NCPCs contribute to improved environmental performance and resource efficiency of enterprises and other organizations, which also increases productivity and competitiveness. The NCPCs are professional centres that deliver and coordinate services in regard to CP methods, policies, practices and technologies.
1. Technical Assistance and In-plant Assessments: NCPCs work with individual enterprises to identify, evaluate and help implement CP options that are appropriate to the enterprise’s processes, products or services, technologies and management systems and skills. Models of successful CP applications are thus created that demonstrate tangible economic and environmental benefits. In some cases, the assessments target specific environmental or resource use issues, for example, energy efficiency or chemicals management. In other cases, a link is established with selected environmental management tools, for example, environmental management systems or sustainable product development. Assessments are combined with training of staff to ensure sustainability and foster continuous improvement in resource productivity and environmental performance of the participating enterprises.
2. Training: NCPCs train a cadre of national experts that can assist enterprises and other organizations with the implementation of CP, through training of trainers or assessors. A common training resource, known as the UNIDO CP Toolkit, is now available and has been successfully applied in recently established NCPCs including: South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. Further training could focus on advanced topics, including, for example, policy tools, Life Cycle Assessment, energy efficiency or sound management of chemicals.
3. Information Dissemination and Awareness Creation: NCPCs disseminate information on CP concepts, methods and benefits to raise awareness and commitment for CP. This involves the creation of websites and the publication of case studies, fact sheets and manuals, and the organization of seminars and workshops, often in collaboration with industry and/or professional associations. The Sri Lanka NCPC for example produced plain language “how-to” guides for small and medium sized enterprises . To recognize best practices, it also established a CP award scheme.
4. Policy Advice: NCPCs work with government agencies and other stakeholders in the country to create a conducive policy environment for CP. This may include developing new strategies aimed to promote CP or providing input for other relevant policy developments and strategies. In China, the NCPC for example has been instrumental in formulating the China Cleaner Production Law, and development of technical and administrative procedures and guidelines for its implementation.
5. CP Technology and Investment Promotion: NCPCs support the transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) and investments therein. Specific activities include, for example: benchmarking and technology gap assessments; technology identification, screening and assessment; and preparation of investment proposals and business plans. In a couple of countries the technology promotion has been combined with a green credit line, including for example in Colombia and Viet Nam.