Many pollution prevention opportunities cost very little to carry out and can be quite profitable; others must be analyzed carefully to weigh their profitability. This analysis involves identifying all the major costs involved in a current process and possible pollution prevention alternatives, and then comparing the costs and savings.

The Washington Department of Ecology's "Cost Analysis for Pollution Prevention" fact sheet uses Net Present Value or discounted cash-flow analysis to calculate current and projected costs. The tool, revised in October 2002, explains a few basic approaches to calculating cost/benefit ratios for pollution prevention projects. Clearly written and informative, the tool features practical worksheets and financial analysis forms.