Revista de Ingeniería
Print version ISSN 0121-4993
In 1997 the Ministry of Environmental Affairs of Colombia adapted its National Cleaner Production Policy as a complementary environmental strategy to introduce prevention oriented approach into management practices of industry. Since then a range of different initiatives have been developed, all focused on the improvement of the environmental performance of companies. The results of the demonstration projects, voluntary agreements, capacity buildings programs among others, sustain the potential of this strategy to combine the reduction of environmental contamination with cost reductions and competitiveness improvement. Now, ten years after its expedition, Cleaner Production (CP) is still an emergent strategy for environmental management and industrial development in Colombian, even when the context of the time period and the main drivers, have changed. When in the early years incentives to participate and contribute to CP initiatives were closely related to the new developed environmental regulation in Colombia and responses of industry towards those. Now, ten years later, the globalization of the economy and the integration of environmental variables in competitiveness make CP an important strategy to assume corporate social responsibility and respond to market and trade requirements. Taking into account this importance, this article proposes new ideas and strategies for the renovation of the National Cleaner Production Policy in Colombia. The proposed ideas and strategies are based on a: (i) historical review of the different CP initiatives in Colombia, (ii) the experience of the authors who have participated in a broad range of CP initiatives during the last ten years, and (iii) a literature review of CP initiatives and developments mainly published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The conclusions of this paper show how the Cleaner Production Policy in Colombia has to develop towards an innovative business development strategy, changing its early emphasis of optimizing of existing processes and the implementation of best practices towards the innovation and promotion of cleaner technologies and sustainable business. Also the integration of the National Green Marketing Strategy with the Cleaner Production Policy opens up new perspectives to integrate environmental strategy with business development.
Keywords : Cleaner production; prevention oriented environmental management; environmental management in Colombia; eco-efficiency in Colombia.