The term cleaner production, when used for industrial activity, generally
describes a focus on preventive measures. This applies to the service,
transportation system and agricultural sectors. We are not speaking
of a legal or scientific definition that can be subjected to minute
and detailed tests and analyses or senseless discussions. It is a very
broad term that comprehends what some countries call minimization of
waste, waste elution, the prevention of pollution and other similar
names; however, it includes something more.
Cleaner production refers to a way of thinking that emphasizes the
production of our goods and services with a minimal environmental impact
under current technology and economic limitations.
It recognizes that production cannot be absolutely clean. Practical
reality tells us there will be some type of residue, multiple processes
and obsolete products. However, we do –and should-, make an effort
to improve the way things were done in the past if we want to ensure
our plant continues to be habitable.
|•The cleanest production of all production processes includes
the conservation of raw materials and energy, the disposal of toxic
waste or hazardous materials and a reduction in emissions and waste
from the source..
• When speaking of products, the strategy is centered on reducing
the impact throughout the life cycle of the articles we produce,
from their creation, through the stage in which they are used and
all the way through to their final disposal.
Cleaner production does not ignore progress, it merely insists that
growth be ecologically sustainable for a period longer than the term
economists have used.
The United Nations Environment Program adopted the following definition:
Cleaner production consists of continuously applying a preventive and
comprehensive environmental strategy for processes and products, to
reduce risks that affect the human race and the environment.”
The principle emphasis is clear. While applying preventive measures
throughout the manufacturing process, we also need to focus on the life
cycle of the products themselves. Cleaner production involves the application
of knowledge, improved technologies and –above all– a change
of many attitudes.