Cleaner Production

Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs)

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

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


Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) Design for Waste Minimization Cleaner Production Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs)

Economic Advantages of ESTs

  • Cost reduction and higher profits through more effective use of resources (raw materials, energy), lower end-of-pipe treatment expenses, and higher market value of green products.

  • Opening of new environment-conscious markets and retaining of old environmentally-responsible customers.

  • Savings on charges imposed on polluters, avoidance of risks to come under criticism of media or consumer groups or to be shut down due to violation of increasingly restrictive local environmental regulations.

  • Increased staff motivation and productivity due to improved working conditions.

  • Opening of new opportunities (contracts, markets) due to improved corporate image.

Characteristics of ESTs in Relation to Sustainability

  1. Environmental Sustainability

    • Protection of ecosystems

    • Protection of natural resources

  2. Economic Sustainability

    • Reduced production and pollution control costs

    • Improved market acceptance

  3. Social and Cultural Sustainability

    • Preservation and enhancement of social and cultural values

    • Better health and working conditions


Design for Environment (DfE)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Design for Waste Minimization

Cleaner Production

Measuring Cleaner Production

Technology Innovation

Technological Vision

Technology Strategy

Technology Acquisition

Technology Evaluation and Selection

Lean Production

7 Principles of Toyota Production System (TPS)

5 Elements of Enabling a Lean Approach

Sustainable Development Challenges

According to the definition by the World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development “should include management of the use of a resource so it can meet human demands of the present generation without decreasing opportunities for future generations”.

The Tree of Business

ESTs – a Way to Sustainable Development


Application of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) is a way to sustainable development. “Environmentally sound” is a relative term however. Furthermore, environmental soundness is not an attribute of technology by itself but of technology in the particular socio-ecological context in which it is intended to be applied.

Broadly speaking, ESTs can be defined as technologies which protect the environment, are less polluting, use resources in a sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle all residual wastes in a more environmentally acceptable way than the technologies for which they are substitutes. Chapter 34 of the Agenda 21 emphasizes that ESTs are not just “individual technologies, but total systems which include know-how, procedures, goods and services, and equipment as well as organizational and managerial procedures”.

Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas

The Two Principle Groups of ESTs

ESTs could be divided into two large groups: cleaner technologies and cleaning technologies.


Cleaner technologies are production processes, including monitoring and control techniques, which are less polluting, use resources (raw materials, natural resources, energy, etc.) in a more efficient way, produce cleaner products and less harmful residual wastes, if any.

Cleaning technologies are processes and products developed to neutralize the environmentally harmful effects of a given process or activity. This group includes pollution monitoring, assessment and control technologies (e.g. air pollution control, waste water treatment, treatment), waste treatment (e.g. solid/hazardous waste treatment, garbage disposal/recycling), and remediation technologies (e.g. soil/water remediation, air cleaning).

Acquiring Technology: Technology Evaluation and Selection

Source: UNIDO

To analyze the appropriateness of a closed-system technology, answer the following questions:

  • Intensity of energy usage in the production system.

  • Preferred energy forms and combinations, i.e. steam, electric power, fuel oil, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) etc.

  • Other process/production  utilities required, e.g. water and air

  • Desired features of utilities (pressures, temperatures) and  means of obtaining them.

  • Interchangeability of energy forms, and plant design in relation thereto.

  • Environmental consequences (air, water and soil) of alternative fuels and the extent to which the use of a particular fuel... More

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