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Partnership Programs: Frequent Questions

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

Q. How can I benefit from participating in EPA's partnership programs?

A. Partnerships with the EPA improve access to technical advice, provide industries a framework and strategy for increasing their environmental performance, create an informal network of businesses and industries interested in becoming better environmental stewards, help meet reporting requirements and offer public recognition to outstanding performers in many programs. Other programs provide opportunities to learn about and perhaps demonstrate cutting edge approaches for environmental management and cutting costs through concepts like lean manufacturing. Learn more about the benefits of participating in partnership programs.

Q. How does participating affect my compliance status?

A. Participating does not decrease your company's responsibility to be in compliance with the environmental laws. However, your participation may improve compliance by adopting technology improvements, or your company may be able to go beyond compliance through special efforts to voluntarily improve business practices.

Q. What will it cost me to join?

A. There is no "membership" cost associated with joining a voluntary program. In fact, many organizations find their bottom lines improve significantly when they participate.

Q. After joining, what must I do?

A. Each program is uniquely designed around a specific environmental goal. Some require certain documented actions on the part of the partners, such as identifying cost-effective actions for waste reduction or for decreasing water usage. Under such programs, annual reports may be required, but software and/or personal assistance is usually available to help meet reporting requirements. Other programs provide opportunities to learn about and perhaps demonstrate cutting edge. You are encouraged to consider the new technologies, share your experience with them, and in some cases, perhaps participate in a test demonstration.

Q. If I join a voluntary program can I use EPA's name and official seal to advertise or otherwise promote my products and services?

A. No. The Agency cannot legally endorse particular products or services. However, you are free to advise the public of your participation in an EPA voluntary program in a manner that does not explicitly or implicitly indicate that the Agency endorses your company.

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