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Cablegate: Clean Production Practices Increase Efficiency,

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2903/01 2991620
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261620Z OCT 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1088
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6216
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3533
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7395
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4655
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1906
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1957
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1837
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4109
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4544
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 1570
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9118
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002903

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/AND LPETRONI
BRASILIA FOR JSTORY AND LSTONER
USAID/LAC FOR AFRANCO, MSILVERMAN, RLOUDIS, AND JBISSON
USAID/EGAT FOR CJACKSON, ANE FOR JWILSON
COMMERCE FOR JANGLIN
TREASURY FOR SGOOCH
ENERGY FOR CDAY AND SLADISLAW

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG BL
SUBJECT: CLEAN PRODUCTION PRACTICES INCREASE EFFICIENCY,
LOWER COSTS


1. (U) Summary: Clean production practices introduced by the
USAID-supported Center for the Promotion of Sustainable
Technologies have increased efficiency and lowered costs for
more than 90 Bolivian businesses. The following case studies
suggest that lower production costs provide powerful
incentives for firms to modify production processes to
improve efficiency and cut pollution, thereby making them
more competitive in domestic and international markets.
Companies have also adopted corporate social responsibility
programs to minimize environmental damage. End summary.

BACKGROUND
----------

2. (U) The Center for the Promotion of Sustainable
Technologies (known by its Spanish acronym, CPTS) acquired
its present form after the 1998 merger of the USAID-funded
Environmental Pollution Prevention Project and the World
Bank-supported Energy Sector Management Program. Now a
non-profit organization, CPTS receives financial support from
USAID and other international donors, among them Denmark and
Switzerland, and collects fees for consulting services. The
group's 25 staff work with a broad range of Bolivian
businesses, from hospitals and hotels to food processors and
furniture manufacturers, to redesign production processes to
optimize the use of raw materials, water, energy, and other
inputs; improve efficiency and lower costs (by producing more
goods with fewer resources); and cut air and water pollution.
Companies that implement clean production technologies
protect the environment, consumers, and workers while
improving industrial efficiency, profitability, and
competitiveness.

CASE STUDIES
------------

3. (U) Cerveceria Taquina, a Cochabamba-based brewery,
installed water and energy meters at all stages of
production, from initial maceration and brewing to eventual
bottling, and automated pasteurization and sterilization
processes to lower water and energy inputs. The firm also
cut pollution in effluents by filtering the residue of each
successive brewing process and using recovered grain in
animal feed. The brewery reduced water consumption by an
estimated 43 percent, from 15 to 8.6 liters of water per
liter of beer, and lowered natural gas and energy consumption
by 11.6 and 2.1 percent, respectively, saving more than 12
million cubic feet of gas and over 80,000 kilowatt hours of
energy annually. The firm expects its $145,000 investment to
yield yearly savings of almost $93,000.

4. (U) Ingenio Azucarero Roberto Barbery Paz, a sugar mill in
the Santa Cruz department, purchased an infrared spectrometer
to decrease the lead used in chemical analysis, installed
automated hydrojets to lower the quantity of water used in
evaporation equipment, and adopted new boiler cleaning
techniques to completely eliminate water use. New
technologies also allowed the company to reduce air and water
pollution by properly disposing of cinders and other waste.
The firm expects its $221,000 investment to cut production
costs by $292,000 per year.

5. (U) In one of its most intriguing projects, CPTS developed
new (soon to be patented) cleaning, processing, and drying
techniques for Andean Valley, a La Paz-based quinoa producer.
The firm adopted new cleaning and filtering systems to
remove impurities and unwanted chemical substances from the
grain and introduced new methods to reduce drying time. The

company increased its processing capacity from 0.6 to 1.08
tons of quinoa per hour and significantly lowered water and
energy consumption, reducing the former by 64 percent (from
14 to 5 cubic liters of water per ton of quinoa) and slashing
energy and liquid petroleum gas consumption by 80 and 67
percent, respectively (from 101.6 to 20 kilowatt hours and
from 30 to 10 kilograms of gas per ton of quinoa). The firm
expects annual savings of $46,000, and other beneficiaries
expect similar cost reductions.

6. (U) Audits indicate that La Paz soft drink companies
benefiting from CPTS assistance have reduced water
consumption by approximately 4 million cubic meters per year
(the equivalent of two months of water consumption in La Paz)
and significantly decreased raw materials inputs and
environmentally damaging waste. Together, the firms'
estimated $2.4 million total investment has resulted in
annual savings of approximately $1.2 million.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS
-------------------

7. (U) CPTS has also introduced corporate social
responsibility projects and a waste exchange program.
Initial results indicate that the former have helped
companies improve relations with local communities and
employees while reducing job-related accidents, employee
complaints, and environmental damage; several firms applying
CPTS recommendations have been able to apply for
certification under International Organization for
Standardization framework 14001, the world's most recognized
environmental management system standard. The framework
helps organizations better control their activities' impact
on the environment, with certification not only improving
environmental management, but also enabling firms to acquire
access to growing "green" markets around the world. Under
the waste exchange program, meanwhile, companies have
experimented with new ways of treating and processing waste;
many have explored recycling possibilities or considered
proposals for turning unwanted materials into new products.

COMMENT
-------

8. (U) The key difference between pollution control and clean
production is one of timing. Pollution control is a
post-event, "react and treat" approach, while clean
production involves a forward-looking, "anticipate and
prevent" philosophy. In this context, waste is considered a
product with negative economic value. Each action to reduce
raw materials and energy consumption and prevent or reduce
waste generation can increase productivity and generate
financial benefits for businesses. CPTS case studies suggest
that lower production costs provide powerful incentives for
firms to modify production processes to improve efficiency
and cut pollution. As many observers argue, convincing firms
of the economic benefits of "green" technologies may be the
surest way to minimize environmental damage while improving
business competitiveness.
GOLDBERG

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