EU4Environment launches the “GreeningTheIndustry” campaign in selected enterprises from EU’s Eastern Partner (EaP) countries to present local manufacturing enterprises undergoing assessment to introduce the RECP methodology. Concretely, these visits have the potential to identify efficiency gaps, steer discussion on the possibility to introduce resource efficiency measures, and develop the mid-term RECP action plans.
Follow the hashtag #GreeningTheIndustry for more information about Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP), and the progress of RECP activities in selected industries in Azerbaijan and other EaP countries.
How does a product evolve from raw materials to the factory line, to a final good in your home?
What kind of manufacturing processes are involved in creating it?
This series is part of the RECP Demonstrations led by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under the EU-funded EU4Environment Action.
To showcase the application of the Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) methodology in Azerbaijan, selected manufacturing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have become Demonstration Companies, where RECP experts and trainees are performing monitoring visits and measurements at the production facilities, focusing on the use of resources. They consolidate tailored assessment reports, upon which the SMEs develop RECP action plans that help them implement measures designed to increase efficiency and reduce resource input and pollution. The results recorded from implementing the RECP measures are then promoted as RECP business cases.
All goods start off with the design and manufacturing process, which brings together the basic materials and transforms them into finished products through the use of tools, machinery, and physical and/or chemical processes. Manufacturing allows enterprises to sell final products at a higher cost than the value of the raw materials, while the efficient techniques enable producers to benefit from economies of scale and produce more units at a lower cost. Manufacturing businesses are an integral part of any country’s economy, and a major provider of employment, materials and technology, and of course, goods.
The mattress industry has a long history of production, dating back to the 37th century BCE when mattresses existed as waterbeds for royalty. Bed mattresses have an average lifespan of only ten years, after which they are thrown away, thus squandering secondary materials and resources whilst creating waste. According to the European Bedding Industry Association (EBIA), almost 30 million mattresses reach their end of life each year. Around 60% end up in landfills while the remaining 40% are incinerated.
However, almost 85% of their components can be recycled and used to create other useful goods. Textile fibre components can be reprocessed, the foam can be reused as an underlay in the carpet industry, whereas springs and cleaned wood can be used as metal scrap and by-products to create chipboards. The adoption of a recycling mindset in the mattress industry renders clear benefits mainly in terms of lower resource consumption, improved resource management, and a decreased generation of waste and pollution.
Monitoring visit at Bliss Group, LLC
Motivated to improve its production means, Bliss Group, LLC joined the UNIDO RECP Demonstration Project under EU4Environment as a Demonstration Company. Currently, company visits are initiated by the RECP experts and trainees recruited by UNIDO in Azerbaijan. Thus far, visits have been conducted with the purpose to reveal the existing gaps in production and optimize the use of resources in the manufacturing enterprise. This involves data analysis and assessing inefficiencies, as well as performing a technical, economic, and environmental evaluation of the existing processes. Together, the findings will help reduce the negative environmental impact of the production and support Bliss Group, LLC to improve its efficiency while introducing Circular Economy practices at the site. At the end of the project, the company will be provided with an action plan with suggested RECP measures to make it more competitive and environmentally friendly.