Over the last several years, an important change has taken place in our National strategy for protecting the environment. Through an array of partnership programs that we collectively refer to as Partners for the Environment, EPA is demonstrating that voluntary goals and commitments achieve real environmental results in a timely and cost-effective way. In addition to traditional approaches to environmental protection, EPA is building cooperative partnerships with a variety of groups, including small and large businesses, citizen groups, state and local governments, universities, and trade associations.
The results of the Partners for the Environment efforts are impressive. Thousands of organizations are working cooperatively with EPA to set and research environmental goals such as conserving water and energy, and reducing greenhouse gases, toxic emissions, solid wastes, indoor air pollution, and pesticide risk. Our partners are making pollution prevention a central consideration in doing business. Partnership also means that we are working cooperatively with the private sector to provide stakeholders with effective tools to address environmental issues. These partners are achieving measurable environmental results often more quickly and with lower costs that would be the case with regulatory approaches. EPA views these partnership efforts as key to the future success of environmental protection.