Cleaner Production: What is it, and how is it relevant to F&B enterprises?
F&B businesses, small and big, contribute to the food security and nutrient supplies of people, as well as the country’s economic growth. But like any other manufacturing sector, their production processes also consume a lot of energy and raw materials, which can drive climate change and resource depletion. They produce waste, effluents, and fumes, contributing to the pollution of rivers, air, and soils. How can we cause less environmental harm when producing the goods we need?
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) introduced the concept of Cleaner Production in 1989, and defined it as ‘the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy applied to processes, products and services to increase eco-efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment’.
The United Nations (UN) has prioritized sustainable production by including it under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically in SDG 12 (“Responsible Consumptions and Production”) – https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg12
Cleaner Production activities include measures such as pollution prevention, source reduction, waste minimization, and resource/eco-efficiency. They involve better management and housekeeping, substitution of toxic and hazardous materials, process modifications, and reuse of waste products. At its heart, the concept is about the prevention, rather than the control, of pollution.
Cleaner Production: Purpose
To minimize waste and emissions and maximize product output, one starts by analysing the flow of materials and energy in a company. Through resource reduction strategies, it is possible to identify solutions to minimize waste and emissions coming out of industrial processes. Improvements of organisation and technology help to reduce or suggest better choices in use of materials and energy, and to avoid waste, waste water generation, gaseous emissions, and waste heat and noise. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleaner_production
Cleaner Production: Benefits
The benefits of Cleaner Production include: decreased waste, the recovery of valuable by-products, improved environmental performance, increased resource productivity, increased efficiency, lower energy consumption, and an overall reduction in costs.