Khan - Cleaner Production

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  • 7/30/2019 Khan - Cleaner Production


    Cleaner production: an economical option for ISO certification indeveloping countries

    Zahiruddin Khan*

    Institute of Environmental Science & Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    Received 6 March 2006; accepted 17 June 2006

    Available online 23 August 2006


    Since its conception in early 1990s, cleaner production has helped thousands of businesses around the world in improving environmental

    performance and reducing risks to their staff. Developing countries, due to their economic, social and cultural limitations are slow to adapt

    to new ideas. Stresses of WTO and ISO certification are hitting the developing economies hard especially the export businesses. This article

    re-introduces the concept of cleaner production as a self-help tool as well as an economical pathway towards ISO certification. The objective

    is to motivate businesses anywhere to join the sustainable development trail. A simple step-by-step procedure to develop a cleaner production

    program is delineated. Cleaner production opportunities and how their exploration will lead to covering many requirements of the

    ISO14001:2004 certification is discussed. Cleaner production opportunities in the most common automotive industry are presented along

    with five case studies from Australia. Special attention is given to energy efficiency. A full section is devoted to equipment-specific cleaner pro-

    duction opportunities.

    2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Keywords: CP opportunities; Just-in-time; Economic edge; Internal audit; Commitment; Ownership; Green materials; CP plans

    1. Introduction

    With the advent of WTO and ISO certification requirements

    for industries and businesses especially for export oriented en-

    terprises, the gap between imports and exports in the develop-

    ing countries is on the rise. Today, ISO14001 or ISO9001

    certified companies around the glob are refusing to do business

    with non-certified companies. Moreover, the general absence

    of quality consciousness in industrial operations, productsand services in the developing countries is costing them mil-

    lions of dollars in terms of rejects and returned consignments.

    Thousands of units around the developing world are operating

    in same old way and the management dismisses the idea of im-

    proved environmental management or ISO certification as un-

    due and uneconomical. Success of cleaner production around

    the world has proven that commitment from the top

    management and true implementation of cleaner production

    techniques results in cost effective environmental management

    and brings the business close to ISO certification. The objec-

    tive of this article is to highlight common cleaner production

    opportunities in the commercial environment, provide a com-

    prehensive step-by-step guidance for developing a cleaner pro-

    duction program and confirm its successes by presenting some

    case studies.

    According to United Nations Environment Program,Cleaner Production means the continuous application of

    an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes

    and products to reduce risks to humans and the environment.

    It encompasses a thorough review of all aspects of business

    operations and identifies opportunities where improvements

    will help businesss economy as well as the environment. In

    addition to economical and environmental benefits, cleaner

    production saves staff from undue injuries, raises staff moral,

    improves legislative compliance, prevents or controls spills,

    and raises businesss profile amongst its competitors.* Tel.: 92 51 927 1599.

    E-mail address:

    0959-6526/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008)
  • 7/30/2019 Khan - Cleaner Production


    2. Methodology

    This section addresses three subjects: (i) how to develop

    a successful cleaner production program; (ii) where to look

    for cleaner production opportunities; and (iii) what cleaner pro-

    duction opportunities are attached to commonly used equip-

    ment. Information provided here can be used as guideline fordevelopment of an effective environmental management sys-

    tem (EMS) and documents required for ISO14001 certification.

    2.1. Developing a Cleaner Production Program [1]

    The most critical factor in any Cleaner Production Pro-

    gram is the commitment by the top management as the pro-

    gram implementation requires some of the staffs time spent

    in meeting, discussing, communicating and planning various

    phases of the program. Cost of implementing changes sug-

    gested by cleaner production team is another obstacle. Cost

    is less likely to be prohibitive if the advantages of the program

    are well understood by the management and pay-back periodsare not too long.

    Once the top management is convinced of the likely advan-

    tages, following steps can be taken to develop and implement

    a Cleaner Production Program.

    Step-1: Top management selects an engineer or manager

    from middle management that is relatively well versed with

    the concept of cleaner production and call him/her the Cleaner

    Production Champion (CP Champion).

    Step-2: The CP Champion will put together a CP team com-

    prised of supervisors from each section and the most experi-

    enced and active floor staff.

    Step-3: The CP team will review past and present environ-mental and economic activities and contracts of the organiza-

    tion and identify opportunities where improvements can

    enhance environmental compliance, economic benefits or so-

    cial stature of the organization. Smart CP teams revisit organ-

    izations vision for the future and incorporate future plans

    e.g., ISO certification and initiate necessary documentation

    of the collected data at the same time. Most common areas

    of CP opportunities include: raw materials, water manage-

    ment, wastewater management, energy consumption, mainte-

    nance, technology being used with reference to the best

    available technology, consumables, packaging etc.

    Step-4: From the list of CP opportunities prepared in step-3,

    CP team will focus on the few most promising ones and ex-

    plore to what extent changes would help reducing costs or

    improving environmental performance of the organization.

    Step-5: After extensive exploration of opportunities, cleaner

    production plans (CP Plans) are prepared for implementation

    of the changes recommended by the CP team. Achievable

    goals and milestones are set and concerted efforts are done

    to achieve the goals.

    Step 6: Monthly or bimonthly meetings of the CP team keep

    track of improvements andbarriersin implementation of CP plans.

    Step 7: Steps 4, 5 and 6 are repeated until most of the

    cleaner production opportunities are extensively explored and

    changes implemented.

    2.2. Cleaner production opportunities

    From daily life activities of an individual to national activ-

    ities, Cleaner Production opportunities are available at every

    step. It should however be noted that an opportunity that is

    promising in one business may not have the same ranking in

    another. Since opportunities vary from business to businessand even from management to management, given below are

    the major Cleaner Production opportunities along with their

    methods of exploration. Such opportunities exist in most of

    the businesses and industries. A comprehensive exploration

    of cleaner production opportunities would also help in identi-

    fying all environmental aspects of that business. This would

    minimize the effort required in developing environmental as-

    pects register required as part of Environmental Management

    System (EMS) documentation. Given below are a few com-

    mon cleaner production opportunities. Any business can re-

    view its operations in the light of the following and save cost

    as well as the environment.

    2.2.1. Raw materials [1e3]

    Try bulk purchase i.e., prefer 205 L drums, 1000 L IBCs or

    custom-made large containers over 10 or 20 L containers. If

    the same raw material is to be used over and over again, refill

    containers as far as possible. Use flexible packaging such as

    sacks or bags to help reducing storage space requirements. If

    a dilute solution is to be used in the industrial operations, pur-

    chase concentrated solution for on-site dilution. Where possi-

    ble, use recycled raw materials and/or replace costly chemicals

    with low cost chemicals of the same characteristics e.g., re-

    place H3PO4 with H2SO4. Shop around and prefer local sup-

    pliers to avoid shipping and handling charges.Explore and purchase environmentally safe materials for

    your business thus help environment friendly businesses,

    e.g., replace solvent-based coatings with less toxic, water-

    based coatings. Reformulate and redesign your products using

    environment friendly materials e.g. eliminate lead from paints

    or cadmium from ink manufacturing. Analyze impact of your

    products over their life cycle and redesign to minimize its ad-

    verse envir