Industry Survey Results

The Office of Sustainable Practices conducts an annual survey of key industries in Tennessee each to evaluate the current state of sustainability best practices and other environmental issues facing industry.

2022 Results


Nearly 50% of respondents have an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System (EMS). Almost 15% percent of facilities responding to the survey have an EMS that conforms to the ISO standards but are not certified. About 20% of facilities have no EMS in place. There are 20% that have unique in-house EMS programs that are developed by individual companies that may or may not conform to ISO standards. Therefore, the 20% with unique in-house EMS programs may be partially represented in the 15% not certified but conforming to ISO standards.  


Four percent (4%) of respondents are designated or self-designated as a Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) facility. ZWTL still has no official or common definition, but it is generally accepted to be at least 95% of discards being reused, recycled, or otherwise not landfilled. Ninety-six percent (96%) of facilities responding to the survey are not ZWTL. Common obstacles to achieving ZWTL vary widely but usually are a lack of vendor capabilities, monetary commitment and/or issues with materials substitutions. Most often mentioned is that certain non-recyclable products are necessary, and any substitutions may compromise the quality of products.


Fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents have non-hazardous byproducts that could have other uses. Impediments to this are a lack of recycling vendors and prohibitive costs for processing and transportation.


Thirty-seven percent (38%) would like assistance with finding a beneficial end-use of material discards. Lack of partners, low quantities, and materials unique to processes were major challenges in finding beneficial end-use outlets. OSP will be in direct contact with each of these respondents to offer further assistance.


Only 42% of responding facilities participate in any demand response programs for energy use curtailment and management during peak times.


The most popular energy reduction project was lighting upgrades with 94% of facilities indicating that they have upgraded. Forty-four percent (44%) implemented other practices including installing more efficient equipment.


Tennessee 3 Star Industrial Assessment Center offers in-depth energy assessments at no cost to qualifying Tennessee industries. OSP will refer the 24% of our survey respondents expressing interest to the IAC program participating universities for potential assessments.


Over 90% of survey respondents report toxic releases to the USEPA.

This Page Last Updated: December 12, 2022 at 1:38 PM