Industry and Environment

Many countries have introduced comprehensive environmental protection laws during the last few decades in response to the direct, visible environmental impacts of industrial activities. This has often resulted in specific technical regulations, but it has gradually been recognized that a change of awareness and management principles is needed too. In consequence, environmental management techniques have been developed to assist companies to reduce, evaluate, monitor and control their environmental impact at a corporate level. But how has this development been adopted in industry, and has it resulted in any changes in attitude? This article examines these questions, based on a survey of Danish industrial companies.
This article reviews the experience of the UN Centre for Human Settlements in promoting Local Agenda 21 processes. Drawing on the experience of the principal Habitat programmes promoting Local Agenda 21 initiatives, namely the Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) and the Localizing Agenda 21 Programme, it explains the different phases that form a common framework for participatory urban planning and management. The article also develops important lessons learned in 40 cities worldwide.
Accidents in one country can affect adversely the chemical industry in another, giving an incentive for international co-operation. Hazard warnings should not depend on language: transportation safety must be consistent across frontiers. The relevant EC Directive is summarized.-K.Clayton
Describes WHO Europe guidelines for national strategies for preparing contingency planning for dealing with accidents involving toxic chemicals. The response to an emergency can be planned and organised so it is ready to be brought into action when required.-K.Clayton
Unlike developed countries, where people often eat too many animal products, most of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa eats too little of this type of food for good nutrition. The projected increase in demand for livestock in Sub-Saharan Africa will have an important influence on food security and poverty alleviation. Livestock are vital to meeting agricultural productivity and sustainability objectives. As components of mixed crop-livestock farming systems, they play a critical role in the development of environmentally sound production systems. Where livestock have negative environmental impacts, this may be due to policy distortions and poor regulatory enforcement.
Fundamentally different types of local community benefit systems have been established at two nature-based tourism operations in South Africa: Ngala Private Game Reserve and Rocktail Bay Lodge. One is funded through independent, externally sourced donations, the other through share dividends. Mechanisms governing benefits provision are described, as well as each system's impact on the nearby communities. Some community benefits (e.g. employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, resource use, support for traditional ceremonies) are not directly related to formal community benefit systems.
Today even remote communities are likely to be aware that they have the right to benefit from (or to defend themselves against) the exploitation of local natural resources and accompanying economic and social changes. Among other concerns, these communities want reassurance that environmental impacts will be minimized. Examples are given of mining company programmes aimed at more socially responsible development.
To implement even the most widely accepted principles of environmental protection, appropriate governmental and industry structures are needed. Examples relevant to the mining industry are given. Despite improved performance, the mining industry needs to take further steps to fully embrace the concept of sustainable development. Most important is the commitment to "do the right thing", which has often been a motivating factor in the past.
How can enough food be produced without compromising agriculture's long-term sustainability? Numerous ways to mitigate the impacts of conventional agriculture (which makes use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers) while meeting production objectives have been proposed. Good results have been achieved with technologies like integrated pest management (IPM), which aims to minimize the use of pesticides, and with changes in their use associated with the introduction of genetically modified crops. This article examines the impact that various technologies are likely to have on agriculture in different parts of the world. It also looks at whether these technologies can contribute to the solution or will result in a new set of problems.
Schéma global des interaction eaux/roches dans un contexte minier (d'après R. Fabriol-BRGM-1977) 
Schéma d'un procédé de séparation par milieux dense (d'après documentation Tercharmor)
Vue en coupe d'un séparateur centrifuge (d'après documentation Knelson) 
Waste reprocessing is one way to solve pollution problems related to mining. The purpose of reprocessing, which generally begins with waste collection, is to separate out valuable minerals from highly polluting ones (especially those which generate acid solutions containing concentrations of heavy metals). Reprocessing should not be limited to instances in which it is directly paid for through sales of reprocessed materials. It can also reduce the overall costs of confining wastes and protecting the potentially affected public. These costs are often very high in regions where there has been a significant amount of mining in the past. Any means of reducing the costs of safety measures, or helping pay for them, would therefore be welcome. Public authorities should consider the environmental problems of the industry in their entirety and support solutions that permit the removal of pollutants from mining wastes and the sale of as much of the remainder as possible for profit.
