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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention > Environmental Stewardship Program Environmental Stewardship Program

If your facility looks for opportunities to continuously improve, reduce waste and improve efficiency, reducing your footprint on Indiana's environment, then you may be an Environmental Steward.

Don't miss your opportunity for reduced recordkeeping and reporting, monitoring, inspections, and expedited and flexible permits!

Watch Gerry Dick of Inside Indiana Business as he speaks with Jean-Francois Brossoit, Plant Manager, Carrier Corporation; Tom Easterday, Senior Vice President, Subaru of Indiana Automotive; and Sam George, Vice President of Environmental Compliance, American Commercial Lines, about being members of the Indiana Environmental Stewardship Program.

What is the Environmental Stewardship Program?

ESP is a voluntary, performance based leadership program designed to recognize and reward Indiana regulated entities for going above and beyond current environmental regulations. In return for their exemplary environmental performance, these establishments will receive program incentives including regulatory flexibility, public recognition, and networking opportunities.

ESP focuses on improving Indiana's environment and business climate through innovation and efficient resource allocation. Participating organizations achieve environmental objectives through creating and implementing an environmental management system (EMS). Together, the EMS and the steward's commitment to continual environmental improvement will increase their efficiency, decrease environmental impacts, and may save the business time, money, and resources. Regulatory flexibility incentives earned by members were designed to provide business value, reduce regulatory oversight, allow a shift in resources from compliance driven to achieving results, and provide the member with increased operational flexibility.

Is my organization eligible?

Any regulated entity in Indiana may apply regardless of type, size, or complexity. To qualify for Indiana's Environmental Stewardship Program, applicants must demonstrate that they have:

  • A standard of environmental compliance;
  • Implemented and will maintain an environmental management system (EMS); and
  • Committed to continuous environmental improvement.

A complete description of eligibility requirements [PDF] is available.

What are the benefits of ESP membership?

There are many benefits and incentives for members including regulatory flexibility, recognition, and networking opportunities. Some of the specific incentives include:

  • A plaque, press release, and use of logo
  • Annual ESP member meeting with the IDEM Commissioner
  • Networking events for ESP members
  • Expedited permits
  • Flexible permits
  • Reduced reporting frequencies
  • Low priority for routine inspections
  • Reduced recordkeeping and reporting
  • Reduced monitoring where applicable and appropriate
  • And more!

A complete listing of incentives is available on the internet.

How does my organization apply?

Applications for ESP are accepted year-round. Current members who complete their third year may renew when they submit their Annual Performance Report in April of their third year.

To apply for ESP, please use the following six steps:

  1. Implement an EMS.
  2. Ensure you meet the EMS guidelines by completing the ESP EMS Checklist [DOC].
  3. Contact the ESP Program Manager at to initiate application process.
  4. Ensure your compliance history is accurately represented on U.S. EPA's ECHO database. Contact IDEM's Compliance & Technical Assistance Program at (800) 988-7901 for confidential assistance with an environmental compliance or regulatory question.
  5. Conduct an independent audit of your EMS according to the ESP Eligibility Requirements [PDF].
  6. Submit an ESP Application to the ESP Program Manager at The application, instructions, and environmental performance table are available on the IDEM Forms page (navigate down to the Office of Compliance Support section).

When do I submit an Annual Performance Report?

As a component of membership in the Environmental Stewardship Program, each member facility completes an ESP Annual Performance Report (APR) (available on the IDEM Forms page) in which it demonstrates to IDEM and the public its environmental accomplishments over the year, its continued high level of environmental performance, and its maintenance of the Environmental Stewardship Program membership criteria. The ESP APR must be submitted to IDEM by April 1st for each calendar year in which the entity has been a member for at least three (3) full months. Please only send an electronic version (email) of the APR. The APR includes the following:

  • A summary of the facility's EMS assessment activities and progress towards meeting EMS objectives and targets, including brief descriptions of audits conducted and improvements made.
  • A brief report on progress made in meeting the facility's environmental performance goals.
  • A summary of the facility's public outreach activities.
  • A self-certification that the facility continues to meet the Environmental Stewardship Program criteria for membership.

Please do not include any confidential business information in your ESP APR. Please keep in mind that IDEM makes the report publicly available, including posting all portions of your report on the Environmental Stewardship Program web site.

Normalizing Data

Each Environmental Stewardship Program member must normalize the data reported on the ESP Annual Performance Report. Normalization is the process of adjusting environmental performance measurements to account for increases or decreases in production over time. Normalization is important because it recognizes that facilities can become more environmentally efficient, even if total production increases. Conversely, if production declines, normalization separates out the effects of declining production from any gains in environmental efficiency.

Facilities should choose a basis of normalization that directly demonstrates changes in the activity level or output of the facility. The basis of normalization should describe both WHAT is being produced and HOW production is measured. The basis of normalization should not change from year to year, and in most cases the same basis of normalization should be used for all Environmental Stewardship Program goals. It is best to choose a basis of normalization that is measured in physical quantities using production quantities (e.g., pounds) as opposed to dollar values. For example, for an electroplating facility, an appropriate basis of normalization could be "tons of material electroplated." For a car manufacturer, an appropriate basis of normalization could be "number of cars produced."

