March 22 ENV222 lecture format.doc.docx

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School of Environment
Kenneth Mac Donald

ENV222 March 22 Technology - clean production, green economy Lecture format Complete March 20 lecture 7) Barriers to solutions 8) The basic problem: radical - mainstream 9) Suggestions for Analytical Paper #3 1) Definition: clean production . looks at entire production chain: raw material to product to recycling or disposal . reader p. 385 top right: "use of renewable energy and materials, the minimal use of resources, the design of sustainable products ... generation of waste that is benign [not hazardous/toxic] and returnable into the production process [recyclable]" . reader p. 386 four principles: . precautionary (science uncertainty does not prevent action) . preventive (act at outset, ie in product design stage) . democratic (access to production decision-making process) . holistic (look at whole production system) Note the distinction between solid waste (benign - but consumption of resources and energy) and toxic waste (hazardous - toxicity causes ecological health effects). The objective is to increase the portion of total waste which is benign rather than toxic and reduce the total quantity of solid (benign) waste even if total production is increasing, due to population growth and increased per capita consumption. Thus clean production is essentially: . more efficient - less waste in ratio to product . less toxic - remaining waste and pollution is benign The key element here is product design - extent to which the product is durable, re-usable, recyclable, pollutes while used, pollutes when disposed of. This means to understand the viability of clean production as a solution we need to understand what determines product design, bearing in mind that in a capitalist society product design is largely decided in the market, not the state or civil society. 2) Model of the production process On blackboard: Fig. 1 p. 385 with addition of Demand and Reduction, Re-use and Recycling and with Disposal as "Toxic Waste Mountains" 3) Drivers of the production process, absent government policy intervention . Demand: individuals, other firms, government procurement . profitability: which is the relationship between demand and cost of factors of production 1 . to reduce cost of production, the firm externalizes as much cost (eg cost of pollution emissions and waste disposal) as possible . cost internalization (change production process; change product design
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