Records the progress made over the past 4 years in lessening the impact of the industry on the environment. Notes the efforts made by UNEP and advances in technology.-R.Land
Discusses energy costs and trends in the smelting process. -R.Land
Coffee growing, processing and distribution have both positive and negative environmental impacts. Life-cycle analysis is one of the instruments that can be used to find ways to mitigate the negative impacts. The systematization of a simple model should be complemented by additional analyses of a socio-economic nature. In calling attention to problems associated with the coffee production chain, even with the aim of finding and proposing alternatives adapted to local needs, it should not be forgotten that the coffee industry brings many benefits to coffee-growing areas as well as areas where processing (washing, selection, roasting, grinding and blending) takes place.
Reviews the development of the EAF (for producing ingots/billets) and the direct reduction (DR) plants in India, and discusses the environmental (pollution) control measures adopted. It also indicates the likely future trends in environmental protection in the DR-EAF industry of the country.-Author
The concept of "UNECA" (UNit of gold Extraction and Controlled Amalgamation) Centres was developed by UNIDO and a private Venezuelan company. It is based on the Amalgamation Centres introduced by the Venezuelan government in the early 1990s. UNECA Centres could provide artisanal miners with safe gold extraction services and with various types of training. Information on mining's health and environmental effects (in particular, the need to avoid mercury vapour inhalation and consumption of mercury-contaminated fish) could be disseminated through these Centres to miners and their families.
Through the EcoDesign project, over the last two years hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Netherlands have been introduced to the principles of Environmental Product Development. The project is coordinated and implemented by the non-profit InnovationCentres. Solutions are sought which will provide both environmental benefits and commercial gains for the participating companies.
The economics of green building which is a design protocol and measurement standard for building environmental performance is discussed. The main factors which contribute to project's costs such as site acquisition, indirect construction costs and direct construction costs are also presented. The importance of returns on investments as an important factor in decision making process and social aspects are also discussed.
There is considerable information available concerning the energy used in buildings, but until recently little attention was paid to the energy used to produce and transport building products. This energy, often called "embodied energy", is of growing importance in the context of assessment of environmental impacts and the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article discusses techniques for calculating embodied energy and considers its strengths and weaknesses as a measure of environmental impact. Significant savings in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions are clearly possible through environmentally aware choice of building products.
Life-cycle thinking is a holistic approach to environmental and social issues. This approach is key to the sustainable construction concept. LCA (life-cycle analysis, or life-cycle assessment) is an important tool for use in applying-life-cycle thinking to building and construction. LCA can yield vital information on material and energy flows. Because it is difficult to apply to buildings per se, the focus is increasingly on carrying out a more general analysis of the built environment. Knowledge gained through LCA can best be used as part of an integrated design process. In the case of most projects, a complete LCA is not affordable unless it is integrated with other tools such as quantity surveying or energy simulation. Priorities for the use of LCA applications in policy making will vary according to regions and economic considerations.
Disposal of buildings In most industrial and emerging industrial countries is wasteful and problematic. Waste from building demolition (partial demolition for renovation, or total demolition for building removal) represents 30-50% of total waste in most of these countries. Deconstruction is an alternative to demolition. It calls for buildings to be dismantled or disassembled, and for the components to be reused or recycled. A number of economic and social benefits can be realized by shifting towards better materials recovery practices in the construction sector. Deconstruction preserves the invested embodied energy of materials, thus reducing inputs of new embodied energy during materials reprocessing or remanufacturing. The concept of design for disassembly (DfD) of buildings emerged in the early 1990s. Closing construction materials loops will require including both product design and deconstruction in a process that might be called "design for deconstruction and disassembly" (DfDD).
There was a rapid development in tourist development along coasts during the 1960s and early 1970s, and there were a few serious attempts to control and direct the development that did occur. Increasing concern had led to a call for more specific and applied research which would alleviate or eliminate the problems experienced or identified by this development. Social carrying capacity, physical carrying capacity and environmental carrying capacity are considered.-from Authors
A number of suggestions are made in this article for amending the data requirements of the proposed European chemicals control system, REACH. These data requirements are shown to be insufficient for applying current criteria to classify substances according to their adverse effects. Use of production volume as a priority-setting criterion for data acquisition is questioned. Three alternative priority-setting mechanisms are proposed: chemical properties of the substance; results from lower tier testing; and incentives for voluntary testing. A new classification category ("insufficiently investigated") is also proposed. Substances in this category would be identified with a warning label.
