Yakima County Development Association - Companies Can Benefit from Conservation and Pollution Prevention

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 



Companies Can Benefit from Conservation and Pollution Prevention

Companies Can Benefit from Conservation and Pollution Prevention

June 01, 2012

At our monthly Business and Industry Roundtable yesterday we enjoyed hearing from Michael Johnson, one of Washington State's foremost authorities on corporate environmental management. Johnson has helped companies go through remarkable changes – namely saving businesses a lot of money while maintaining or improving environmental regulatory compliance.

Johnson explained that he is a disciple of lean manufacturing. As someone who believes that companies should eliminate wasteful processes, Johnson extends the lean focus to a company's environmental footprint. He believes that lean and environmental management go hand in hand and Michael is demonstrating the benefits of this approach with companies across the state.

Locally, Johnson is helping Independent Foods in Sunnyside save money by changing the volume and nature of the company's wastewater effluent. He also cited many other examples where he has helped companies improve processes, reduce costs, and improve compliance. Johnson felt that companies tend to overlook opportunities that come from lean environmental management. Most businesses treat environmental regulations as a headache and do not consider all their options for managing water, air or hazardous wastes.

We enjoyed hearing Johnson suggest that capitalism and environmental management can work together. To learn more about Johnson's company click here. Follow this link to get a copy of his presentation to our Roundtable group.


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"...we definitely have the best of both worlds with the rural communities and the urban areas - we have everything right here." - Clara Jimenez, Toppenish City Council