
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Facility environmental programs are receiving increasing scrutiny from all sides: the public, employees, regulators, environmental groups, emergency services providers, and corporate staff and audit teams. Meeting and exceeding the expectations of these disparate groups in a cost effective manner requires that all aspects of facility operations be scrutinized: process operations, support systems, key business processes, and regulatory interactions. At the IBM Burlington semiconductor manufacturing facility, the environmental team utilizes an Environmental Management System (EMS) approach to pro-actively manage environmental programs. Process level teams develop tactical and strategic plans for chemical use reductions to minimize environmental impacts, find recycle or on-site treatment opportunities, and reduce manufacturing costs. The environmental and safety teams perform regular manufacturing and support area audits to verify compliance with corporate and regulatory requirements; assistance is provided to improve compliance and reduce process complexity. At the environmental programs level, detailed, periodic business process and operations audits are performed to identify process deficiencies and correct them before they become regulatory problems. Building on the internal program strengths, the environmental team participates in State and EPA programs such as Project XL and Performance Track to try new management approaches and realize process efficiencies and cost reductions. A strong management focus on the manufacturing and environmental processes, combined with regulatory outreach, positions the facility to pro-actively manage interactions with the various stakeholder groups.