I. LET’S HAVE A LOOK ON THE POLISH CLEANER PRODUCTION MOVEMENT ASSOCIATION
Ninth interview for ODD&THEKEDGERS but the first one in Poland! We have had a virtual appointment at the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association located in Katowice with Michał Jan Cichy, President of the Board of the Polish CP Movement Association and Marek Wasilewski, Member of the board of the Polish CP Movement Association. Founded as a result of the Conference of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) “Industry and Environment” in Warsaw (in 1989), the NGO operates today with more than 30 years of action and experience in Cleaner Production (CP). Thanks to 1 full-time employee and several people with agreements for particular tasks, the NGO is actively working in all Poland to promote and foster implementation of CP strategy in Polish companies, as well as to educate and inform them about environmental issues important for their activities. Let’s discover to what extent in this article!
Overview of the NGO’s field of activity : the Cleaner Production
To introduce the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association, let’s start with the concept of Cleaner Production. As defined and schematized by UNEP :
“Cleaner Production is a continuous application of an integrated environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risk to humans and the environment” – Polish CP Movement Association
CP was the reply of the industry to the call for sustainable development launched in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) and spread by UNEP. As a result appeared the first national programme to deal with CP in Poland, a programme coordinated by the PolishCleaner Production Movement Association !
During the past decades, the CP concept was put in practice worldwide and within the Polish companies by the NGO through its programme. Over the years, the CP strategies implementation have demonstrated their potential in companies to improve the resource efficiency, reduce pollution and risks for both humans and the environment while at the same time reduce the production costs, improve productivity, … (Click here to learn more about Cleaner Production and its potential). Well explained by Sir Jan Cichy during our interview :
“CP strategy is win-win situation: minimizing the environmental impact of industrial processes while maximizing the economic benefit” – Michał J. Cichy
During this same period, CP has changed scope, methods and application areas to provide today a deeper socio-economic impact than was the original idea to awaken industry on its environmental responsibilities. Here we can feel how the CP concept has evolved with the increasing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) over the years, which promotes that companies are not only responsible for their economic performance and their environmental impact, but also responsible for their impact on social issues like human rights, inequalities, well-being, education along life, …
Consistent with the CP’s evolution over the years, the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association focuses today on promotion and implementation of Cleaner Production (CP), Resource Efficiency (RE), Circular Economy (CE) and fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Polish organizations (by emphasizing SMEs) to support the sustainable development and its global goals (the SDGs) related to the NGO’s field of activity.
To understand the programs led by the NGO permitting to generate a Cleaner Production Movement in the Polish companies, let’s read the second part of our article!
II. THE POLISH CLEANER PRODUCTION MOVEMENT ASSOCIATION COMMITMENTS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Through its activities in the CP field of activity, the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association contributes to reach a part of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs). Let’s discover those that resonate particularly for the NGO in the SDGs matrix, according to Sir Jan Cichy and Sir Wasilewski during our interview:
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy, SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production, SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
To make their programme more concrete and let us perceive their Organization Social Responsibility (OSR), Sir Jan Cichy and Sir Wasilewski have presented us the core of the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association’s activities that are focused on two paths: the CP Academy & the CP EVA.
The CP Academy, an unique educational programme for companies
The first path of the NGO consists of an about 10 months long educational programme for any company, local governments, scientific units or individuals who want to gain new and practical knowledge on how to manage its business environmentally and responsibly and how to benefit from it. The CP Academy includes lecturing and designing/implementation part through the following contents:
- CP strategy concept and approach
- Principles and methodology – conducting an effective initial review / CP Audit
- Case-studies: good environmental practice, the concept of Eco-innovation and Cleaner Production Project (CP Project)
- Basics of the concept of a Circular Economy
- Building management system in line with the Cleaner Production strategy
- Creation and functioning of the Environmental Team in companies
- Formal and legal assessment: basic obligations of entrepreneurs
- Financial and economic analysis of pro-ecological projects, calculation of economic effectiveness of CP Projects
- Sources of financing for pro-ecological projects in Poland
- Ecological and social reporting in the CP Programme
- Presentations of the results of the project work so far, discussion
- Opportunities for further improvement: CP and formalised environmental management systems according to ISO 14001 and EMAS
- Opportunities for further improvement: selected environmental management tools – product life cycle assessment (LCA), eco-design (eco-design)
- Basics of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
At the end of the Academy, the participants can earn an International Diploma of Cleaner Manufacturing Expert and are able to implement CP projects in their respective companies. (Click here to learn more about the CP Academy).
