This week the United States Environmental Protection Agency released their new Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. See below for the email from Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Mathy Stanislaus, introducing the plan.

Dear Colleagues,
I am pleased to share with you the EPA’s new Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. This strategic plan represents the collective thinking of EPA staff and management across the country, as well as input from many stakeholders including states, industry, and non-governmental organizations. The life-cycle based decision-making and systems-based approaches of SMM reflected in this strategic plan offer far greater opportunities for addressing the complex environmental issues we face today than traditional resource, waste and chemicals management approaches. SMM truly represents a change in how we think about environmental impacts and economic opportunities.

The three main strategic priorities chosen as the focus for the EPA’s future SMM efforts present significant opportunities to achieve environmental, economic, and social results. They are:
The Built Environment — conserve materials and develop community resiliency to climate change through improvements to construction, maintenance, and end-of-life management of our nation’s roads, buildings, and infrastructure;
Sustainable Food Management — focus on reducing food loss and waste; and
Sustainable Packaging — increase the quantity and quality of materials recovered from municipal solid waste and develop critically important collection and processing infrastructure.
In addition to these strategic priorities, we will continue work in our other SMM emphasis areas including sustainable electronics management, materials measurement, life cycle assessment, and SMM international efforts. Our international efforts include participation in the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency that provides a forum to exchange and promote best practices with business and other stakeholders to address the challenges of SMM.

The work that you do is critical to advancing SMM. You know that SMM principles and approaches must be applied at all levels, from the local community to the global economy. Our strategic plan outlines priority areas and includes many examples of potential actions at various levels. Over the next 12-18 months we will be undertaking activities to obtain input and feedback from organizations such as yours on specific efforts we can undertake together to achieve our shared SMM goals. I ask that you share our Strategic Plan with your networks.

Thank you for your continued and important work in this area. If you have any questions, would like to provide input, or share your ideas for how we can work together to implement this strategic plan, please feel free to contact me or Kathleen Salyer, Deputy Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She can be reached at [email protected] or 703-308-8895.

Mathy Stanislaus
USEPA
Assistant Administrator
Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response

View the full plan here.