Assessment of the potential of cleaner production implementation in Polish enterprises
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Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304www.cleanerproduction.netAssessment of the potential of cleaner production implementationin Polish enterprisesAndrzej Doniec *, Janusz Reichel, Marta BulinskaPollution Prevention Center at the Technical University of odz, Poland, ul. Stefanowskiego 4/10, 90-924 Lodz, PolandReceived 27 February 2001; accepted 15 August 2001AbstractThe goal of this research was to learn about the level of knowledge in Polish industrial organizations about the principles ofcleaner production and also to identify some barriers to implementation of cleaner production strategies. In order to gain thisinformation, a special questionnaire with fundamental questions related to environmental attitudes was distributed to various Polishenterprises. The purpose of this paper is to attempt to characterize the state of cleaner production in Poland based on the resultsof this survey. 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.Keywords: Cleaner production; Pollution prevention; Environmental management1. IntroductionCleaner production as an idea of industrial processimprovement towards better environmental performancecame to Poland in the beginning of the 90s. The method-ology has been promoted through the internationalinitiatives. The most significant were the Norwegian-Polish Cleaner Production Program  and the WasteMinimization Program  conducted by the WorldEnvironment Center from New York, with a financialsupport of US AID. The notions: cleaner production andwaste minimization were used as synonyms, becauseboth projects used as a framework the same method-ology based on the US EPA guideline , but the waysof accomplishment of the Programs were different. Thefirst was done as a Norwegian Government initiativedeveloped under the umbrella of UNEP and lasted fiveyears. It began in 1991 as the Norwegian-Polish CleanerProduction Program. The characteristic feature of theProgram was a very comprehensive training namedSchool of Cleaner Production provided for groups con-sisting of people from different industrial sectors, localgovernments and academia. During the two first schools* Corresponding author. Tel.: +48-42-6313-703; fax: +48-42-6365-285.E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (A. Doniec).0959-6526/02/$ - see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.PII: S0959- 65 26 (01)00 04 1- 5lectures and classes were delivered by Norwegian andAmerican lecturers. Real industrial problems were partof the schools lessons. Participation in a developmentof solutions for a particular issue was an important con-dition for being awarded a certificate of a CP Expert.Subsequently the program was conducted by PolishSupreme Technical Organization and numerous Schoolsof Cleaner Production have been subsequently conduc-ted using Polish trainers and lecturers. Although parti-cipants of the schools were gained over with some diffi-culties over one thousand people were trained in severalCleaner Production Schools, which ended with differentsized CP projects within different industrial branches.Some of the projects were implemented. The main aimof the activity was to create the germ of an industrialpolicy including environmental task . The SupremeTechnical Organization established Cleaner ProductionCertificate for companies which have demonstrated thatthey are using CP procedures . Up to the end of1999, 210 companies had been awarded the certificate.In 1992 World Environment Center started with theWaste Minimization Demonstration Program and shortlyafter that Waste Minimization Impact Program, both tar-geting Polish chemical industry. In that instance theapproach was different; emphasis was put on directaction in industrial plant to reduce particular emissionor waste stream employing to that purpose small invest-300 A. Doniec et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304ment money. The aim was to show economical benefitsof the preventive approach. Subsequently several sub-programs were conducted in different industrial branches(steelworks and nonferrous metals, food processing,phosphorus fertilizers, foundries, electroplating facilitiesand tanneries). The Program addressing individualindustrial sectors afforded possibilities for bringing toPoland excellent American experts. The whole WasteMinimization Program succeeded with 82 projectsbrought about in industries, which generally have a sig-nificant impact on the environment, such as chemicaland food industry, steelworks, tanneries and electroplat-ing facilities [7,8]. The Program accomplished in 38plants resulted in savings of over 33 million PLN peryear (about $9 million).All over the world, despite the progress and achieve-ments in cleaner production, there are also barriers tointroduction of the concept. The barriers born from econ-omic, sociological, and psychological issues weredescribed very broadly in literature basically in relationto developing countries . Chandak  organizesthem in seven groups: organizational, systemic, techni-cal, economic, attitudinal, governmental and others. Aset of barriers specific for Poland was also mentioned. In Poland many companies are trying to find aplace for themselves in the new, quickly changing Polishmarket. For them the environment is only a problem ofcompliance with relevant regulations. They are lookingfor easy solutions to fulfil legal requirements instead oflong-lasting changes of manufacturing process and man-agement. These circumstances result in the cleaner pro-duction idea existing poorly in the minds of managersand decision-makers.It is understandable that the number of businessesattracted to the CP concept or at least informed of it asa result of these programs is a fraction of the total num-ber of businesses in Poland. In order to spread the cle-aner production concept and the preventive behaviormore efficiently, the idea arose to investigate the levelof awareness and readiness to abandon the end-of-pipestrategy and introduce the source reduction (pollutionprevention) approach. This was the goal of thereported research.2. Objectives and methodsIt is commonly known that understanding the existingsituation and the sorts of approaches to environmentalproblems determines the environmental protectionresults obtained. The authors intention was to learnabout the level of knowledge in industrial organizationsabout the preventive approach and also to identify somebarriers to implementation of these types of strategies.In order to gain this information, a special questionnairewas developed with fundamental questions related toenvironmental attitudes.The first objective was to set up a list of enterprisesto be interviewed. Due to changes in the Polish economyand a very dynamic situation on the market, thisappeared to be a time consuming and uphill task. Somecompanies changed their status and name, some nolonger existed. There was no selection of the target com-panies according to size, production profile and region.So there were not any specific selection criteria used forselection but the companies that represent different size,production profile, type of ownership and region werechosen. The list of enterprises has been set up using gen-erally available directories. As far as it was possible toidentify companies participating in the WEC andNorwegian-Polish Programs were excluded.A questionnaire used in the research has beendesigned in such a way to gain information aboutenterprises knowledge on cleaner production, as well asabout some environmental problems they faced. By theend of 1998 about 500 questionnaires were mailed. Six-teen percent of the total were returned. Answers weregathered in the first half of 1999. The initial questionsin the questionnaire were as listed in Table 1.The results for the first four questions seem to showthat many companies have learned about, or even arefamiliarized with the concept of Cleaner Production. Acomparison with the previously  obtained data:40.4% answered yes, showing an increase of knowl-edge about the concept. This increase is presumablycaused by various ways of information spreading,including media (numerous CP schools, shots ofmoments of granting CP certificates to companies shownon TV news). Comparing the results for questions 1 and2 (which were complementary), one may notice thatunderstanding of the cleaner production idea is growingfaster than real project implementation, which seems tobe natural. An interest in new production technologiesand modern manufacturing strategies challenged by theforthcoming Polish membership of the European Unionis also another reason for the growing interest in cleanerproduction. This is revealed in answer to questions 3 and4. Almost one hundred percent of responding companiesexpressed a willingness to start a waste minimizationprogram as a way for improving production efficiency.One may assume that the answers came from the compa-nies, which have learned about the concept. Unfortu-nately, this encouraging outcome does not result indecisions made and actions taken. This is difficult tounderstand because participation in non-cost or low-costprograms should be much more acceptable for busi-nesses in comparison to uncertain undertakings, whichrequire financial investments, especially if the programis offered by an external organization.According to answers for the third question, whichindicate that 96.6% of respondents are interested inlearning more, one should be very careful when spread-ing the results of the survey for the whole Polish indus-301A. Doniec et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304Table 1Answers to the questions concerning basic information about CP and EMSQuestion Yes (%) No (%)1. Is your firm aware of the waste minimization methods outlined in the UNEP Cleaner Production 69 31Program?2. Are (were) this method(s) used by your firm? 51.7 48.33. Is your firm interested in initiating a waste minimization program to increase economic efficiency? 96.6 3.44. Is your firm interested in initiating an environmental management system, for example according to 79.3 20.7ISO 14001?Table 2Questions investigating essential environmental problems and barriersto CP/WM programsQuestion1. What does your firm believe are the difficulties associated withinitiating a waste minimization program?2. What type of problems related to environmental protection isthe most severe for your firm?3. To what degree does your firm feel that the amount ofpayments (if any) as well as penalties (if any) made related toenvironmental emissions are significant to the firms overallbudget?severesignificant burdenslightinsignificanttry. It is very probable that only certain types ofenterprises respond to the surveycompanies that havebegun creative thinking about environmental issues.The next three questions asked for broader, moredescriptive answers (Table 2). Question number 5,What does your firm believe are the difficulties associa-ted with initiating a waste minimization program?,investigated barriers to implementation of waste minim-ization programs. Companies usually mentioned severalbarriers, which are listed in Table 3 in order of occur-rence frequency.The above results corroborate with the previouslyreported opinion [12,14] that technical problems are notthe essential barrier to cleaner production. It is interest-Table 3Barriers to implementation of waste minimization programs pointed out by enterprisesNo Barrier Frequency of occurrence(%)1 Financelack of financial resources, high investment cost related to new technology implementation 34.52 No barriers 24.23 Human factorlow awareness level, inadequate