If you have questions, please contact the ESP Program Manager at

IDEM Review of ESP Annual Performance Reports

Once a member facility submits an ESP Annual Performance Report, IDEM staff will review the report. A facility may be contacted if IDEM identifies any significant problems. It will take IDEM approximately 30-60 days to review and accept the ESP Annual Performance Reports.

Member Results at a Glance

During 2013, Environmental Stewardship Program members made the following achievements:

  • Reduced the amount of water usage enough to fill nearly 13 Olympic sized swimming pools. 1
  • Reduced the amount of natural gas used similar to eliminating CO2 emissions from 288,421 propane cylinders used for home barbeques. 2
  • Eliminated the amount of solid waste sent to the landfill by a weight equivalent to about 1,050 full-sized passenger trucks. 3
  • Reduced the amount of volatile organic compound emissions equal to the CO2 emissions from 824 gallons of gasoline consumed. 4
  • Reduced air toxic emissions equivalent to 1,443 passenger vehicles for a year. 5
  • Saved enough electricity to power 1,1985,881 Indiana households for one year. 6
  • Reduced the amount of materials procured by an amount comparable to the weight of 887 25-cubic foot side-by-side refrigerators. 7

The table lists all of the reductions achieved by Environmental Stewardship Program members during 2013 by each environmental category:

Category Calendar Year 2012
Material procurement (reduced): 239,560 pounds
Water use (reduced): 8,616,668 gallons
Energy use (reduced): 6,472409 kilowatt hours
84,088 million British Thermal Units
Land and habitat conservation: Restored 100 acres and planted 100,000 trees
Air emissions (reduced): Volatile organic compound emissions by 16,204 pounds
Greenhouse gas emissions by 15,260,496 pounds
Non-Hazardous Waste (reduced): 4,195,397 pounds
Hazardous Waste (reduced): 25,446 pounds
Recycling (increase): 1,031,472 pounds

View Annual Performance Reports and Success Stories

  1. 660,000 gallons per Olympic Swimming Pool
  2. 18 pounds propane/1 cylinder × 0.817 pound C/pound propane × 0.4536 kilograms/pound × 44 kg CO2/12 kg C × 1 metric ton/1,000 kg = 0.024 metric tons CO2/cylinder
  3. Pick-Up truck average 5000 pounds
  4. 0.125 mmbtu/gallon × 71.35 kg CO2/mmbtu × 1 metric ton/1,000 kg = 8.92 × 10-3 metric tons CO2/gallon of gasoline
  5. 8.92 × 10-3 metric tons CO2/gallon gasoline × 11,493 VMT car/truck average × 1/21.5 miles per gallon car/truck average × 1 CO2, CH4, and N2O/0.985 CO2 = 4.8 metric tons CO2E /vehicle/year
  6. 5,402 kWh/year Indiana homes in 2010
  7. 270 pounds

How do I renew my ESP membership?

Facilities are asked to reapply for their Environmental Stewardship Program membership after each three (3) year membership term to ensure the facility continues to meet stringent membership requirements. To apply for an additional three (3) year membership term, current members must check the appropriate box in Section A of their third ESP Annual Performance Report and submit the full report with proof of the independent assessment to the ESP manager by the April 1st deadline. Please only send an electronic version (email) of your renewal application to the ESP Program Manager at

Facilities must have had an independent assessment of their environmental management system completed within the past thirty-six (36) months to renew membership. An independent assessment is one that is performed by someone who is neither directly employed by your facility nor someone who has played a substantive role in developing your environmental management system.

Applicants and renewing members can use the ISO 14001:2004 certification audit, Responsible Care EMS or 14001 audits, the ESP Independent Assessment Protocol, or some other independent assessment, like a corporate audit, with approval from IDEM. Guidelines for these assessments are set out in the ESP Eligibility Requirements [PDF], including the qualifications for the individual conducting the independent assessment.

IDEM staff cannot recommend auditors to perform the independent environmental management system assessment; however, a list of ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System Lead Auditors that are qualified to perform independent facility assessments is available online. Be sure to search the certification scheme criteria using the “competency-based environmental auditor” and the “qualification-based environmental auditor.”

The process for renewing ESP membership is the same as the initial ESP application process. Starting April 1 of each year, IDEM has 90-days to internally review the ESP renewals (i.e., Annual Performance Report and third-party EMS assessment) for those facilities seeking to renew ESP membership. This 90-day internal review period includes reviewing the Annual Performance Reports and EMS assessments, obtaining an internal compliance history report from all IDEM program offices and, possibly, a site visit conducted by OPPTA staff. IDEM management will review the compliance report, EMS assessment results, and each facility's achievements during their previous membership term. Each facility’s independent EMS assessment documents are deliberative information and will not be made public.

Facilities continuing to meet ESP program requirements will be notified of their membership renewal by the ESP program manager and will be provided with a new ESP certificate citing the newest membership term. Membership renewal notifications will be provided by the end of June each year assuming all renewing facility’s submit their ESP Annual Performance Report and EMS assessment by the April 1 deadline.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management at (800) 988-7901 or via email at