EU4Environment – Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) in Azerbaijan
The “EU4Environment” Action helps the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine to preserve their natural capital and increase people’s environmental well-being by supporting environment-related actions, demonstrating and unlocking opportunities for greener growth, and setting mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts.

RECP Clubs

The RECP Clubs aim to develop and pilot a lean support model for enterprises, in particular Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The model should be scalable and replicable, in the sense that, after the initial trials in the selected municipalities end, the model can be made available on a continuous basis to more regions, and ultimately, throughout the whole country.

Each Club involves 8-10 small enterprises for which it provides practical RECP support. Upon the completion of the RECP Club programme, each member enterprise would have developed an actionable RECP plan and have started its implementation. The action plan is developed and put in place on a thematic basis. Each theme/module is introduced during to a 2-3 hrs workshop that ends with the guidance for member enterprises to practically apply the knowledge gained. Following the workshop, enterprises report back on their experiences (fostering, also, collective learning) and are introduced to the next topic. In total, 6 modules are delivered in intervals of about 3 weeks over a period of approximately 4 months.

The six modules are organized in thematic areas, respecting the following order:

  1. Business Profile: profiling enterprises with a particular focus on identifying resource uses and environmental impacts, and appraising them in both physical units (tons, kWhr, etc.) as well as their monetary value (input costs and non-product output costs);
  2. Energy: understanding energy use at the company level and developing energy efficiency options for processes, utility systems, and buildings management;
  3. Materials and Waste: understanding the main material flows in enterprises and in their associated waste streams, and developing material efficiency and waste reduction options;
  4. Water and Waste Water: understanding main water flows in enterprises and in their associated waste water streams, and developing water efficiency and effluent reduction options;
  5. Chemicals, Hazards and Emissions: understanding chemicals use and their associated hazards and emissions, and developing options for a sound and responsible chemicals use;
  6. Action Planning: bringing together options from different topics into an integrated approach for enterprises; presenting short, medium, and long-term goals and actions

Modules 2-5 form the core and focus on the enterprises’ technical processes, whereas module 1 and 6 provide the introduction and capstone section, and are focused on management and information systems.

Throughout this process, the RECP Clubs Facilitator provides on-site guidance and coaching to the Club members. The Facilitator undertakes 3-4 technical visits in the selected companies for a quick scan, review of gathered data, and to root source and cause analysis to support the identification and evaluation of RECP measures. Via email and telephone conversations, contact is maintained to support and coach companies during the project implementation. A summary consisting of the environmental action plan report is progressively developed by each of the RECP Club member company.

Upon the completion  of  the  action  plan,  the  “hosting”  organization (municipality  or  other  regional  or  local authority), together with UNIDO, presents a certificate of completion, which can be renewed on an annual basis if the enterprises continue to improve their environmental initiatives.

The evaluation of impact of the replication programme on the participating SMEs is essential and it includes:

  • Performing additional visits in the selected companies (three and six month intervals) with the purpose of documenting the environmental and economic achievements;
  • Involvement of the participating companies in additional workshops focused on new topics (legislation, financing);
  • Facilitation of companies’ cooperation (information exchange, success marketing, business cooperation);
  • Drafting success stories to be used in promotion and advocacy activities.

RECP Clubs in Azerbaijan

Four RECP Clubs were established in the regions  of Yevlakh, Ganja, Khachmaz and Sumgayit, with the support of the local municipalities and executive authorities, to promote the widespread application of the RECP methodology in Azerbaijan. Each Club involved 8-10 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), for which a total of 6 modules were delivered. Upon the completion of the RECP Club in the pilot regions, the selected enterprises developed and started the implementation of an RECP action plan.

Upon completion of the RECP Clubs in the pilot regions, at the end of the UNIDO RECP Demonstration Project, the results, experiences, and lessons learned will continue to be captured and incorporated into a final resource package that will be handed over to the National Government for further roll out in country.