With the support of the European Union-funded, EU4Environment Action, a kick-off stakeholders meeting was organized in Azerbaijan to further grasp the concept and benefits of Industrial Waste Mapping (IWM). The online event took place on 16 November and gathered up to 50 participants representing companies, Government institutions – including the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (the National Focal Points of the “EU4Environment” Action), as well as organizations like the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA), associations, NGOs, financial institutions, academia, and research institutes.
The online meeting was open to all those interested in and related to the issues of green growth, circular economy, resource efficiency, cleaner production, industrial development, and environmental protection.
The event focused on four key objectives:
- Raising awareness on the “Circular Economy and New Growth Opportunities” Component of the “EU4Environment” Action in Azerbaijan, and showcasing its benefits;
- Discussing new opportunities related to Circular Economy in Azerbaijan: industrial waste mapping as a means to improve waste management;
- Presenting the findings from the report on the selection of pilot regions and enterprises;
- Presenting the methodology and work plan for industrial waste mapping.
This work is part of UNIDO’s efforts to scale up Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Azerbaijan and the other Eastern Partner (EaP) countries. It is done by building the capacity of SMEs to use RECP and innovative approaches in their business operations. About 35 Azerbaijani enterprises are to be assisted in revising their business models. As well, local experts will be trained on the RECP methodology while conducting assessments in the selected demonstration companies. The implementation of the RECP methodology will help increase productivity, product quality, and the competitiveness of Azerbaijani SMEs.
Building on the achievements of the former EU-funded, EaP GREEN Programme (2013-2017) in Azerbaijan in which the participating SMEs demonstrated the effectiveness of UNIDO’s RECP approach resulting in reduced a consumption of resources, energy, and water, EU4Environment continues to promote and build the national capacity to enable SMEs in switching to RECP. In addition, UNIDO is identifying new opportunities that can support the creation of circular value chains through industrial waste maps (IWMs) to raise awareness about the opportunities and benefits of a Circular Economy among enterprises, the government, and the civil society. As a means of introducing Circular Economy principles, the project aims to assess waste sources from industrial activities and identify recycling options (from waste to source). Hence, selected Circular Economy practices will be introduced using industrial “waste maps” on a pilot basis.
Waste mapping is a common method to quantify and demonstrate the distribution and management of waste within a geographic area. There are many ways of undertaking waste mapping, and there are good examples around the world which identified key producers of waste and how such wastes are subsequently managed or returned to the economy via resource “loops”. Hence, the overall objective of industrial waste mapping is to identify, assess, and map the waste streams of manufacturing enterprises in order to develop options for an improved resource efficiency. This includes the analysis of collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with the monitoring and regulation of the waste management process and waste-related laws, technologies, and economic mechanisms. An efficient waste management system creates increased business value. This contributes to the sustainability of manufacturing industries and promotion of economic opportunities.