Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production

The Joint UNEP-UNIDO Programme

The Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 that were adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in 1992 called on the international community to support developing countries and economies in transition with capacity building and implementation of preventive environmental approaches. In response to this call, UNEP together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched the International Project on establishment of National Cleaner Production Centers (NCPCs). This has led to the establishment of NCPCs in more than 40 developing countries and economies in transition. to provide core Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production services. The independent evaluation that was carried out in 2008 had shown that these Centers have made significant contribution on demonstrating the benefits of applying Cleaner Production in industries. The evaluation also underlined the need to further strengthen the support provided through a programmatic approach in order to upscale the application of resource efficient and cleaner production. This led to the development of the Joint UNIDO-UNEP Programme on Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) in Developing and Transition Economies.

After 14 years of experience, the NCPC Programme was reviewed and in 2009 UNEP and UNIDO launched the new Joint Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) Programme which provides the framework for collaboration with and support to NCPCs/NCPPs. The RECP programme is based on achievements and lessons learned and its scope has been extended to cover Cleaner and Resource Efficient Production to link RECP more profoundly with today’s most pressing environmental concerns at local, regional and global levels and to emphasize the triple bottom line relevance of the contribution of RECP to production efficiency, environmental conservation and human development.


RECP Objective

The objective of the Joint Programme is to contribute to sustainable industrial development and sustainable consumption and production in the participating developing and transitional economies, through the greater uptake of RECP by businesses, governments, financial institutions and other stakeholders. The Programme provides a strategic and coherent framework for the up-scaling and mainstreaming of RECP activities in national development frameworks and facilitates regional and global cooperation through knowledge management and experience sharing network.

The Programme is structured in four outcome areas, each with dedicated activities and outputs:

  • 1. Effective networking and peer learningamongst a network of competent, nationally directed initiatives that deliver high quality, value-adding RECP services, responding to the needs of enterprises and other organizations. RECP service delivery capacity is enhanced and expanded through such activities as establishment of NCPC and NCPPs in new countries, intensification of networking and peer learning, and RECP up-scaling through existing NCPCs and NCPPs;

  • 2. Implementation of RECP by businesses and other organizations with verified resource productivity, environmental, economic and other societal benefits. Key activities and outputs are thematic and multi-country projects in three categories: resource efficiency; waste and emission prevention; and corporate responsibility safe and responsible production;

  • 3. Effective enabling environment for RECP implementation through government policy and enterprise finance. The principal activities and outputs include the development and trial of flexible frameworks for mainstreaming RECP in government policy and enterprise finance; and

  • 4. Enhancement of national capacities to facilitate and manage the transfer, adaptation and replication of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) and sustainable product developments. The main activities and outputs relate to strengthening national innovation systems as a mechanism for bolstering and accelerating sustainable innovations in technologies and products.
For further details on the joint programme, please refer to the RECP Programme informative Flyer and to the summary document on how RECP has taken stock of the NCPC Programme and is moving forward.