Sustainable Growth:


Cleaner Production (CP)

Preserving Environment and Harnessing Business Benefits

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


Cleaner Production: Economic Advantages

Creating Customer Value

10 Lessons from Konosuke Matsushita, Founder of Panasonic

  • Any waste will increase the price of the product... More

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

The Tao of Cleaner Production and Waste Minimization

  1. 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

  2. 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 Strategies

By: Graedel and Allenby2

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

  2. Minimize the use of de-ionized water, the generation of which consumes substantial amounts of energy and the use of which generates an additional residue stream to worry about

  3. Avoid the introduction or substitution of new residue streams requiring new discharge permits, modifications to existing permits, or off-site disposal

  4. Eliminate or minimize residue streams containing toxic substances, especially those found on regulatory lists

  5. Redesign factory layouts and product routings during manufacture to eliminate all necessary cleaning steps

  6. Replace processes using organic solvents with processes using water-based solvents

  7. Substitute less volatile chemicals for more volatile chemicals in industrial processes

  8. Change processes to eliminate the use of volatile solvents altogether

  9. Attempt to reduce the temperatures of manufacturing processes

  10. Avoid using heavy metal catalysts by substituting processes that achieve the same products by reactions between environmentally benign chemicals

Cleaner Production Defined

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

3 Strategies of Market Leaders


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.

The Tree of Business

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 is about doing more with less: less time, inventory, space people and money.

Toyota Production System

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

Kaizen Mindset

  • Everything can and should be improved. (Some Japanese managers go as far as to say to their subordinates, "Regard whatever you do now as the 'worst' way to do your job.").... More

Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions

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

 Case in Point  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

 Case in Point  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.

 Case in Point  Canon

At Canon, a Model Workshop means a workshop where:






  1. "Design + Environment", Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis

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

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

  4. "Cleaner Production Within Small- and Medium Scale Enterprises", Ling Yuang Chen