Sustainable consumption and production is now at the forefront of the international agenda. At a global level, sustainable industrial development is an accepted practice and the key to this is through Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP).
RECP entails the continuous application of preventive environmental strategies to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to communities and the environment. RECP addresses three sustainability dimensions individually and synergistically:
In developing and transition economies, the shift towards material use reduction is under way, but there is room for further development in the global South without endangering societies or the environment. By implementing RECP services, industries can reduce the material, energy and pollution intensity per unit of industrial output; thereby reducing the global ecological footprint while simultaneously improving productivity and competitiveness.
Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) is a preventive, enterprise-level approach to improving resource use, reducing environmental pollution and contributing to sustainable industrial development.
RECP acts as a catalyst to productivity by optimizing the use of natural resources by companies. It further promotes environmental management by preventing the generation of waste and emissions. RECP involves determining where waste and emissions are generated and where and how resources are used inefficiently.
RECP recognizes that CP methods and practices generate multiple benefits that are relevant to many of today’s most pressing global challenges, including:
RECPnet was formalized by its Charter and became operational in November 2010 with 41 founding members, who then adopted the Nairobi RECPnet Declaration in 2011 (At the inaugural Members’ Assembly of RECPnet held on 19 October 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, 32 members and 10 affiliated organizations endorsed the Nairobi Declaration of the Global Network for Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production in Developing and Transition Countries. The declaration set out to mainstream and scale up the application of RECP concepts, methods, policies and techniques nationally and globally in developing and transition countries, based on national and regional socio-economic, environmental and industrial circumstances and priorities). In the spirit of the Declaration, RECPnet has further developed, in particular through the launch of regional chapters, the introduction of a formalized web-based knowledge management system, capacity building initiatives and ongoing RECP projects.
The Network for Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECPnet) brings together over 70 providers of RECP services on a global level, in order to catalyze the effective and widespread application of RECP in developing and transition countries. It does so by providing specialized, quality-assured, technical and advisory services and by facilitating and synergizing its members’ capacities.
RECPnet consists of a Members’ Assembly, Regional Chapters, an Executive Committee and a Secretariat. The RECPnet Secretariat supports the day-to-day activities of RECPnet and facilitates the work of the Members’ Assembly and the Executive Committee. At present, the Secretariat function is fulfilled by UNIDO and UNEP.