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Industry Survey Results

The following are primary takeaways from this year’s industry survey.

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Over 30% of respondents have an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System. 15% have an EMS that conforms to the ISO standards but is not certified. Almost half, or 46%, have none.

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12% of respondents are designated or self-designated as a Zero Waste to Landfill facility. ZWTL still has no official or ubiquitous definition, however it is generally accepted to be at least 95% of discards being reused, recycled or otherwise not landfilled. 88% are not ZWTL but nearly all have plans to achieve this within 5 years. Common obstacles to this goal vary widely but general themes are vendor capabilities, lack of monetary commitment and issues with materials substitutions. Most often mentioned is that products require certain non-recyclable materials.

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The majority of respondents, 66%, recycle within the state but also utilize a variety of options. Tennessee borders more states than any other in the country. In many instances it is the pragmatic approach to use out-of-state options. Specialized items often require corporate nation-wide accounts which limit local options.

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Liquid wastes are treated with a variety of options with well over 50% of respondents using other options than specified in the survey. 23% actually landfill their liquid wastes while 8% use land application and only 1% have animal feed options.

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Over 70% have heard of the Tennessee Materials Marketplace, our collaborative platform to facilitate the reuse of materials. Many of the respondents would like assistance with recycling certain discarded materials. The Tennessee Materials Marketplace is a major tool for this.

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43% of respondents have non-hazardous byproducts that could have other uses. Impediments to this are a lack of recycling vendors and prohibitive costs for processing.

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39% would like assistance with finding a beneficial end-use of material discards. Lack of partners, low quantities and materials unique to particular manufacturing processes were the major impediments. The Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices will be in direct contact with each of these respondents to offer further assistance.

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Only 30% participate in any demand response programs for energy use curtailment and management during peak energy use times.

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The most popular energy reduction project was lighting upgrades at 91%. Low impact design and energy efficient equipment and practices are implemented by over 50%.

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The Tennessee 3 Star Industrial Assessment Center offers very in-depth energy audits at no cost. Our office is referring those respondents that are interested to the IAC program.

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Over 80% of respondents report toxic releases to the U.S. EPA.

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For over 50% of respondents the primary barrier to pollution reduction for your TRI reportable chemicals is that there are no known substitutes. An encouraging statistic is that over 40% have attempted reductions and substitutions to a point that concern for product quality and economic feasibility are the main barriers.

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25% of respondents are interested in becoming TN Green Star Partnership industries. Our leadership program for industry includes General Motors, Delta Faucet, Nissan and many industry and sustainability leaders throughout the state. Our staff will contact those interested in the near future.

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60% of respondents are interested in participating in collaborative projects which will include materials, chemicals and energy management challenges. This group will be kept informed of opportunities in the near future.

Vaughn Cassidy 

p. 731-512-1343

Kathy Glapa

p. 615-253-8780

This Page Last Updated: July 21, 2020 at 3:20 PM