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Friday, 18 October 2013

Green industry and energy efficiency top Seoul conference agenda

SEOUL, 18 October 2013 – Green industry and energy efficiency are at the core of sustainable industrial development, said participants at an international conference that opened in Seoul today.

The one-day event was organized by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Among the topics discussed were how businesses, including those in the Republic of Korea, can benefit from a green industry approach, as well as the economic, social and environmental benefits of resource efficiency, cleaner production, sound management of chemicals and water use optimization. In addition to the role of energy efficiency in the creation of a sustainable model of industrial development, participants also looked at what global manufacturing can learn from the industrial and energy policies of the Republic of Korea. This included an analysis of the best practices of the country’s private sector, technology and knowledge transfer mechanisms, as well as at UNIDO’s green industry policy advisory services.

“This is the first international conference in the Republic of Korea to address the topic of green industry,” said Heinz Leuenberger, Director of UNIDO’s Environmental Management Branch.

“The high turnout of business representatives at this event demonstrates that the Korean private sector is willing to take steps needed to improve its resource efficiency and minimize the negative environmental impact of its operations. Taken together with the government’s multiple international development projects and its focus on promoting green growth and realizing a green economy, the Republic of Korea has the potential to become a regional leader in the green industry space.”

“The success of this conference follows a history of strong cooperation between UNIDO and the Republic of Korea in the area of sustainable industrial development and offers continuing potential for joint activities between UNIDO and both the Korean government and private sector,” said Leuenberger.

UNIDO believes that green growth has become one of the key elements for sustainable economic growth, and a variety of national governments are currently working on green policies and strategies. The importance of actions targeting the mitigation of the negative effects of climate change also is increasingly acknowledged and, consequently, energy efficiency as a means to provide solutions has become a highly relevant topic.

Industrial energy efficiency is also one of the target areas of UNIDO’s Green Industry Initiative which seeks to reduce the negative environmental impact of the steep increase in global manufacturing.
UNIDO assists countries in developing and implementing green industry policies and strategies, supported by practical applications, such as technology transfer and deployment, and investment, including in the areas of cleaner production, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), UNIDO and UNEP jointly launched the Green Industry Platform, a global multi-stakeholder forum in which leaders from businesses, governments and civil society work together to green the global manufacturing process and create new green industries. The Platform currently has over 160 members which have all signed a ’statement of support’ to demonstrate their intention to pursue core green industrial policies and practices.

For more information, please contact:

Heinz Leuenberger
Director, UNIDO Environmental Management Branch
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