Cleaner production and sustainability

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    This paper describes the Norwegian method for Cleaner Production (CP) as well as results and experiences from its use over more

    than 12 years.Quantiable results in terms of reduced wastes and emissions and improved material and energy eciencies have been

    documented by many authors. Many countries as a strategy for improving environmental performance have also adopted the CPconcept.

    This paper focuses on the intangible benets and human factors derived from CP projects, how the present CP model may beimproved and present ideas on how the CP concept can be expanded to more directly address the needs of developing countries.Improvements to the present CP model should include means for ensuring sustainability of the local CP centre and its activities and

    nancial mechanisms to facilitate aordable environmental investments.The expansion of the basic CP concept should include modules that more directly address the challenges of creating job

    opportunities, eradicating poverty, protecting public health and improving safety. CP should no longer be viewed as a stand-alone

    option but be integrated in all business development activities to improve quality of life.The authors also encourage the development of a holistic view to include greening of the supply chain, recycling of materials

    and applying an LCA philosophy in product development.To speed up the adaptation of CP in the many very small enterprises that exist, an integrated approach to quality systems, CP

    and environmental management systems is proposed. Some of these ideas were recently implemented in the planning of a CPprogramme in Uganda.

    CPas a stand-aloneoptionwill not create a sustainable society, but expanding the concept in a similar fashion to that proposed in this

    article, is believed to be an important step in the right direction, provided that sucient funding is available over an extended period. 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Keywords: Cleaner production methodology; Sustainability; Training modules; Developing countries

    1. Introduction

    Cleaner Production (CP) has been practised for morethan 12 years in many countries all over the world.Oestfold Research Foundations Institute for Environ-mental Protection in Norway has been involved in thiswork from the very beginning. We have participated insome capacity or other in CP projects in Poland, the

    Many participating companies can show impressiveresults with respect to improved material utilisation,lowered energy consumption and reduced emissions toair, water and soil. Others have, for various reasons, notbeen so successful. This paper will discuss some of thecritical phases in implementing CP projects based on ourpractical experience.

    We assume that basic CP methodology is known. WeCleaner productio

    Gudolf K

    Cecilia Askham Nyland, Institute for Environmental Protection, Oe

    Received 6 November 2

    Journal of Cleaner ProductiCzech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, China, Indonesia,and Uganda. The nancing for these projects has comefrom the Norwegian Government.

    ) Tel.: C47-6935-1100; fax: C47-342-494.E-mail address:

    0959-6526/$ - see front matter 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/S0959-6526(03)00119-7and sustainability


    ld Research Foundation, Post Box 276, 1601 Fredrikstad, Norway

    ; accepted 15 July 2003

    13 (2005) 329e339, however, briey describe the Norwegian Modelfor cleaner production.

    We look at Sustainable Development as a direction inwhich we ought to movedprobably faster than we aredoing today. Will CP bring us to the Promised Land?

    This paper proposes some activities that can supple-ment CP as it is dened today. The usefulness of these

  • ersupplementary activities or modules will vary fromcountry to country and even from company to com-pany. However, they position one to tailor a trainingprogramme to better suit the needs of major stake-holders.

    Even though CP has been in use for many years andeco-eciencies have improved considerably in manycountries, the amount of waste we in industrialised coun-tries produce seems to continue to increase. This increaseis apparently strongly correlated to Gross NationalProduct (GNP). This means that Waste Managementand consumption patterns will continue to be importantactivities for many years to come.

    2. The Norwegian model for CP

    The so-called Norwegian model for implementingCP has evolved from the early experience gained fromprojects in Norway and Poland in 1989e1991. Later, asexperience has accumulated, the model has been renedand improved.

    When starting up in a new country, a contract has tobe drawn up with a local partner that has good contactswith authorities, industry and academia. The next step isto recruit a sucient number of companies to participatein a pre-project seminar lasting for one or two days. Thepurpose of this seminar is towet the appetites of theparticipants, in particular the appetites of top manage-ment. The objective is to engage their interest and getthem to commit themselves to participate in theprogramme. It is important that the participants in theseminar understand that ecology and economy can beimproved simultaneously and those substantial benetscan be obtained without, or with very low, investments.