Cleaner production has impacts as a set of tools, a programme and a way of thinking. These impacts can be assessed at various levels. Despite progress made during the past decade, CP issues that still need to be addressed involve government policy, environmental technology, waste reduction, workplace safety, economic development and social consumption. Three environmental objectives on which progress is needed in the next decade are detoxification, dematerialization and decarbonization. Some longer-range goals for Cleaner Production are also presented.
Awareness of the global environmental impacts of modern technologies is motivating many industrial organizations to ask questions about their processes and products. The responses and degree of success vary tremendously among different types of industrial firms branches. In general, the approach being used is to seek ways to modify manufacturing processes by raw material substitutions or process modifications so as to produce present-day products more safely and with less waste. In other situations, product designers are beginning to design new products with nature in mind. In doing this they are seeking to develop and utilize product design criteria that incorporate consideration of life cycle impacts into the product's design. This paper addresses both approaches. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of all industrial leaders, governmental authorities and educational agents being actively engaged in fostering the development and utilization of such approaches.
Approaches to the use of public parks evolved considerably over time. The earliest parks in Europe were created for the exclusive use of the privileged classes of society. As time progressed, common people gradually obtained access for use, but only under strict supervision of the authorities. When the concept of setting aside special lands spread to North America, the parks created by government had an explicit goal of widespread public use. However, the earliest park management agencies adopted the authoritarian approach held in Europe. In the 20 th century massive increases in the availability of inexpensive energy led to societal prosperity and extensive individual travel, thus leading to increased visitation to parks. Starting in the 1960s the use of these public parks became very large, and concern about negative social and environmental impacts grew. Emerging public consciousness demanded more responsive park management agencies. About the same time the concept of ecology emerged, with its message of the importance of natural environment systems in parks. The increases in visitation and the power of the concept of ecology stimulated governments into massive expansions of park systems in North America, and worldwide. The park managers with a background in forestry understood that each forest had a certain productive capacity. The notion of carrying capacity in parks began to take shape -initially defined as the environmental limits necessary to support populations of species. This concept expanded to include humans and the limits of their use of parks. As a result, this resource-based concept of carrying capacity was adopted as a framework for the first management of park visitation.
This article presents an overview of methods used by the Wuppertal Institute to determine sustainability targets in the construction sector and to develop pathways for achieving targeted improvements. Resource productivity is considered over a building's entire life cycle (MIPS). The COMPASS concept integrates environmental, economic and social aspects for single companies or industrial sectors in order to make progress towards greater sustainability. Profiting from each of these approaches, and based on various types of research, recommendations are derived for companies and policy makers. Multi-stakeholder processes can be used to promote overall sustainable development in the construction sector, and eventually to integrate concepts related specifically to the micro and meso levels.
Concrete is probably the most used manmade material Nowadays, after several important technical improvements, concrete made with Portland cement is probably the most used manmade material in the world. The global cement production reached by the year 1997 1,57 10 9 ton/year (Humphreys, Mahasenan, 2002), e.g., 260kg/year. Global steel production is 5.8 10 8 ton/year or 7.3 10 7 m³ and about 10% of it goes to reinforced concrete (IISI, 2002). After mixed with water, gravel and other admixtures, this of cement allows the production of approximately 1.05 10 10 ton 1 of building materials which are used to produce houses, office buildings, sewage pipes, dams, concrete roads and even stabilized soil. Up to a point, per capita cement consumption tends to increase with per capita GDP. Cement production is highly capital intensive and, with the exception of China, its production is concentrated in large companies. The 10 largest companies are responsible for more than 20% of the production worldwide. An under-construction developing world Cement production is widespread in the world, with plants in 150 countries (Battelle, 2002, Marland and Boder, 2002), being China responsible for roughly 1/3 of the total. Nowadays global cement production still growing mainly because increase in consumption in developing countries. Between 1990 and 2000 Cement production grew 55% in developing countries and only 3% in the developed ones. Cement demand in the year 2020 is expected to be from 120 to 180% higher than in 1990. Most of this growth will be due to developing countries (Humphreys, Mahasenan, 2002). This is reflects the fact that developing countries still are under construction. As shown by Table 1 in the developing countries a significant part of the roads still unpaved and an important proportion of the urban population do not have access to basic sanitation yet. Shantytowns are part of the built environment in most of the developing countries. Only in 19 of Latin America and Caribbean countries there is a need to construct 17 million new houses (Mac Donald & Simioni, 1999). In São Paulo and Rio about 20% of a almost 40 million inhabitants lives in shantytowns (Clichevsky, 2000). Answering these social demands is in the path of sustainable development. And doing so with current technology will require substantial increase in cement production.