The Environmental Voluntary Agreements scheme in the Polish CP Programme : the CP EVA and its two certificates
The second path of the NGO consists in consultancy for companies, after having followed the CP Academy and signed the International Declaration on CP of UNEP, about their implementation of CP projects. (Click here to read the International Declaration on CP of UNEP). Then, companies who continually improve their environmental performances by applying CP measures can register for two certificate levels : the Register of Cleaner Production Certificate (Click here to learn more about this Certificate) and more demanding, the Polish Register of Cleaner Production and Responsible Entrepreneurship – including also social responsibility aspects and headed by representatives of the Polish authorities (among the others the Polish Ministry of Climate). (Click here to learn more about this Certificate). As explained by Sir Jan Cichy during our interview :
“The Cleaner Production Certificate is more for beginners companies which usually start adventure in environmental management and have a lot to do. They must go further and we verify this in a 2 years period. The Polish Register of Cleaner Production and Responsible Entrepreneurship is an upper certificate with more verification reported and more CSR oriented topics.” – Michał J. Cichy
Concerning the steps to get to the Certificates, we know that a picture is worth a thousand words ! Indeed, here is the CP EVA’s procedure, presented during the 23th UN Climate Conference (COP23) at Bonn:
Indeed, the CP Academy and its educational programme combined with the CP EVA and its two certificate levels permit to generate a Cleaner Production Movement in Poland that starts from awareness-raising on negative environmental impact reduction and financial savings from environmental means to certificates handed to companies for their achievements. In this regard, the NGO’s motto now definitely makes sense : ““CLEANER PRODUCTION : THE SHORTEST ROUTE TO ISO 14001 AND/OR EMAS”. To understand this Cleaner Production Movement in Poland led by the NGO through the SDGs matrix, let’s discover the GOOD PRACTICE SHEET we have done, supported by 3 TOOLS!
III. THE POLISH CLEANER PRODUCTION MOVEMENT ASSOCIATION AND THE KEDGERS
Could the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association be your next experience?
Beside the purpose to make Kedgers (Kedge Business School’s students) aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, ODD&THEKEDGERS aims to inform the managers of tomorrow of responsible opportunities abroad in the associative, private and public sectors. That’s why at the end of our interview with Sir Jan Cichy and Sir Wasilewski, we have not hesitated to ask some questions for you in order to know to whom this organization could turn for a professional experience abroad.
Unfortunately, the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association is generally not looking for international students. Even if the NGO cooperates with the Silesian University of Technology, it is mainly with the scientific staff and the students who occasionally participate in their activities are coming from Poland.
Precious words of Sir Jan Cichy and Sir Wasilewski, for the students that we are at Kedge!
Before leaving, let’s soak up our interviewees’ advice!
“It’s worth focusing on circular economy principles and taking into account them for future businesses and also look for business models that are offered by this idea of circular economy”. – Michał J. Cichy
“While looking for a job, try to find the company that cares about the environment and the society. Be proud of working for them!” – Michał J. Cichy
“You need to be aware that when you’re having your company, some management systems are essentials to control and to manage well with all the issues of the company including one of the main things which is the environment.“ – M. Wasilewski
“SDGs matrix is a very good tool for raising awareness and giving people information about climate change and how global issues are going around. It gives principles to refer to when you look at the impact of what you are producing, and widely, also your lives’ impact on your environment. It also helps when you think about the kind of measures you could implement to minimize these impacts. » – M. Wasilewski
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