Thirty years ago America’s leadership provided the world with “The Montreal Protocol”.
Environmental objectives regularly invoke thoughts of regulations, capital expenditures, increased cost to manufacturing, and service; with possible financial return decades in the future, if that return ever comes.
Almost three decades ago, when President Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol, and President Bush announced the phase-out of the production of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons like 1.1.1. Trichloroethylene by the year 2000, manufacturers around the world and North America responded with certainty that manufacturing costs were going to be negatively impacted.
DuPont, the largest CFC manufacturer, warned that the costs in the U.S. alone could exceed $135 billion, and that “entire industries could fold” (Glas, 1989). The Association of European Chemical Companies warned that CFC reductions might lead to “redesign and re-equipping of large sectors of a vital industry.” Smaller firms would be going out of business, and an effect on inflation and unemployment nationally and internationally would lead to a global recession. (Stockholm Environment Institute).
In reality, the dire predictions never quite materialized; the cost of replacement products is more expensive than the CFC products they replaced. New technology has been implemented to utilize replacement products like Aqueous cleaners that replaced 1.1.1. Trichloroethylene. In 1989 when Russ Liuzzo, now a member of our management team, approached the aerospace industry with substituting an aqueous cleaning agent for 1.1.1. Trichloroethylene, the sector was highly resistant, stating “water and precision parts don’t mix.”
After years of testing and modifications made to accommodate new cleaning techniques, the industry discovered the two could mix. However, the cost of the cleaning agents was ten times higher than the solvent it was replacing. In the end, the in-use value of the replacement products returned significant financial benefits. In some cases like Lockheed Martin Defense Systems in Pittsfield, Minnesota, discovered, cost savings exceeded $500,000. (EPA Case Studies on Safer Alternatives for Solvent Degreasing Applications).
According to the EPA, The Benefits and Cost of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020, the economic value of these improvements are estimated to reach almost $2 trillion for the year 2020.
The Montreal Protocol is a global achievement that reinforces the benefits of science designing policy. Thirty years since it’s inception, more than 98% of man-made ozone-depleting substances have been phased out. An estimated 2 million cases of skin cancer are projected to be prevented per year by 2030. The members of Rocco SSC’s management team are proud to have contributed to that achievement. However, we at Rocco SSC recognize that sustainability is measured not only by international accomplishment but by the individual commitments to creating a healthier environment. Small first steps can be the most profound; ask any parent.
Rocco SSC and our management team are dedicated to promoting sustainable systems and programs that protect our environment. While returning financial benefits today, so we can continue to build a cleaner tomorrow.
Rocco SSC, Inc. promotes an amalgam approach to environmental management; we believe environmental initiatives should provide direct, as well as indirect tangible benefits. We believe that when an investment is made, a measurable return should be earned.
We believe that environmental conservation is no longer the responsibility of future generations, but ours. We questioned the concept that conservation should result in increased costs.
We believe results should be achieved in the short term as well as in the long term. Through education and the promotion of small ideas, we will improve the work environment, increasing the safety, health, and well-being of our client’s personnel and their support staff.
We believe a healthier workplace will increase productivity and provide our clients with a competitive edge. As the health and wellness benefits escalate in the workplace, those benefits will be carried outside of the workplace, supporting the journey towards a healthier tomorrow