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EPA Smart Sectors Program Releases Additional “Sector Snapshots”

04/16/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (April 16, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released “sector snapshots” for eight industries participating in the Smart Sectors Program. The sector snapshot is a web-based tool that shows historical environmental and economic performance on a sector basis. Users can interact with data that include a range of up to 30 different combinations of environmental and economic parameters to view trends over time.


“The Smart Sectors Program continues to have productive and informative engagement with different sectors of the economy, which is particularly important during this challenging time,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The sector snapshots have been an effective tool to share measurable, transparent data online with the regulated community and our state and local partners, and I’m pleased to see this series of snapshots released.”

“These snapshots improve transparency by helping the public, the regulated community, and our state and local partners better understand the performance of major economic sectors that participate in the Smart Sectors Program,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Policy Brittany Bolen. “The snapshots provide a one-stop shop for a variety of environmental and economic data that will be regularly updated to reflect the latest government data available.”
Today, EPA posted the following snapshots to its website: aerospace, agriculture, cement and concrete, construction, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, mining, paper and wood products, and ports and maritime transportation sectors. EPA plans to update the data in these snapshots over time.

“The aerospace and defense industry’s focus on developing and producing increasingly sustainable products has led to huge gains in reducing emissions,” said Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning. “But our environmental responsibility also extends to being a good neighbor to the communities our manufacturing facilities call home. The EPA’s sector snapshot highlights some of the significant improvements we have made in reducing the impact of our factories and facilities – all while we continuously contribute to the U.S. economy.”


“Mining is the foundation of our economy and the beginning of the supply chain for everything we use in modern society, and we appreciate EPA’s initiative to showcase the industry’s performance,” said American Exploration and Mining Association Executive Director Mark Compton. “Our members’ commitment to the environment is unmatched, and we look forward to continued, meaningful collaboration with the EPA, which we believe will lead to continuous improvement for the industry as well as the Agency.”


“The EPA’s new sector snapshot for U.S. agriculture highlights the ability of farmers and ranchers to use innovative new technologies to generate renewable energy, sequester carbon in the soils, and operate with a smaller carbon footprint,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist John Newton. “EPA’s snapshot offers conservative estimates, and when you consider that agricultural productivity has nearly tripled over the last 50 years while resource use has remained flat, the success story of U.S. farmers and ranchers is unparalleled.”

“EPA’s Smart Sectors Program deserves to be commended for providing valuable information illustrating paper and wood products manufacturers’ contributions to sustainability and significant environmental progress, including per dollar value of goods produced,” said American Forest and Paper Association President and CEO Heidi Brock. “As one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation, we appreciate having our economic and environmental performance showcased in a readily-accessible, interactive platform. For example, greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide emissions are down 20 percent and 67 percent respectively from 2005 to 2016. That winning combination will help inform various stakeholders about our sector’s work to protect the environment as our industry provides high-paying jobs in rural communities. The paper and wood products sector supports approximately 950,000 direct and nearly three million indirect jobs to make products essential to everyday life.”


“AWC members are very proud of their record of energy management and efficiency, and protection of the environment, all while producing products that are central to the homes and lives of all Americans,” said American Wood Council President & CEO Robert Glowinski. “The wood products industry strives to be as energy efficient as possible, and this snapshot shows that there have been significant improvements in our energy use. In fact, the wood products industry is one of the leaders nationwide in the use of carbon-neutral biomass energy. Over 75 percent of the energy at our member companies’ facilities is generated from biomass. The benefit of the wood products industry using biomass manufacturing residuals for energy is equivalent to removing about 4.6 million cars from the road every year. And on top of our renewable energy use, of the major building materials, only wood products are renewable and sequester carbon for the life of the buildings in which we live, work and learn.”


"The U.S. construction industry—which employs more than 7.5 million people and comprises more than 680,000 establishments engaged in construction and engineering projects—accounted for more than $1.6 trillion of economic output in 2018, approximately 5 percent of U.S. private economic activity,” said Associated Builders and Contractors President and CEO Michael Bellaman. “With programs like SmartWay Transport, which fosters a more efficient process for moving materials to job sites; ENERGY STAR, which has certified nearly two million energy efficient homes through 2018; and partnerships like the Smart Sectors Program, the EPA and construction industry are working together to create a more sustainable built environment. In fact, the industry’s energy consumption per unit of output declined 38 percent from 2008 to 2017.”

