Help the Government of Canada organize its website!

Complete an anonymous 5-minute questionnaire. Start now.

How Can Pollution Prevention and Pollution Prevention Planning Improve My Business?

P2 Planning Fact Sheets

How Can Pollution Prevention and Pollution Prevention Planning Improve My Business? (PDF; 92 KB)

Pollution prevention (P2) can benefit your triple bottom line: economic, environmental, and social advantages.

Pollution prevention (P2), avoiding the creation of pollution and waste rather than trying to clean it up or manage it after the fact, can have economic, environmental, and social benefits for your operations (the triple bottom line). Implementing P2 can help you protect the environment while reducing operating costs, increasing efficiency, and reducing potential health and safety risks to employees.For information on the different types of P2 techniques, refer to The Nuts and Bolts of Pollution Prevention (P2) fact sheet.

P2 planning involves examining current operations and developing a plan to eliminate or reduce pollution at the source. A P2 Plan documents ways to prevent or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste, and identifies where investment in P2 would lead to cost savings. Such plans can target a specific pollutant, a production process, or an entire facility.For information on preparing a P2 Plan, refer to the Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning – The Basics fact sheet.

Economic Value

Preparing a P2 Plan allows you to isolate all the non-value-added components of your operations. Waste can be identified in all areas of operation -- from equipment running times and raw material management to workers' time and facility layout. P2 planning then encourages you to think about ways of turning that waste into a profit or savings opportunity. By incorporating aspects of P2 you can begin to view waste reduction as a potential value-added activity and not a barrier to doing business. In doingso, you can increase your company's long-term competitive advantage and show that your company is taking the lead towards shifting to a greener way of doing business.

P2 can...

  • lower operating costs by:
    • reducing the amount of far material input,
    • using efficient transportation equipment and systems,
    • reducing the need for disposal/spill cleanup,
    • using resources (energy, water) more efficiently,
    • reducing running equipment time;
  • reduce long-term liability and the risk of environmental accidents, which may lead to insurance savings;
  • reduce health and safety risks;
  • reduce the cost of handling hazardous material;
  • increase productivity and market share;
  • potentially avoid additional costs for achieving regulatory compliance;
  • provide a rapid to moderate return on any capital or operating investments required; and
  • result in an easier transfer/resale of business.

Environmental Value

The goal of P2 is to minimize the creation of pollutants and waste at the source. There are many associated environmental benefits: cleaner air, cleaner water, and cleaner soil for your surrounding community and Canada as a whole.

P2 helps reduce...

  • the use of raw materials
  • the use of harmful/toxic substances
  • emissions and releases of harmful/toxic substances and greenhouse gases
  • energy and water consumption
  • the number of spills and environmental emergencies

Social Value

Involving employees in identifying P2 opportunities and implementing solutions is important for the overall success of your P2 Plan. Employees that know they are part of a team and that their company is committed to reducing health and safety risks are more likely to remain with the company. This avoids or minimizes hiring costs.

P2 is usually supported by customers, stakeholders, local communities, and the public, resulting in greater customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Pollution prevention is good for the environment, for consumers, and for employees!

Examples of P2 in Practice

To read about Canadian companies, organizations, and facilities that have improved their operations through P2, or to tell us about your own company or organization's P2 achievements, visit Pollution Prevention Successes.

Want to know more?

Here are some additional sources of information about pollution prevention:

For further information, please contact:
Environment Canada
Regulatory Innovation and Management Systems
c/o Innovative Measures Section
351 St. Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3
Phone: 819-994-0186
Fax: 819-953-7970
Email: LCPEPlansP2-CEPAP2Plans@ec.gc.ca