Scaling up impacts and good practices from MED TEST II to advance resource efficiency in Israel’s industry
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Connecting lessons learned to long-term goals, is a prerequisite in achieving long-lasting impacts of projects, especially if the objective is to explore the opportunities for a more resource efficient use of resources in other industry sectors. In Israel, UNIDO in collaboration with the government, NGOs, industry and private sector providers of RECP services, developed a scaling-up roadmap on how to lead Israel’s industry towards better environmental compliance and a more efficient use of resources.
Based on the results from the MED TEST II project in Israel, where 7 companies from the chemical, mechanical, plastic and food sector demonstrated how Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) practices could identify annual savings of water, energy and raw materials corresponding to a value of 2.1M euros, a vision and strategy with leverage point on how to implement RECP throughout the Israeli manufacturing industry has been developed.
The benefits of RECP and its paybacks for the industry is nothing new to Israel. A cleaner production center, established in 2001, together with a “National Green Growth Plan” and successive programmes focusing on resource efficiency, have elevated RECP to the policy level as tools and objectives have been formulated for an Israeli context.
Nevertheless, the TEST approach, implemented in the MED TEST II project, gave the opportunity for stakeholders in Israel to directly experience RECP and its measurable benefits in company sites. The encouraging case studies and the hands-on experience with the TEST methodology from this project revealed that there is a need for technical assistance for companies to find solutions that comply with environmental regulations. Also, the full potential for cost savings and economically profitable environmental improvements from the adoption of RECP approaches are still widely unknown to Israeli businesses.
The scaling-up document suggests that the establishment of a knowledge center that will continue to promote RECP and also deliver technical assistance services to industries would be pivotal for a wider adoption of RECP in Israeli industries. Correspondingly, additional financial instruments combined with a “Grace Period” for companies wishing to undertake RECP assessments should be granted to encourage and enable plants to adopt source solutions for pollution rather than end-of-pipe solutions. This would additionally level the current situation where flows of natural resources in many industries are poorly managed, leading to significant and unnecessary losses of raw materials, water, and energy.
Scaling-Up the results from the demonstration components of the SwitchMed programme is fundamental to connect and sustain the results into impacts where sustainable consumption and production can be strengthened in national, regional and subregional policies. As part of the MED TEST II project, eight national scaling-up strategies are envisioned in order to move the industries of the Southern Mediterranean region towards innovative, resource efficient and environmentally friendly production practices.