ADDRESSING THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Where public responsibilities are concerned, business ethics and public health and safety are basically no brainers. Regardless of a company's nıanagement philosophy, it should conduct business ethically and do everything possible to protect public health and safety. Quality leaders are grabbing hold of the reins and steering their companies toward environmental leadership by applying the principles of quality management to pollution prevention.
The Global Environmental Management Initiative:
- The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMİ) is credited with coining TQEM.
- Its goal is to provide an exchange of information on the most advanced environmental management techniques.
"A basic premise of total quality management is, if a firm doesn't build waste into its product, then it doesn't have to pay to take the waste out. With pollution prevention, the premise is very similar. If the firm doesn't generate vvaste in the first place, then it doesn't have to pay to manage it."
Zosel and his environmental cohorts presented 3M's management with two choices:
(1) You can spend this much for pollution control, or
(2) you can tell people to prevent the pollution by design, up front. Management took the second choice, in part because innovation and change are 3M strengths. "We wanted to be proactive on it, to address regulations in a way that is environmentally efficient and cost-effective," says Zosel.
How 3M Implements its Pollution Prevention Progranıs
The basic concept and goals of the 3P program have remained constant since 1975. The program is run by a 3P coordinating committee, which represents 3M's engineering, manufacturing, and laboratory organizations and the corporate Environmental Engineering and Pollution Control unit.
A cross-functional team is formed to analyze the problem and develop solutions. The team submits a proposal to the affected operating division, which decides whether to commit funds, time, and other resources to it.
In addition to tapping into people's desire to protect the environment, 3M motivates participation through recognition. To qualify for formal recognition, a 3P program must meet the following criteria:
- Prevent pollution, not control it.
- Offer some other environmental benefit besides preventing pollution.
- Save money for 3M.
- Include a technical accomplishment.
Waste minimization teams
- Waste minimization teams have been established in every 3M product operating division. to identifv source reduction and recycling opportunities, and to develop plans to address them.
- A pollution prevention staff within the corporate environmental organization makes 3P happen, by monitoring and reporting progress to management, encouraging the sharing of ideas, monitoring legislative and regulatory activity, and administering the award program.