Life-cycle concepts, in the context of the building and construction sector, are particularly suited to analysis of building products. Such products play an essential role in increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and contributing to economic prosperity. It has been estimated that the construction sector is responsible for up to half of material resources taken from nature and of total waste generation. To manage and minimize the impacts of construction products, the impacts have to be measured using a life-cycle approach. This article reviews life-cycle concepts and considers recent developments. Materials and sustainable construction, environmental product declarations, embodied energy and differences encountered in the assessment of construction products in the North and South are among the topics addressed.
Industrial ecosystems, designed "from scratch" to imitate nature by utilizing the waste products of each component company as raw materials - or "food" - are an attractive theoretical idea. As yet they are mostly at the proposal stage. It is important to stress that process changes to take advantage of "returns-to-closure" (of the materials cycle) - are very definitely not another version of "end-of-pipe" treatment of wastes. Is this an idea whose time has come? This paper examines a number of such proposals and considers the prerequisites for success. It appears that there are several: first, a fairly large scale of operation is required. This means that at least one first tier 'exporter' must be present to achieve the necessary scale. Second, at least one other major firm (or industrial sector) must be present locally to utilize the major waste of the exporter, after conversion to a useful form. Third, one or more specialized "esatellite" firms will be required to convert the wastes of the first tier 'exporter' into useful raw materials for the consumer, and to convert the latter's wastes into marketable commodities, secondary inputs to other local firms, or final wastes for disposal. A final condition, of great importance (and difficult to achieve in practice) is that a reliable mechanism be established to ensure close and long-term technical cooperation - i.e. information sharing - among the participating firms. The guarantor of this cooperation must be either the first tier 'exporter' itself, a major bank, a major marketing organization, or a public agency. The detailed mechanisms by which it can be achieved in practice remain to be worked out.
Socio-economically, the oil palm is a highly important crop in Malaysia. Like the tropical rain forest, it is an efficient sequesterer of atmospheric CO2. Its thick umbrella-like canopy also provides continuous ground cover which is conducive to long-term soil stability. The palm oil industry has a good track record in regard to environmental protection, including waste management and waste and by-product utilization. It has taken appropriate measures over the years to prevent degradation of soil, air and water. The oil palm is an energy efficient crop. Compared to the other major annual oilseed crops, its cultivation and processing require lower inputs of agrochemicals and fossil fuel to produce a tonne of oil, with fewer resulting emissions.
Describes an environmental decision game developed by UNIDO for six players. The game involves a proposal to establish a pulp and paper mill on a river. Copies of the full game are available from UNIDO in Vienna.-K.Clayton
Eco-industrial parks (EIPs) provide a unique opportunity to create new technologies to fit the needs of particular locations. In the United States in 1994, the President's Council on Sustainable Development designated four communities as demonstration sites for EIP's. The PCSD was interested in exploring 'the practical application of ecological principles to industrial activities and community design'. These demonstration sites, with their different visions of EIP development, are described in the following article.
Ecodesign is a promising approach to sustainable production and consumption, Four different types of ecodesign innovations are distinguished. Product improvements and redesign (types 1 and 2) can realize eco-efficiency improvements of up to 80 per cent (a factor of 5). To achieve the breakthrough to sustainability, however, product function and system innovations (types 3 and 4) will be needed. It is recommended that implementation of these concepts be promoted through extensive demonstration programmes and activities by national-level organisms. Government actions in support of ecodesign innovations in the near future are badly needed.
This article addresses the question of how we can substantially increase the eco-efficiency of processes, products and services. It is argued that significant leaps forward in environmental improvements require the integration of the environment with other policy areas, while keeping the long-term sustainability objectives in mind. This approach, called "a strategy for sustainability" is elaborated on the basis of two practical Dutch examples (from the municipality of Tilburg and the Sound & Vision/Consumer Electronics division of Philips). In order to assess the merits of the approach in general, it is recommended that more experiments are carried out.
Top-cited authors
Han Brezet
  • Aalborg University
Bert Bras
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
Niklaus Kohler
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Yuichi Moriguchi
  • The University of Tokyo
Charles Joseph Kibert
  • University of Florida