More consumers today are choosing who they purchase from based on the environmental responsibility of the business, not just the products and services offered. In an effort to support environmentally responsible practices, State Farm believes that repairers can adopt a "green" approach in their business. Many repairers are taking more aggressive steps to help protect the environment while also focusing on the health and well-being of their employees. Activities such as educating employees on the use of hazardous chemicals, transitioning to waterborne products, and recycling are just a few examples.
Recycling is a simple method to improve efficiency while protecting the environment. Actively recycling plastics, cardboard, and other by-products of the repair process are potential options along with incorporating the use of recycled parts whenever available. In addition to recycling, some repairers have implemented procedures to reduce their employees' exposure to workplace hazards including:
- Using a vacuum sander while dry sanding to reduce dust in the workplace.
- Wearing protective gloves when handling hazardous liquids.
- Ensuring that paint and waste containers are closed throughout the day to reduce exposure to solvent vapors.
Experts indicate that the refinishing process may have the most significant impact on the environment since it involves the greatest potential for releasing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the air. Some current industry practices aimed at reducing VOC emissions include:
- Changing intake and exhaust filters regularly.
- Using waterborne paint in place of solvent-based paint.
- Cleaning paint equipment in an enclosed washing system.
Recycling, protection against workplace hazards and reduction in VOCs during the refinishing process are a few of the environmentally responsible practices repairers can adopt. State Farm would like to thank those repairers who already incorporate environmentally conscious and safety minded repair techniques into their business practices. We hope that all repairers will join State Farm in our efforts to improve the environment and better our communities.
Repairers who have an interest in learning about State Farm's commitment to the environment can visit the State Farm Green Space™ Web Page.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented a new rule to reduce pollutants emitted by the collision repair industry and all repair facilities must comply with the rule's compliance notification requirement. More information regarding the new rule and compliance can be found at www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/area/arearules.html.