Field: Dissemination of information, Sustainable manufacturing
Global Technical function: Manufacturing, Promoting sustainable practices, Sharing resources
Technical Function Unit: Benchmarking, Designing indicators, Disseminating, Networking, Providing consultancy, Sustainability criteria
Geographic Area: Worldwide
Type of actors: Industry, NGOs, Policy makers, Professional associations

Green Industry Platform

The Green Industry Platform is a world-wide, high-level, multi-stakeholder partnership gathering leaders from all sectors of the society around the promotion of green industry. 

The challenge

Climate change, poverty and scarcity of natural resources are some of the challenges we face globally. Framed by the Green Economy Initiative of the United Nations, the Green Economy Report[1] demonstrates the benefits of a greener economy: it can propel us towards growth, create good jobs and thus become a tool against poverty. The challenge is to get the private sector involved in green economy initiatives and to support industries in integrating more social and environmental considerations into their operations.

The network

The Green Industry Platform was created by the UNEP[2] Green Economy Initiative and is an initiative of the UNIDO[3], launched at Rio+20[4]. The Platform aims at promoting sustainable practices in industry world-wide, including a more efficient use of energy and raw materials, innovative practices and applications of new green technologies.

The Platform provides a framework that brings together leaders from industry, professional associationspolicy makers, and NGOssharing resources such as road mapping tools for industrial policies; and disseminating good practice related to the inclusion of sustainability criteria in organizational strategies and business plans.

The Platform is built on a public/private partnership model and has a multi-stakeholder governance and membership model to promote diverse, innovative and effective approaches.

The benefits

The platform offers a great variety of best practice examples, including policies, services and technics, thus quickly offering efficient solutions to newly identified needs. A guideline helps to analyse the value chain, including the organisation itself, potential synergies with key stakeholders or sources for policies, finance, technology, etc. The Platform’s tools include:

  • the convening of Platform meetings, working groups and task forces;
  • services providing consultancy on policy, technology and financial issues; and in
  • the commissioning of research and sharing of existing research;
  • support in designing indicators and metrics;
  • benchmarking tools.

The benefits brought by the Green Industry Platform count, among others:

  • increased opportunities to help create new jobs and sustainable growth
  • reduced waste and increased efficiency of manufacturing activities, and accompanying
  • improvements in organisational/national competitiveness
  • expanded networking and partnering opportunities on Green Industry policies and projects
  • enhanced attention of capital market investors seeking to reduce exposure to commodity price fluctuations and related risks

Further deployment

Essentially, the Green Industry Platform is a voluntary informal framework, with potential for further deployment, qualifying it for an estimated level 8 on the generic maturity scale GML[5]. Individual governments and organisations take action to progressively integrate Green Industry into their own policies and practices. The platform adapted the model of ‘shared ownership’: members are self-motivated by their common and complementary interests in promoting Green Industry. To stay flexible in the given world-wide frame, the platform is intended to operate on a self-financing basis. Information resources and advice are free of charge, and the support of UNIDO and UNEP are at hand.

http://www.greenindustryplatform.org/

[1] published in 2010; http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/GreenEconomyReport/tabid/29846/language/en-US/Default.aspx

[2] United Nations Environment Programme

[3] United Nations Industrial Development Organisation

[4] http://www.uncsd2012.org/

[5] Generic Maturity Level: indicator for readiness of transfer of a certain process; following the scale of technology readiness (http://www.esto.nasa.gov/files/TRL_definitions.pdf). The given value was estimated by the authors.