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Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) refers to the continuous application of preventive environmental strategies towards processes, products and services in order to increase the efficiency with which they use materials, water and energy, to improve their productivity and, thus, their competitiveness. It’s application leads to a reduction in the amount of pollution and waste generated, and reduces threats and risks for humans and the environment. EU4Environment aims to identify, train and coach national experts in RECP methods, applications and specialized resource efficiency topics. It will raise awareness, and improve the understanding of Circular Economy practices and benefits at the national and regional levels among Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), government entities, and civil society. As such, these practices lead to an improved resource productivity and environmental performance by demonstrating RECP in manufacturing industries.

The promotion of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) best practices will be implemented in existing industrial parks and special economic zones. The programme seeks to harness the opportunities industrial parks and zones offer through an improved management and common facilities. By exchanging and managing waste and resources at the park level, and by making use of a wider range of material sources, infrastructure, and recycling options, EIPs substantially contribute to a Circular Economy. In the EIPs, local industries are also offered solutions to reuse materials, products, and water, whilst benefiting from industrial symbiosis.  This approach enables the partner countries to advance in their greener economic growth and to preserve their natural capital and the environmental well-being of their citizens.

The RECP approach aims to facilitate industry shift towards a Circular Economy that promotes waste prevention as a first priority, and prepares enterprises to reuse or valorize residues by reintroducing remainders into the product value chains. Within this aim, industrial waste mapping is applied as a tool that can help maintain the value of resources, preventing them from becoming waste. Industrial waste mapping assesses the waste generated by manufacturing companies, evaluates the relevant waste management services, and identifies opportunities to introduce circular economy practices such as remanufacturing, recycling, industrial symbiosis, and other recovery strategies to close resource loops. Within this result, recommendations on business opportunities and industrial waste management plans are drafted and promoted.

The work is implemented by UNIDO.

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