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Cleaner Production: Economic Advantages

The Tao of Cleaner Production
 and Waste Minimization

  • YIN (passive, accepting side). Outside-In: Green Procurement. Working with purchasing staff to identify suppliers that meet 'industry best practice' in cleaner production; ensuring that your suppliers meet certain environmental requirements

  • YANG (active, aggressive side). Inside-Out: Design for Environment. Working with process designing and production staff to select materials and/or processes that are less wasteful.

Cleaner Production Design for Environment (DfE) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) New Product Development New Product Design Cleaner Production Cleaner Production Strategies

Cleaner Production Strategies

  1. Eliminate residue streams that contain substances under phase-out regulatory restrictions... More



EcoDesign for Waste Minimization

  • Eliminate residue streams that contain substances under phase-out regulatory restrictions... More

EcoDesign Strategies for Waste Recycling

  • Eliminate residue streams that contain substances under phase-out regulatory restrictions... More



  1. Design + Environment, Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis

  2. Industrial Ecology, Graedel, T.E., and B.R. Allenby

  3. LCA and TCA as Tools for Measuring Green Productivity, Ik Kim and Tak Hur

  4. Cleaner Production Within SMEs, Ling Yuang Chen

Cleaner Production Defined

By its definition, cleaner production is a business strategy for enhancing productivity and environmental performance for overall socio-economic development.

Cleaner production processes are those that produce less waste, whether in terms of liquid wastes discharged to waterways, solid wastes going to landfill or gaseous wastes discharged to the air. Many companies have achieved environmental and economic benefits by implementing cleaner production programs.


Main Features

Although it is not possible to totally eliminate the negative environmental impact caused by mass production, you must strive to make it cleaner when compared with traditional processes. A cleaner production must have one or more features listed below4:

  • Using less raw material,

  • Using recycled material,

  • Using less types of material for the ease of waste recovery,

  • Using less packaging material,

  • Using renewable energy,

  • Using chlorine-free plastics and solvent,

  • Using less energy and nature resource (including land, water and biodiversity, etc.),

  • Generating less waste,

  • Having components that can be reused after disposal.

  • Causing less noise and malodor.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Enterprise: 13 Tips

Lean is about doing more with less: less time, inventory, space people and money. Lean manufacturing is, in its most basic form, the systematic elimination of 7 wastes overproduction, waiting, transportation, inventory, motion, over-processing, defective units and the implementation of the concepts of continuous flow and customer pull... More

Toyota Production System

Integrated Environmental and Quality Management System (EQMS)

A recent market study in the Netherlands initiated by The Dutch Technical Committee on Quality Management and carried out by the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) in collaboration with Tilburg University TIAS Business School concluded that full integration between ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001 was possible and  it was easiest for organizations that had  structured their ISO 9001 Quality Management System together with their business processes and such integration could lead to valuable synergies... More

Measuring Cleaner Production

Measuring CP is of critical importance. You must use appropriate indicators, which are generally applicable, yet specifically measurable. The indicators should enable not only estimation of the CP of a product or process and its comparison with other equivalents, but also improvement of the existing process or product and the development of new products.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Total Cost Assessment (TCA) are two types of CP indicators that help managers understand the practical implications of GP and make right decisions3... More

Success Stories Best Business Practices Shwee Shwian Food Co. (Thailand)

A cleaner production program was implemented in the Shwee Shwian Food Co., a medium-sized ginger factory in northern Thailand. The results showed that the incentive program linked to benefits gained by the company through better control of ginger quality led to better results than the awareness programs. The farmers could benefit from improving the quality of their ginger, lower their operating costs, and improve their productivity as well. Return on investment amounted to 1,483% within the first year... More

Success Stories Best Business Practices Ford Lio Ho Motor

Ford Lio Ho, Taiwan established a Corporate Synergy System (CSS) with its suppliers to enhance its overall corporate environmental performance. Ford Lio Ho has also requested that all of its suppliers become certified under ISO 14000.

The total investment in the Green Productivity Demonstration Programs (GPDP) options and corporate synergy projects was estimated to be US$ 15.6 million. The environmental benefits generated from these GPDP options during the second year are listed below and resulted in savings of US$ 6.8 million:

  • Raw materials consumption reduced by 8,000 tons;

  • Water consumption reduced by 58,000 tons;

  • Electricity consumption reduced by 8,900,000 kW;

  • General waste reduced by 1,000 tons;

  • Hazardous waste reduced by 290 tons; and

  • CO2 emissions reduced by 4,500 tons.

Success Stories Best Business Practices Canon

At Canon, a Model Workshop means a workshop where: