RECP is the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.
Cleaner production was first launched in the early 1990’s to foster a preventative approach to reduce and where possible, eliminate the generation of waste and emissions from enterprises. The importance of preventive environmental management for achieving compliance with environmental laws and regulations has since been strongly embedded, among others in the EUs Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. Yet, Cleaner Production methods and techniques typically go much beyond mere compliance issues, through conservation of materials, energy and water. Hence UNIDO and UNEP introduced the enlarged approach of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) in 2008. RECP applies preventive environmental techniques and total productivity management practices to achieve:
- Productive use of natural resources – reduction of the use of materials, water and energy;
- Minimization of environmental impacts through reduction of generation of Greenhouse Gases and other emissions and wastes; and
- Promoting and protecting human health through improvements in occupational health and safety.