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ECOEFFICIENCY, POLLUTION PREVENTION TECHNOLOGIES, CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES, LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT

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Title: ECOEFFICIENCY, POLLUTION PREVENTION TECHNOLOGIES, CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES, LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT


1
ECO-EFFICIENCY, POLLUTION PREVENTION
TECHNOLOGIES, CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES, LIFE CYCLE
ASSESSMENT
  • ENVE 406
  • 20 April, 2001

2
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ECO-EFICIENCY
  • There is wide acceptance that economic growth
    should be in line with the principles of
    sustainable development progress which meets
    the needs of the present without compromising the
    ability of future generations to meet their own
    needs.
  • Sustainable development incorporates
    consideration of the needs of growing
    populations, the need for human prosperity and
    equity, as well as the need to conserve and pass
    on adequate environmental goods and services to
    future generations.
  • As a concept eco-efficiency provides a way of
    thinking about breaking the nexus between
    economic activity and environmental impacts, and
    therefore achieving sustainable development. 

3
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • The World Business Council for Sustainable
    Development (WBCSD) has described eco-efficiency
    as 'the business contribution to sustainable
    development'. 
  • By bringing together environmental and economic
    goals, eco-efficiency is an essential element,
    but not the whole, of sustainable development.
  • Business can make measurable improvements to
    their eco-efficiency through performance
    objectives such as reducing the energy and
    materials intensity of goods and services per
    product produced.

4
ECO-EFFICIENCY
Eco-efficiency is the efficiency with which
ecological resources are used to meet human needs.
5
 
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • TOOLS OF ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Cleaner production (CP),
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA),
  • Pollution prevention (PP).
  • Environmental management systems.

6
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Eco-efficiency improvements can take several
    forms
  • Adoption of existing better practices and
    technology can improve environmental performance
    and increase profits or reduce costs,
  • Development of new practices and technology can
    also improve both environmental and economic
    performance,
  • Responses to changes in market conditions can
    improve eco-efficiency. Increased competition,
    resource constraints or price changes can make it
    profitable for firms to shift towards more
    eco-efficient technology and practices.

7
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Developing indicators and goals,
  • Working towards the goals through a process of
    innovation in technology, modes of organization
    and ways of thinking,
  • Monitoring the indicators and modifying the
    strategy if necessary.

8
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Business initiatives,
  • Initiatives in agriculture,
  • Initiative in services,
  • Initiatives in local government.

9
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • 1. BUSINESS INITIATIVES
  • WBCSD states that eco-efficiency is reached by
  • The delivery of competitively-priced goods and
    services,
  • That satisfy human needs and bring quality of
    life,
  • While progressively reducing ecological impacts
    and resource intensity throughout the life-cycle,
  • To a level at least in line with the earths
    estimated carrying capacity.

10
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • 1. BUSINESS INITIATIVES (Contd)
  • Indicators and Targets
  • WBCSD identifies seven eco-efficiency criteria
    for firms
  • Minimize the material intensity of goods and
    services,
  • Minimize the energy intensity of goods and
    services,
  • Minimize toxic dispersion,
  • Enhance material recyclability,
  • Maximize the use of renewable resources,
  • Extend product durability,
  • Increase the service intensity of goods and
    services.

11
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • 1. BUSINESS INITIATIVES (Contd)
  • Changes in Production Process
  • Innovation in production process tends to focus
    on reducing the use of expensive inputs-in
    particular labor. Spending on energy and raw
    materials is a small component of overall costs
    for most industries, giving little incentive to
    reduce waste.
  • Nevertheless, several major companies have made
    efforts to do so. For example, Dows Waste
    Reduction Always Pays (WARP) and 3Ms Pollution
    Prevention Pays (3P) program.

12
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • 1. BUSINESS INITIATIVES (Contd)
  • Product innovations
  • Numerous innovations have demonstrated the
    potential to improve the eco-efficiency of
    products including cars, houses, refrigerators
    and televisions.
  • 2. INITIATIVES IN PRODUCTION SECTOR
  • Agriculture is an example.Eco-efficiency
    improvements in agriculture can come both from
    radical shifts in farm practices, such as the use
    of natural predators for pest control, and from
    the introduction of improved plant and livestock
    varieties.
  • 3. INITIATIVES IN SERVICE SECTOR
  • Eco-efficiency improvements are less common due
    to less environmental impacts in this sector.

13
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ENCOURAGING INITIATIVES BY
    FIRMS AND COMMUNITIES
  • A major tasks for governments is to enhance the
    consistency of efforts at the firm and household
    level, by establishing a policy framework that
    reduces the gap between private and social aims.
  • Government incentives and support can increase
    the potential for improving eco-efficiency at the
    level of the firm.

