TEST - Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology in the Danube River Basin

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Testing times

When new environmental protection legislation comes into effect there is a misconception among industries that in order to adopt and comply with the new environmental standards, their competitiveness will suffer as a result of investment in the right technologies, practices, and upgrades to bring the enterprises up to the new standards.

In April 2001, UNIDO launched the TEST programme on the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (TEST), which aims to reduce the barriers perceived by enterprises preventing compliance with environmental legislation. The TEST programme develops the capacity of the national institutions in the five selected Danubian (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) countries in integrated environmental management (TEST integrated approach) so that it is possible for enterprises to comply with environmental standards and still maintain, or even enhance their competitive advantage.

Enterprises in the countries of the Danube River basin are encountering challenges in their restructuring as they move towards market economies. At the same time, they are in the process of complying to the environmental objectives of the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) and the environmental requirements that come with accession to the European Union; the most significant of these is the EU's Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. The DRPC and the EU's IPPC Directive both require enterprises to apply best available techniques (BAT/EST) and best environmental practices (BEP).

The TEST Programme, concentrated on building capacity in industrial service institutions to undertake analytical assessments, which together identifed the least costly option for environmental compliance. The environmental management tools applied include: cleaner production; environmental management systems and accounting; and environmentally sound technology selection. In total, 17 types of industries were included in the programme with over 90 trainees who had a total of some 2000 man/days of training. More then 230 cleaner production measures were implemented at the selected enterprises leading to total financial savings equivalent to US$ 1.3 millions per year. Environmental Management Systems were introduced in 11 companies: by the project end 4 companies have received international ISO14001 accreditation.

Tangible results were achieved, both in terms of increased productivity and in terms of improved environmental performance. The threats identified in the business environment, often perceived by the companies as survival threats connected with environmental compliance issues and production costs were reduced and new opportunities were identified. The least costly procedures were then identified to bring the enterprises to compliance with the environmental norms of the Danube River Protection Convention and IPPC-EU Directive, while also accommodating their need to remain competitive.

Context

TEST - Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology in the Danube River Basin

Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

The Danube River Basin

Countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovak Republic

Stakeholders

The programme's primary financial supporter was GEF (US$ 1 million), with some participation from UNIDO

(US $ 150,000) and other donors (the Hungarian and Czech Governments US$ 100,000). The project's national partners (counterparts) were the National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) of Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia (members of the UNIDO/UNEP network of NCPCs), the Institute for Industrial Ecology(ECOIND) in Romania, and the Technical University of Sofia in Bulgaria.

Contacts

Contents

Background and Significance

Enterprises in the countries of the middle and lower Danube River basin are facing numerous challenges as they go through a radical reshaping in their move towards market economies. At the same time, they are in the process of responding to the environmental objectives of the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) and the environmental requirements that come with accession to the European Union; the most significant of these is the EU’s Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. The DRPC and the EU’s IPPC Directive both require enterprises to apply best available techniques (BAT/EST) and best environmental practices (BEP). In 1997, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), launched the ‘Pollution Reduction Programme for the Danube River basin’, through which it identified 130 major manufacturing enterprises known as ‘hot spots’ that were significant sources of pollution to the waters of the Danube River basin. A significant number of these enterprises were contributing to transboundary nutrient and/or persistent organic pollution. In April 2001, UNIDO started the implementation of the TEST programme taking on the challenge to effectively demonstrate to the industries of five Danubian countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) that it is possible to comply with environmental standards and still maintain, or even enhance their competitive position.

Goal and Objectives


The objective of the TEST project was to build capacity of the national institutions in the five selected Danubian countries in integrated environmental management (TEST integrated approach) for the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology.

The Experience: Challenges and Solutions

WHAT and HOW

The implementation of the project will be subdivided into three operational components:

· Component I. Institutional Strengthening This includes setting up of national focal points to facilitate the transfer of EST's to industrial enterprises in 5 Danubian Countries.

· Component II. Entreprise Demonstrations Application of TEST approach to industrial enterprises located in the Danube River Basin.

· Component III. Dissemination of Results Diffusion of experiences with the pilot enterprises to other enterprises in the five participating countries and to other countries in the region.

