The Mediterranean Region is experiencing rapid economic growth and progressive social change at the expense of its natural environment. There is an urgent need for industry, as a key motor of driving economic growth, to decouple economic growth and revenues from excessive and increasing use of resources (energy, water, raw materials) and from pollution.
These challenges have been addressed by the EU funded SwitchMed MED TEST II Program implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 8 southern Mediterranean countries. The program aims at assisting industrial companies to become greener and more competitive through the transfer of environmentally sound technologies particularly UNIDO TEST methodology based on pollution prevention and the optimized use of resources.
The project has been implemented in 131 demonstration companies belonging to various industrial sectors (food, leather, textile, mechanical,…). Data on resource consumption (consumption of water, energy and materials) were collected from the companies, and through the project an inefficient use of resources in several companies could be revealed. Quantifying these losses in both environmental and monetary terms, guided the companies to find the most yielding resource efficiency improvement measures.
Economical and environmental savings were significant. For instance, in Morocco, a potential saving of over 10.5 Million euros per year was identified in 20 demonstration companies due to energy savings by 99 GWh/yr; water savings by 137,399 m3/yr; and 1,362 tons of landfilled solid waste avoided per year. 57% of the identified measures had a Payback Period (PBP) of less than 18 months, showing the profitability of resource efficiency.
Besides demonstrating the business case of industrial resource efficiency, the SwitchMed MED TEST II Program provided trainings on the tools of the UNIDO TEST methodology to 329 professionals from industry and 59 professionals from environmental consultancy companies (service providers). Building the capacities of the service providers through both theoretical and on the job practical trainings is one of the core objectives of the project and aims at strengthening the local market for the supply of sustainable production services to industries in the future.
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