January 14, 2003 : Indian companies are the first in Asia to recieve ECOPROFIT certificate
January 14, 2003 marks the final milestone of a one year lasting training project with Indian companies on cleaner production. 15 companies recieved the so called ECOPROFIT certificate. They are the first in Asia, who achieved this standard.
Under guidance of Austrian experts the successful entrepreneurs have worked hard to improve the environmental performance of their plants. One result are reviewed and updated environmental policies, wherein the companies commit their engagement for the environment in the present and in the future. But the most exiting result is the high number of more than 100 concrete measures, which have been implemented by the companies already during the life time of the project. The lucky entrepreneurs could achieve - mainly through simple improvements based on good housekeeping - annual savings of energy, water, raw materials, etc. with the equivalent of 1.5 million Euros. Their already formulated environmental programme for the near future promises to double this effect.
There is no doubt, that this results are appreciated not only by the companies, but also by the organisers of the project. In year 2001 the Gurgaon Industrial Association, representing about 400 member companies located in Haryana district, which is one of the most developing industrial areas in India near the capital New Delhi, applied together with the European environmental training provider CENTRIC AUSTRIA to the European Commission for co-financing of a Technical Assistance Project within the framework of the ASIA-INVEST Business Priming Fund. The project was selected for funding and could take off in January 2002. The project budget of some 180.000 Euro was co-financed to 65 % by the European Commission, to 22 % by the Austrian Government and to 13 % by the Indian applicant.
The aim of the project was to introduce the Austrian ECOPROFIT approach the first time to Indian companies. ECOPROFIT is a sophisticated tool to implement cleaner production in industries. The most amazing aspect of this management system is, that it gurantees at the same time both, environmental improvements as well as economic benefits for the industry. ECOPROFIT builds upon the concept of Preventive Environment Protection. In simple words: Do not deal with waste and emissions only after they have been produced, but explore all your options to avoid waste and emissions already at their likeley origin in the production process. The methods to achieve this objective are in-depth investigations and evaluations of production processes in kind of material flow and energy stream analysis to identify the weak points, where expensive procured production materials including raw materials, energy and water change their destination and become waste and emissions instead of sellable products. To realise improvement options systemically, ECOPROFIT provides a system of indicators to control processes not only physically, but also in terms of money. Designed as help-for-selfhelp training concept, the involvement of the company's experts and staff members in an environmental team generates motivation, responsibility and creativness in the company. The later is of high importance, as many measures for improvement need good housekeeping and common sense in first instance only.
We all know, that this is easier sayed than realised in practice. Therefore the training project consisted of a number of eight workshops, performed in India, alternatly at one of the sites of the participating companies. The final eight workshop was dedicated to evaluate the achievements of the companies to recieve the ECOPROFIT award. This workshop series was accompanied by personal site visits of the EU experts to the companies to provide know-how on technologies and management skills.
The project partners are convinced that the novel approach could influence the up to now command and control like approach of environmental authorities to foster more self-responsibility of industry. India and many other developing countries bear a huge potential for improvements like demonstrated in this project. A new door has been opened. As it is based on win-win features many followers are expected to enter.
Further information >> Training Programme for the Industries in Gurgaon, Haryana in India on Preventive Environmental Protection Following the ECOPROFIT Approach (2002 - 2003)