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MED TEST II lifts Jordan’s potential in resource efficiency

How 12 companies from the Jordanian food sector saved energy, water, and raw materials from the UNIDO MED TEST II project?
Published on Dec 04, 2017

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Farm Dairy, a family business in the generation with 130 employees, specializes in producing artisanal cheese for the regional market. Similar to other dairies in Jordan, the company is exposed to rising prices for energy and water and in the region. “Reduction in water use is as you know important to us, since Jordan does not have that much of it and reducing the energy consumption is of course very important as it reduces the high energy bill significantly.” Eng. Fawaz Shaka’a, Executive Manager Farm Dairy

Unlike other neighboring countries, Jordan is virtually completely dependent on energy imports spending as much as 16 percent of the annual GDP on this valuable resource. However,  scarce water resources as well as rising costs for raw materials, are also threatening the competitiveness of Jordan’s industry and impedes on the country’s much needed economic growth. The industrial sector, which contributes with 30 percent to the annual GDP, play an important role in safeguarding not only the economic development but also in conserving the scarce natural resources of the country.  Consequently, the economic benefits in shifting towards a more resource efficient production are many, not only for the industry but also for the economy. 

Since 2015, UNIDO has in 12 companies from the Jordanian food sector, showcasing the significant potential for investment in resource efficient and cleaner production. Under the EU funded SwitchMed programme, the UNIDO MED TEST II project was able to identify 214 improvement measures in the 12 participating companies exceeding the initial expectations by identifying savings in water, energy and raw materials to a value of 2.1  million euros. 

Farm Dairy was one of the participating companies, and although the management initially was sceptic in finding new saving potentials in their company, the local trained service providers managed to identify savings in energy, water and raw material corresponding to a value of 227,000 euros annually.  

When you do something for long, you think you are good at it, so, when MED TEST II came in we didn’t believe that there was much to do… but in the areas where we had the greatest impact, it was overwhelming.“ Eng. Fawaz Shaka’a, Executive Manager Farm Dairy

The government of Jordan is currently supporting various policies, initiatives and programmes aimed at achieving a green economy, hence, the results of the MED TEST II demonstration phase in the 12 companies, received a positive response on the national dissemination event that was held on the 22nd of October in Amman. The event was attended by 40 new companies together with industrial associations, all interested to learn from the results of the demonstration phase of the project.  Also, at the national dissemination event the Minister of Environment,  Yaseen Khayyat,  underlined that; "Implementing the TEST methodology contributes in creating environment-friendly plants that support the ministry's efforts to achieve a transition towards a green economy and sustainable production and consumption and also reduce the impacts of climate change".  

UNIDO together with the Royal Scientific Society in partnership with Amman Chamber of Industry, currently work together with the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Environment on a scaling-up strategy that would enable other sectors to adopt a more resource efficient production. Transferring knowledge and technology to Jordanian producers that could lead to a more resource efficient and cleaner production, would not only improve the resource situation for the country but also facilitate the access of its industry to new international markets. The EU is currently assisting Jordan through the SwitchMed programme in finding new patterns of how to deal with the scarce resource situation and at the same time develop its economy with a perspective for the future.

“Our vision at the EU is to enhance more of the sustainable management or resources having the SwitchMed vision here in Jordan is very important… We are happy to see the results of the 12 industries, 12 and that we can further integrate this in the industrial development of Jordan.” Mr. Ibrahim Laafia, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Jordan

For the Farm Dairy Company, the biggest change from the project, however, was not only in realizing the annual saving potential. Much more was the impact of how to deal with processes, resources and waste that hopefully will continue to persist.

“The number one benefit was the cultural change, this is something that will stick with us for the years to come it’s the change in mentality how the people view the process efficiency whether there are the workers on the floor. We have now hired two additional engineers that will continue with this process. This is going to keep bringing in the income and cutting down the costs throughout the years to make us more competitive.” Eng. Fawaz Shaka’a, Executive Manager Farm Dairy