14
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Economy-wide improvements in eco-effiency depend
    on the policy framework established by
    government, including
  • Ensuring that economic incentives are coherent
    and consistent. This entails reform of subsidies
    and tax incentives that support polluting or
    resource-insentive activities.
  • Internalising environmental damage costs wherever
    possible, whether through price or regulatory
    instruments,
  • Developing policies in areas including land-use
    planning, education, and technological
    innovation, that support the aim of improving
    eco-efficiency.

15
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Role of national government icludes
  • Subsidy and regulatory reform,
  • Eco-taxes,
  • Rights and liabilities,
  • Regulations, standards and voluntary
    eco-efficiency improvements,
  • Physical infrastrucute (i.e., transport and
    communication networks)
  • Information and education
  • Motivation to improve eco-efficiecy may come from
    knowledge of the dangers and costs of
    eco-inefficient production and consumption, amd
    from shared social and ultural goals of
    sustainabiliy,

16
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Opportunities to improve eco-efficiency are no
    use unless individuals are aware of them
    meawhile, education that encourages creativity
    and initiateive may enable citizens to identify
    new opportunites,
  • The ability to take opportunities may depend on
    individuals degree of technical and social
    competence, self-awareness, and understanding of
    the implications of the options available.
  • Monitoring and assessing progress,
  • It is often difficult to establish how effective
    a policy has been
  • Responses to any policy changes, including price
    changes, are hard to distinguish from the effect
    of other influences,

17
ECO-EFFICIENCY
  • Obstacles to improve eco-efficiency
  • Cost of new technologies,
  • The current system of alliances among
    stakeholders that tends to preserve the status
    quo,
  • The presence of market and intervention failures
    and inefficiencies,
  • Inefficient communication within and among firms.

18
Web Sites
  • UNEP
  • http//www.unepie.org/Cp2/home.html
  • EPA
  • http//www.epa.vic.gov.au/cleanprod/default.htm
  • Environment Australia
  • http//www.environment.gov.au/epg/environet/eecp

19
CLEANER PRODUCTION (CP)
  • Cleaner production is the continuous application
    of an integrated preventive environmental
    strategy applied to processes, products and
    services to increase overall efficiency and
    reduce risks to humans and the environment .
    (UNEP)
  • Production processes conserving raw materials
    and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials and
    reducing the quantity and toxicity of all
    emissions and wastes.
  • Products reducing negative impacts along the
    life cycle of a product, from raw materials
    extraction to its ultimate disposal.
  • Services incorporating environmental concerns
    into designing and delivering services

20
CLEANER PRODUCTION (CP)
  • Aim of the cleaner production
  • to prevent or minimize waste generation,
  • to minimize the use of raw material, water and
    energy in the process.
  • So as to achieve Sustainable Production.
  • Basic principles of cleaner production are
  • consideration of preventive actions to
    management of pollution rather than end-of-pipe
    solutions,
  • minimizing waste generation by minimizing the use
    of raw material and energy,
  • innovative technologies that provides optimum use
    of natural resources.

21
LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
  • Sometimes referred to as "cradle to grave"
    assessment, life cycle assessment (LCA) provides
    a systematic approach to measuring resource
    consumption and environmental releases (to air,
    water and soil) associated with products,
    processes and services.
  •   LCA can be a powerful tool for making decisions
    about alternative products and technologies used
    for cleaner production
  •  

22
LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
  • the LCA approach, an organisation can 
  • improve its understanding of products and
    processes
  • establish a comprehensive baseline of data on a
    system's performance
  • compare environmental impacts and economic costs
    of alternative products, technologies or
    practises
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • identify points within a system's life cycle
    where the greatest reduction in resource
    requirements and emissions can be achieved
  • evaluate waste management options to reduce
    pollution and waste management costs, and guide
    the development of new products with lower
    environmental impacts and cost benefitsiii and
  • redesign products to reduce their material
    intensity. 

23
LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
  • Drawbacks
  • It requires specific and well researched
    information to establish baseline environmental
    impact data for even basic raw materials, and can
    thus be extremely resource intensive. 
  • the environmental impacts of raw material
    extraction and production processes may vary from
    country to country, and even from region to
    region.  For example, the impacts of extracting
    one tonne of coal in Australia differ from those
    in the USA, because of different mining and
    transport techniques and technologies, and also a
    different environment. 
  • Another drawback is that subjective assessments
    need to be made regarding the relative weightings
    that emissions should be given. 
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