Sustainability is one of the buzz words of our times. Few days back I happen to go through the featured article on What is Green Chemistry . It immeidately made mde recollect the concept of Cleaner Production(CP). Infact Cleaner Production reduces pollutant generation at every stage of the production process and minimizes or eliminates the wastes that need to be treated at the end of the process. CP can be achieved through good operating practices, process modification, technology changes, raw material substitution and redesign/ reformulation of product.
The concept of CP is started during UNCED, 1992. In Agenda 21 high priority is given to the introducton of cleaner Production methods and preventive and recycling technologies in order to achieve Sustainable development. Cleaner Technology explores the possibilities of recycling by products or the final waste products or attempting to change the entire production technology to obtain a reduced emissions. It attempts to answer the pertinent questions: couldn’t we produce our product in a more environmental friendly way. The economic advantages of cleaner production is more cost effective than pollution control to achieve sustainable development. The systematic avoidance of of waste and pollutants increases process efficiency and improves product quality. Through pollution prevention at the source, the cost of final treatment and disposal is minimized.
The CP implementation steps include i) Change in production process ii) Modification of equipment layout or piping iii) Use of automatation iv) Changes in process conditions such as flow rates, temperature, pressure and residence times, v) Good Operating practices vi) Product Changes vii) Changes in quality standards viii) Changes in produciton composition ix) Product durability x) Product substitution and xi) Onsite Reuse and recycling.
Different tools have been introduced during the last 20 – 25 years to enable enterpries to implement cleaner production. ISO 14001 and Environmental Management Systems. However a manufacturing company can initiate complete assessment of their existing processes can easily make the existing ERP solutions (SAP Portfolio solutions) to support it in their implmentation process.