mentality, employees habits 21.74 Organizationalproblems related to changes, restructuring problems, lack of cooperation between 21.7relevant services within the enterprise, small scale activity5 External factorslack of legal and financial (preferential credits, exemptions, incentives) support, 13.8poor system of reclaimed raw materials6 Informationexternal: lack of relevant information about waste minimization techniques; internal: 6.9insufficient recognition of possibilities as well as a subject7 Technologylack of low-waste production technologies 6.9ing that 24% of answers stated no barriers existing. Thisis a positive sign, but we must take into account alsothe possibility that respondents might not have ponderedover an implementation of such a type of program. Therecognition of a relatively high importance (position 3)of the value of the human factor in successful introduc-tion of waste minimization program is a positive sign.Environmental problems considered by enterprises asthe most pressing (acute) were the subject of questionnumber 6 (What type of problems related to environ-mental protection are the most severe for your firm?).In fact, the answers reported by enterprises as environ-mental problems partially refer to management issues.The answers, separated into two groups, are compiled inTable 4.When discussing environmental problems, companiesvery often complain about penalties as well as paymentsfor use of the environment; simultaneously they aremissing the fact of significant savings coming from thepreventive approach. Despite information revealing dataof enormous return, published and propagated orally[2,8], the top management of companies usually are notconvinced and play down the possibility. This is a resultof the fact that very often directors and managers donot attend seminars, workshops or meetings aimed at thepromotion of the preventive approach and sustainableproduction. As a rule they appoint an environmentalmanager to attend such meetings. Question 7 was formu-lated to give a simplified view of the problem, especially302 A. Doniec et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304Table 4The problems considered by enterprises as environmental and the most severeNo. Problems pointed out by respondents Frequency of occurrence(%)Environmental1 Waste waters 312 Solid waste 28.63 Air emissions 24.14 Coal as a fuel 6.95 Use of energy and raw materials 6.96 Toxic substances use 3.57 Noise 3.5Management8 Unstable legislation, different interpretation of law by officials 17.29 Lack of information about the possibilities of waste problem solving (lack of companies utilizing 13.8wastes)10 Solid waste utilization (packages, high utilization cost, selling of wastes) 10.411 Lack of public approval 3.512 Full protection against an accident 3.513 Establishing an environmental management system 3.5Fig. 1. Recognition of environmental payments as a burden to afirms budget.in relation to companies attitudes towards the cleanerproduction concept. The answers in percentage areshown in Fig. 1. It was also interesting to learn howcompanies feel about the level of the burden of environ-mental payments in relation to their awareness of cleanerproduction. Table 5 shows companies estimation oftheir environmental encumbrance in connection withknown and unknown CP concept.Over 50% of responding enterprises feel environmen-Table 5Correlation between burden of environmental payments (question 7)and knowledge of cleaner production approach (question 1)Burden The cleaner production approachKnown (%) Unknown (%)Severe 3.5 3.5Significant burden 44.8 6.9Slight 20.7 13.8Insignificant 0 6.9Total 69 31tal fees and fines are a significant problem, whichexplains their interest in reduction of the causes recog-nized by them (i.e. waste streams). We should also bearin mind the above mentioned possible reasons for theself-selection of the companies reacting to the question-naire.3. Understanding and willingnessEnterprises understanding of environmental problemsin relation to the knowledge of methods for solving themis an important indicator of their awareness and willing-ness to apply the methods. Such information could alsobe useful for decision-makers. In our case, correlationsbetween some of the answers to the questionnaire andfinancial pressure are the best.Three groups of enterprises have been distinguished,taking into account answers to questions 1 (knowledgeof cleaner production) and 3 (interest in its introduction);one can name them activity awareness (Fig. 2):Fig. 2. Chart of the three activity awareness groups.303A. Doniec et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304NN (1no, 2no): companies have not heard aboutcleaner production initiative and are not interestedin it;NY (1no, 2yes): enterprises which do not haveinformation about cleaner production but are inter-ested in its implementation;YY (1yes, 2yes): enterprises informed in the sub-ject and interested in implementation of a waste mini-mization program (some of them have already intro-duced the program or are getting started).A correlation between these groups and answers to ques-tion 7 gives a very interesting outcome (Table 6). Thelast column of Table 6 shows distinctly the coherencebetween awareness and understanding of waste prob-lems.Relations between familiarity with cleaner productionmethodology (question 1) and harshness of environmen-tal payments are less significant. Companies which feelthe payments are a burden were interested in or hadalready implemented cleaner production (wasteminimization) projects to reduce the problem (Table 6).4. ConclusionsThe rapid development of the Polish economy andPolands aspiration to become a European Union mem-ber combined with the relatively low preventive attitudeamong Polish industries (one third of responding compa-nies have never heard about the CP concept), indicateopportunities