    The best results are obtained when the participatingcompanies can satisfy some of the following require-ments:

    Located within a reasonable distance from the loca-tion of the seminar;

    Top management is interested in improving envi-ronmental performance;

    Have potential for environmental improvement; Represent an important industry sector; Be willing to allocate necessary time and resourcesfor participants in the programme;

    Possess reasonable economic stability; Allow at least two persons from the same companyto participate.

    We also try to put forward requirements for peopletaking part, for example:

    Be able to understand and speak English (unfor-

    330 G. Kjaerheim / Journal of Cleantunately the advisors are limited to speaking Englishand some German and French in addition to theirown language);

    Be motivated to work for environmental improve-ments;

    Possess basic engineering/technical skills and knowl-edge of own processes;

    Have a position in the company such that they havethe authority to implement changes (typically pro-duction managers, process engineers, environmentalengineers etc.).

    In addition to people from industry we recommendthat a certain number of people from universities, auth-orities, NGOs and consultancy companies may be invitedto participate if they have a relevant background.If circumstances are right, a certain number of partic-ipants may later be invited to act as co-advisors in anew programme, and/or as CP advisors to othercompanies.

    We, as facilitators, are completely independent ofsuppliers of equipment and processes and we will notrecommend any specic technology or manufacturer.We may however discuss essential elements in the selec-tion process.

    The main programme consists of four plenarysessions with intermediate company visits (Fig. 1). Theplenary sessions are mainly made up of lectures, groupwork, discussions/exchange of information, and presen-tations by the participants on the progress of CP caseassessment studies they have initiated in their owncompany. The group work is designed to prepare theparticipants for the tasks they are facing when they startCP assessment in their own company and to facilitateexchange of experiences.

    All participating companies are visited at least onceby the lecturers/advisors during the course of the pro-gramme. The purpose of the visits is threefold:

    Meet with top management to help secure commit-ment and full support for CP programme;

    Meet with the internal project organisation to dis-cuss their progress, approach, problems, etc.;

    Visit the selected production site.In addition to teaching CP methodology in some

    detail, the curriculum includes business analysis, invest-ment analysis and strategic planning. In other words, weconcentrate on CP methodology, ecology and economy,not technology.

    We have, when requested, incorporated lectures onbasic concepts of quality systems and EnvironmentalManagement Systems, EMS. This gives the participantsan idea about the potential of these systems, but so far,the time spent on these subjects is short, so we can notexpect the average company to be able to developa quality system (ISO 9000) or an EMS (ISO 14000)

    Production 13 (2005) 329e339based on just the input we give them in the lectures.

  • immediately. Other options, requiring investments, are At least one case assessment has been carried out ineach company;

    rscheduled for future implementation. Frequently we hearpeople in the nancial world say that there is moneyavailable, but there are no good projects. Similarly thereare technical people in industry saying that they have lotsof good projects, but they dont have the money. Due tothis a special course is occasionally oered, designed todeal with options requiring higher investments. Thiscourse is designed to bridge the gap between the nancialworld and the technical world by training people todevelop professional loan applications. However, morework needs to be done in this area.

    The CP programme ends with an exam. This examconsists of submitting a written paper and an oralpresentation of results and experiences from the CP caseassessments that have been carried out. The candidatemust also present plans for future work. The partic-ipants have to demonstrate that they have a thoroughunderstanding of CP methodology and that they areable to utilise the concept in practical work. Successfulcandidates are awarded a certicate issued by the WorldCleaner Production Society.

    A complete CP programme is normally carried outover 6e12 months. A more comprehensive description

    Twenty-ve to thirty people have been trained inpractical application of the CP methodology (Sometimes as many as 50e60);

    Economic savings associated with the case assess-ments are realised;

    Energy savings, better utilisation of raw materials,reduced emissions and reduced amount of solidwaste are achieved;

    Qualied CP graduates are used as co-advisors tosupplement foreign sta.