WHO

Hungarian and Czech Governments; National counterparts: National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) of Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia (members of the UNIDO/UNEP network of NCPCs), the Institute for Industrial Ecology (ECOIND) in Romania, and the Technical University of Sofia in Bulgaria.

WHERE

The project is implemented in the Danube River Basin. Countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovak Republic

WHEN

The project was implemented commencing in 2001 and ended in 2005. A replication phase is currently under development.

Results and Impact

Lessons for Replication

The TEST approach has been introduced at selected industrial hot spots to demonstrate that it is possible to comply with environmental norms of the Danube River Protection Convention while at the same time taking into account the needs to remain competitive and to deal with the social consequences of major technology upgrading. The enhanced institutional capacity would then be available to assist other enterprises of concern in these countries as well as other Danubian countries.

Main Results and Lessons Learned

Concrete results:

The following concrete results have been achieved confirming the feasibility of the project objectives, and the effectiveness of the UNIDO-TEST integrated approach:

1. Capacity was built at the national counterparts (more than 90 trainees) and at the demonstration enterprises (more than 600 employees) in the TEST approach and in the use of modern diagnostic and environmental management tools for approximately 2000 man/days of training

2. More then 230 cleaner production measures were implemented at the selected enterprises leading to total financial savings equivalent to US$ 1.3 millions per year

3. Environmental Management Systems were introduced in 11 companies: by the project end 4 companies have received international ISO14001 accreditation

4. Environmental Management Accounting systems were designed and fully implemented in 6 demonstration enterprises

5. Environmentally Sound Technology assessments were completed at the selected plants in accordance with IPPC Directive of EC. Pre-investment studies have been prepared for a total of US$ 47 millions and are currently under implementation

6. Environmental and social dimension integrated into the business strategies There were significant environmental benefits that were achieved at the industrial polluters sites as a result of the TEST project, in terms of reduced consumption of natural resources (including fresh water consumption and energy), reduced wastewater discharges and pollution loads into the Danube River and its tributaries, as well as reduction of waste generation and air emissions. By the end of 2003, the reduction of fresh water consumption varied between 2 and 89 percent of the initial value, leading to an impressive total reduction in wastewater discharges, into the Danube River basin, of 4,590,104 m3/year. Additional reduction of 7,862,563 m3/year in wastewater discharges is expected after the full implementation of the identified EST investments.

The participating industrial polluters have been introduced to the " TEST integrated approach" having the opportunity to learn how to use environmentally sound technologies to reach continuous improvement of their economic and environmental profiles. Tangible results were achieved, both in terms of increased productivity and in terms of improved environmental performance. The threats identified in the business environment, often perceived by the companies as survival threats connected with environmental compliance issues and production costs were reduced and new opportunities were identified. The least costly procedures were then identified to bring the enterprises to compliance with the environmental norms of the Danube River Protection Convention and IPPC-EU Directive, while also accommodating their need to remain competitive.

National counterparts from the five Danubian countries have been introduced to the TEST Programme as part of the capacity building measures in existing cleaner production institutions and it is expected that they will in turn, pass on the additional expertise acquired to other enterprises and institutions in their own countries and throughout the Danube River Basin.

Danube-TEST Terminal Evaluation Report

Outlook (Conclusions and Next Steps)

Testimonies and Stakeholder Perceptions

Timeframe & Status

2001-2005

References

See also

Water Knowledge Fair 2006

Strengthening the Implementation Capacities for Nutrient Reduction and Transboundary Cooperation in the Danube River Basin

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (TEST) to Reduce Transboundary Pollution in the Danube River Basin

Transfer of environmentally sound technology in Bosnia and Herzegovina Danube river basin

UNESCO water portal; The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), case study on Sharing water in the Danube River Basin

Control of eutrophication, hazardous substances and related measures for rehabilitating the Black Sea ecosystem

External Resources

Documentation on TEST found on UNIDO webpage http://www.unido.org/doc/26190

Project desription on IW:Learn webpage http://www.iwlearn.net/iw-projects/Msp_112799491541

Attachments

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