for activities such as spreading informationand implementing cleaner production practices. Presum-ably, the fraction of such companies which have notheard of the cleaner production concept within the non-respondents is even higher. While it is important todetermine which types of companies chose not to answerthe questionnaire and why, this cannot be done withoutmaking assumptions.On the other hand, some companies, or even wholeindustrial sectors (e.g. tanneries, textile industry) are ina critical situation and struggling for survival. It is notconducive to undertake organizational changes and lookfor ways to improve environmental performance throughTable 6Correlation between activity awareness groups of enterprises and bur-den of environmental payments (question 7)Burden NN NY YYSevere 3.5 3.4 3.5Significant 0 6.9 44.8Slight 0 10.3 20.7Insignificant 0 6.9 0Total 3.5 27.5 69 100production process changes. It is astonishing that thetremendous economical results of the demonstration pro-grams are not good enough to encourage enterprises tostart a waste minimization program on their own(unaided). Free aid in incorporating the idea is welcome.Many cases, however, show that some companies havestarted their own preventive policy after participating inan externally supported program which did not cause afinancial burden (e.g. having been active in the so-calledCleaner Production Movement ).Among the respondents, the greater part areenterprises that recognize environmental payments as asignificant burden and have learned about cleaner pro-duction methodologies. We can draw a conclusion thatamong them are the best-informed enterprises, tracingthe situation development. It is still a very small fractionof companies approached in the course of this research.Enterprises are interested in an EMS implementation (forexample according to ISO 14001 standards) irrespectiveof the nature of the environmental problem they face.However, one may suppose that the willingness toinitiate EMS implementation comes rather from marketdemands (or becomes a sort of fashion) not from internaleconomic needs of a firm or due to environmental aware-ness.The Polish State Environmental Policy of 1991 intro-duced the principle of source pollution prevention .The document states that in the long term (25-30 years)employment of environmentally friendly production pro-cesses will be compulsory, and that clean technologieswould be preferable.There is a hope that new Polish governmental regu-lations, currently under development, will be a stimulat-ing factor for implementation of cleaner production,once the regulations come into effect.References Poskrobko B. Zarzadzanie srodowiskiem. Warszawa: PolskieWydawnictwo Ekonomiczne, 1998. Michalek R. Program Czystszej Produkcji. Czystsza Produkcja wPolsce No 1, 1997. Waste Minimization Opportunity Assessment ManualEPA/625/7-88/003. Washington (DC): EPA, 1988. Nowak Z. Cleaner production in Poland: aiming at a joint indus-trial and environmental policy. Industry and Environment1994;17(4):368 OctoberDecember. Nowak Z. Cleaner production in Poland: from CP to environmen-tal management systems. Industry and Environment1996;19(3):356 September. Komandarek W. Swiadectwa Przedsiebiorstwa CP. Czystsza Pro-dukcja w Polsce No. 6, 1999:22. Economic and environmental benefits of industrial waste minim-ization in Poland. World Environment Center, 1995. Minimalizacja zanieczyszczen to wieksza efektywnosc produkcjii praktyczna realizacja idei zrownowazonego rozwoju. Wydawn-ictwo Atmoterm, 1999. Chandak SP. Desire, demonstration in small industries forreducing waste. Ind Environ 1994;17(4):415.304 A. Doniec et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 10 (2002) 299304 Heileman L. Policy initiatives to promote cleaner production inLatin America and the Caribbean. Ind Environ 1994;17(4):35. Hafez S. Financing cleaner production in developing countries.Ind Environ 1994;17(4):756. Doniec A. Obstacles in application of cleaner production in thePolish industry. In: Freeman HM, Puskas Z, Olbina R, editors.NATO ASI Series, Partnership Sub-Series, 2. Environment.Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 1995. PPC at TU of Lodz unpublished data, 1995. Huisingh D. Cleaner technologies through process modifications,material substitutions and ecologically based ethical values.UNEP Ind Environ 1989;12(1). Agenda 21 in Poland. Progress Report 1992-1998. National Foun-dation for Environmental Protection, Warszawa, 1998.Andrzej Doniec, Ph.D., Dr Sc., professor at the Faculty of Managementand Organization, Technical University of odz. Graduated from the Fac-ulty of Chemistry, Technical University of odz and is a specialist inprocess engineering. Trained in cleaner production/waste minimizationwithin the confines of Polish-Norwegian Cleaner Production Program. Par-ticipated as a consultant in waste minimization programs carried out invarious branches of Polish Industry by the World Environment Center,New York. Since 1994 he has been the director of the Pollution PreventionCenter at the Technical University of odz. Completed the multistagetraining in EMS/ISO 14000 conducted by The Lexington Group Environ-mental Management Consultants, Inc. (Massachusetts).Janusz Reichel, Ph.D., adjunct professor in Dept. of Industrial Ecologyat the Faculty of Management and Organization at the Technical Univer-sity of odz. Graduated from University of odz (specialization: industrialeconomics) Since 1997 he has cooperated as a coordinator with the Pol-lution Prevention Center in odz. Completed the multistage training inEMS/ISO 14000 conducted by The Lexington Group Environmental Man-agement Consultants, Inc. (Massachusetts).Marta Bulinska, M.Sc., research fellow, graduated in chemical and pro-cess engineering, involved in waste minimization programs.
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