Results from the EU funded MED TEST II project reveal the potential for resource efficient and cleaner production in Egypt
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Egypt’s expanding economy combined with a rapidly growing population, are creating an unstainable pressure on the available resources of the country. On the same hand, the growing industry and rising costs for energy and imported raw materials continue to jeopardize the competitiveness of Egypt’s growing industry and the much needed economic growth of the country. Therefore the need for a model of economic growth, which can both deliver a widespread prosperity and assure a proper management of resources, has become even more fundamental, not only to ensure the natural capital of Egypt but also to drive the productivity and growth of Egypt’s industry.
Since 2015, the MED TEST II project from the EU funded SwitchMed programme has under the lead of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) demonstrated the business case of a resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP) in 28 industries from the food and chemical sector in Egypt. Together with the Egypt National Cleaner Production Center (ENCPC) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), and the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the MED TEST II project in Egypt has been able to make evident examples of how to integrate resource saving technologies and practices within the Egyptian industry.
“The MED TEST II project is one of the projects of the SwitchMed program, which is an incentive for the industrial sector to meet the economic challenges by rationalizing resource consumption, transferring environmentally friendly technologies and rationalizing new and renewable energy”, said the newly appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, Eng. Amr Nassar.
Through the MED TEST II project the 28 companies identified with the application of the UNIDO TEST methodology, 253 resource efficiency measures within their production, which will annually yield into savings of 2,074,812 m3 of water, 449.2 GWh of energy, and 5,111 t of raw materials. As a result, the 28 industries can save 10.9 million euros annually in their production cost and operate with a better competitiveness as a result. Moreover, the MED TEST II project enabled the 28 participating Egyptian businesses to operate with a better environmental output reducing their CO2 emissions with 87,945 t and their solid waste with 12,246 t per year.
“By focusing on the various aspects of each company’s production processes, the UNIDO TEST methodology analyses how a business operates, what equipment is used, the number of resources that are consumed, and how waste is managed. This measures the economic and environmental impacts of each company’s production and helps determine losses as it sheds light on the saving potentials with a monetary value”, says Ms Roberta de Palma, UNIDO Chief Technical Advisor of the MED TEST II project.
Supporting Egypt’s ambitions in developing a resource resilient and competitive economy, necessitates the involvement of a resource efficient industry and the development of national capacities in RECP. Inefficient production practices lead to immense loss of embedded value, energy and resources and impose a heavy environmental burden on society. The recovery of these resources and their reuse can help to meet a growing demand, ease the burden of managing waste, create new business models and jobs, and also augment the livelihood potential of the informal sector. Accordingly, UNIDO, the ENCPC, the government and stakeholders from the industry have developed a Scaling Up Roadmap for RECP that outlines how a widespread adoption of resource efficient production practices could be realized, also in other sectors. Adoptions of RECP throughout the industry of Egypt could have wide-reaching impacts, not only for the environment but also for the economy.