The path towards sustainability is long, but lucrative, as its benefits extend from economic and resources savings all the way to reduced pollution and waste. To become sustainable and resilient, enterprises must be willing to learn how they can adapt and innovate, long-term. In Azerbaijan, representatives from various business sectors gathered for a three-day intensive training on how to increase their sustainability prospects and become greener. The three-day online training on the Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) methodology took place on 18-20 December in Baku under the European Union-funded EU4Environment programme. It was comprised of 52 participants, of which 29% were women.
The RECP in-depth training focused on boosting the understanding of Azerbaijani manufacturing industries (mainly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) to become more resource efficient and sustainable. Concretely, the participants learned how to improve resource input in the enterprises’ production processes, identify resources and cost-saving opportunities, build capacity for resource efficiency long-term, improve their environment management system and compliance (by decreasing the generation of waste, emissions and/or effluents), and access finance related to cleaner production and green economy.
The training was supplemented by practical examples and advanced instruction in applying the RECP methodology, topics described using group discussions and case studies. As a result, the interested enterprises were confident to conduct a systematic analysis based on the RECP methodology to optimize their resource use. This involves data analysis to assess inefficiencies, as well as a technical, economic, and environmental evaluation of measures to reduce the negative environmental impact of the existing production practices, which will eventually support the improvement of the company’s general production process.
Between 2021-2023, 35 local (manufacturing) SMEs in Azerbaijan were selected and supported in greening their businesses and improving the efficiency of their production. The focus of these improvements was on energy, the use of raw materials and supplies, water efficiency, and waste management.