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Partnership Programs: Basic Information

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

EPA's Offices and Regions conduct a variety of programs with voluntary partners to improve their environmental performance. Collectively, these programs are called Partners for the Environment. Our 10 Regions assist in implementing the programs and in many cases have their own Regional programs that address local environmental concerns. Learn more about where you live.

Many of today's environmental challenges cannot be addressed by regulation alone. They require a broader mix of solutions - regulatory programs, information, education, technical assistance, and grants, as well as voluntary partnership programs. EPA is currently developing additional and more current measures of the environmental results of these programs, and until these results are compiled, we must rely on data collected in the year 2000. While these figures are a bit dated, they still show some impressive results.The following table presents the net effect of the partners' combination of innovative ideas with a commitment to improve performance.

EPA Partnership Programs Results for 2000¹

Number of Partners 11,294²
Money Saved by Partners $5.9 billion

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions (Carbon equivalent)

37.3 MMTCE

Municipal Solid Waste Recycled³ 17,788 tons
Water Saved 603 million gallons
Energy Saved 768.8 trillion BTUs
Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission reductions 158,172.5 tons
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission reductions 288,627.49 tons

¹ Data in this table are based on results reported by programs in EPA's survey to its partnership programs. The following programs submitted data: Energy Star, Energy Star in the Industry Sector, Landfill Methane Outreach Program, Coalbed Methane Outreach Program Natural Gas STAR, agriculture-based programs, AgSTAR, Ruminant Livestock Efficiency Program, High Global Warming Potential (GWP) Stewardship Programs (Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership, HFC-23 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Aluminum Industry, PFC Emission Reduction Partnership for the Semiconductor Industry, SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems, and SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry), Partnership to Reduce HFC-23, Stewardship Initiatives, WasteWise, Region 1 Mercury Challenge, Water Alliance for Voluntary Efficiency (WAVE), Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP), and EPA Region 3's Waste Minimization Program.

² This figure includes WasteWise partners.

³ Please note that WasteWise was unable to report results for the year.

By 2000, more than 11,000 partners were participating in one or more EPA programs. To quantify the results of these voluntary efforts, EPA surveyed its partnership programs to gather information about cost savings and environmental benefits. While many of these programs do not require reporting, the results from the limited data available were impressive: thousands of commitments to environmental improvements and billions of dollars saved.

EPA's partners saved more than 769 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy in 2000. The amount of emissions they avoided was more than 37 million metric tons of carbon equivalent. Partners achieved this by reducing methane emissions from farms, landfills, and coalbeds, and by saving energy through technological improvements and power-conserving appliances. Partnerships help save millions of gallons of water, communities clean up streams, and hospitals eliminate mercury waste.

The results add up:

  • On an annual basis, the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37 million metric tons of carbon equivalent are comparable to removing more than 25 million cars from the road in one year.

  • The 603 million gallons water saved is enough to fill over 12 million bathtubs.

  • The 769 trillion BTUS of energy saved is enough to supply the annual energy needs of approximately 6.5 million U.S. households.