    Normally it is possible to quantify the ecological andeconomical benets with reasonable accuracy. These arereported elsewhere in detail, e.g. [2,3,4].

    The intangible results may, however, prove to be justas important in the long run. One important slogan thatguides our work is HELP PEOPLE HELP THEM-SELVES. This means that we want to develop anattitude where people rely on themselves. In ourphilosophy therefore, human resource development isof major importance. We want people to use their ownexperience and knowledge together with existing dataand information in analysing a problem area (i.e. lowEmphasis is placed on brainstorming techniques andopen communication such that all relevant personnelmay be involved in generating ideas for improvement.The proposed options are screened and subjected to acost benet analysis. The low-hanging-fruits, requiringnil or low investment are implemented (harvested)

    Fig. 1. Modules in th

    G. Kjaerheim / Journal of Cleaneof the Norwegian Model for CP is given in [1].3. Results

    A completed CP programme can show both quanti-able results and intangible benets. The quantiableresults are:

    e training program.

    331Production 13 (2005) 329e339yield, variations in quality, too high energy consumption

  • per ton produced, etc.) and come up with proposals forimprovement. We try to stimulate people to be in-novative and active in their work for continuousimprovement. We want all forces to pull in the samedirection and utilise the knowledge and experience ofeverybody in an organisation. This is the essence of ourteaching and should be practised and developed as partof the case study assessments. Experience from manyprojects clearly shows that implementing CP projectsaccording to the so-called Norwegian Model contrib-utes to changing attitudes and developing interested andactive employees. We believe that it is in this area thereal challenges are in improving both enterprises andsociety as a whole.

    4. Experience

    After extensive use of the Cleaner Production conceptover the last 12 years it has been proven that CP can be anecient tool when trying to conserve resources andreduce emissions. It can also be a high motivationalfactor. It can be funworking to improve the environment.

    It is important, at the beginning of a programme, tospend some time with the participants, discussing theirneeds and expectations. This puts us in a position, to acertain degree, to tailor the programme to suit the parti-cular group of people at hand. However, we always stickto some basic principles. In a network of companiescoming from the same branch of industry we have thepossibility to also discuss technology, but the main focusis always upon understanding and being able to use CPmethodology in daily life.

    Some typical responses we meet at this very earlystage in the programme may be something like these:

    Just give us money so that we can invest in newequipment. We know what to do. Or

    In our boiler plant we frequently have problemscontrolling the steam pressure. Can you please comeand x the problem for us?

    What modern equipment (clean technology?) wouldyou recommend for this or that application?

    Our response is usually as follows:

    It is important to have modern, ecient processes.But to invest in new equipment will cost a hugeamount of moneydmoney that we dont have. In theprogramme we intend to show that it is possible toobtain substantial economic savings and at the sametime reduce emissions by working according toa certain methodology which we will discuss withyou. Ecient and environmentally friendly produc-tion is not just a question of technology. Equallyimportant are people, skills, experience, motivation,

    332 G. Kjaerheim / Journal of Cleanersystems, organisation etc.When savings have been made from implementinghousekeeping actions, low investments may beaorded and hopefully additional savings can bemade. It is necessary, even in a company with the verylatest in technology, that people develop their pro-duction skills and adopt a positive attitude topollution prevention.We can help people help themselves by showinghow to work in a systematic manner and utilise therelevant knowledge and experience that exists ina company to solve specic problems. The advisorswill not try to solve the technical problems for you,but rather provide you with the tools to do it yourself.

    One main goal with our work is to reach the so-calledbasic capacity level in a country (train the trainers).This means that a sucient number of people havereceived CP training such that they can continue thework on their own in a sustainable manner. The foreignspecialists should make themselves superuous assoon as possible and leave the work and responsibilityto local advisors, but maintain good contact for follow-up activities. It is probably only...


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