In March 2020, interviews with 20 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that participated in the EU-funded EaP GREEN program (2014-17) were conducted to monitor implementation of recommended Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) measures. The measures were aimed at helping SMEs improve their environmental performance through efficient use of raw materials, reduction of energy and water consumption as well as waste and emissions generation. The discussions revealed that companies were using the recommendations given by the project well beyond the project-end to achieve the calculated financial and resource savings.
“ELBAT” CJSC, one of the leading manufacturers of high quality lead-acid batteries in Armenia, has installed an auxiliary cooling system to reduce the amount of water used for freezing of the battery in the refrigeration unit. Due to this measure, the company significantly reduced the cost of water in the charging plant. With an investment of 4 million AMD (about 7 400 EUR) the consumption of water was reduced by 4 500m3. Overall, the annual reduction of company costs due to RECP measures introduction in the past three years amounts to more than 15 000 EUR.
Monitoring of “Lukashin” agricultural cooperative, a community-based small enterprise of 42 farmers with the main activity being production of dried fruits and melons grown in the heart of Ararat valley famous for the taste qualities of its produce. The farmer replaced the caustic soda solution with hot water at 60-70 °C improving the quality of the dried fruits. The farmer optimized the drying process reducing the annual average electricity cost by 8% (4 000 EUR). It has also installed a water re-use system to serve the irrigation purposes and replaced the ventilation system allowing to reduce energy consumption by another 20% annually. Another RECP measure contributed to the creation of additional income source from what was considered to be production waste. The apricot, peach, sesame, sea buckthorn, pomegranate oils from kernels are now introduced as a new products of the “Lukashin” company on the Armenian market.
These are only two out of dozens of examples of benefits which RECP brings to Armenian enterprises. The implemented by UNIDO RECP project within EU4Environment program will increase the number of those examples in different sectors of the economy focusing on plastics and fish producers as the priority sectors identified by the Government.