“AGC of America appreciates the efforts of EPA through the Smart Sectors Program to highlight the diversity of the construction industry, dominated by small businesses, and its immense contribution to the economic health of the nation,” said The Associated General Contractors of America Vice President of Government Relations Jimmy Christianson. “We have also welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate the valuable role construction plays in improving infrastructure and our environment, building a resilient future, all while making gains in energy efficiency and building more efficient structures.”


“Electronics manufacturers are committed to environmental stewardship, recognizing that proactive efforts to protect human health and the environment can reduce business risks and the need for compliance-driven activity,” said Vice IPC President of Global Government Relations Chris Mitchell. “We appreciate that the Smart Sectors Program has collaborated with us and our members, and we look forward to continuing to work together to improve our dialogue and knowledge sharing.”


“Cattle production and America’s ranchers are vital tools to improving U.S. water quality and biodiversity while maintaining vast, open landscapes across the nation,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager. “Though cattle production contributes a marginal percentage of the United States’ overall greenhouse gas emissions, we continuously work to improve our production practices through voluntary conservation efforts that increase the industry’s efficiency and environmental sustainability. NCBA is proud to work with EPA to educate the public about efforts made by American farmers and ranchers to protect our environment.”

“EPA’s Smart Sectors Program helps shine a light on the important role industry plays in protecting our environment and how that work can strengthen our collective economic output,” said National Marine Manufacturers Association Senior Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety John McKnight. “We thank EPA for highlighting recreational boating and look forward to continuing to work together toward ensuring a clean, healthy world for future generations.”

“With this snapshot tool, the EPA is introducing a thoughtful approach to assessing and communicating the industry’s significant environmental achievements and extraordinary economic contributions,” said Rich Nolan, President and CEO of the National Mining Association. “The U.S. mining industry is one of the most heavily-regulated industries in the world, and our proven record of environmental progress shows that we continue to meet, and in many ways, exceed the strictest standards. This snapshot shows that smart regulation can produce better environmental and economic outcomes.”

“The EPA’s Smart Sectors Program highlights the ability of the Executive Branch to work with industry and to showcase the benefits industry brings to our communities,” said National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Executive Vice President of Operations and Compliance Gary Mullings. “The Smart Sectors’ snapshot is a great tool for educating these same communities about how industry plays a part to better our built environment.”

“The cement industry tremendously values the Smart Sectors Program as a means to better collaborate with the agency and achieve regulatory reforms that will enhance the economy while improving environmental protection,” said Portland Cement Association President and CEO Michael Ireland. “The cement industry is proud of its economic and environmental record employing 610,000 people and contributing over $125 billion to the economy while also reducing GHG and other air emissions, minimizing waste, and reusing secondary materials as fuels that are usually designated for disposal.”

“We are grateful for the commitment of the EPA Smart Sectors Program to our shipbuilding and repair industry, as we work in collaboration with local communities to help improve working conditions, prioritize environmental standards, harness innovation, and deliver on promises to the American people,” said Shipbuilders Council of America Government Relations Manager Davis Gaddy. “Working closely with the maritime workforce, our industry also ensures that the Jones Act can sustain the nearly 650,000 American jobs. For every one shipyard job created, there are four jobs created elsewhere in the economy, and thanks to our dedicated partners at the EPA, we can be certain that goods shipped between U.S. ports are American built, crewed, and operated for a thriving maritime industry.”

Background

EPA’s Smart Sectors Program developed the sector snapshots using public data from EPA and other federal sources. The snapshots offer users access to information about general sector characteristics, environmental performance indicators, and economic data through graphics and charts.

The first modules released in September of 2018 showcased three sectors: iron and steel, chemical manufacturing, and utilities and power generation. The program released the snapshot for automotive manufacturing in April 2019.

Similar to the goal of the performance reports created by EPA's Sector Strategies Program in the 2000s, EPA's Smart Sectors Program strives to provide the general public, industry, and EPA a common understanding of environmental and economic performance over time. To accomplish this goal, the sector snapshot aggregates and shares publicly available data over a 20-year time period where possible.

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/smartsectors/sector-snapshots

EPA Smart Sectors is a partnership program that provides a platform to collaborate with regulated sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health. To learn more about the program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartsectors