What is Green Industry?

Green Industry is a term broadly used to describe manufacturing and management strategies which make the most efficient possible use of energy and other natural capital, such as through smarter design, production, recycling and other approaches which reduce pollution and waste of raw materials in the supply of goods and services. Green Industry can offer a practical, economic and necessary alternative to traditional resource intensive and polluting methods of production. These are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to limits on natural resources and the planet’s capacity to handle rising pollution loads.


What are the benefits of Green Industry?

There are multiple benefits from pursuing a Green Industry approach. These may include reduced raw material (i.e. commodity) costs, increased security of supply, reduced pollution risks and costs, lower cost of capital, increased employee appeal and engagement, increased awareness of emerging smart technologies, enhanced innovation capacity and skills, and improved brand recognition and competitive position in markets. At enterprise, national and global public policy levels, Green Industry offers a practical pathway to long term economic growth and sustainable development.


What is the relationship with the ‘Green Economy’ and sustainable development?

Like the ‘Green Economy’ concept, ‘Green Industry’ should be seen as an important practical pathway towards achieving sustainable development. While the thrust of ‘Green Economy’ is primarily about creating the right financial/economic enabling conditions for sustainable development, ‘Green Industry’ relates to the manufacturing process itself, and how products and services can be made through the more efficient/productive/responsible use of raw materials. It is about doing more, and better, with less. In this respect, ‘Green Industry’ and ‘Green Economy’ are separate but highly complementary approaches to sustainable development.


What is the purpose of the Platform?

The Platform is a voluntary high-level public/private partnership for governmental, business and civil society organizations interested in Green Industry to promote awareness of its benefits, to explore related policy, technology and commercial issues, to share information about diverse approaches being taken, and to undertake concrete actions to advance Green Industry. The Platform is intended to act as a global forum for catalyzing, mobilizing and mainstreaming action on Green Industry around the world, and thereby contributing concretely to sustainable development and a green economy.


Why is the Platform necessary?

There are an increasing number of initiatives at the organizational, national, regional and international level addressing the challenge of sustainable development. These include clean development and technology centres, research and development bodies, and issue-specific initiatives such as for clean water and energy. What is missing, however, is a global framework that brings together government, business and other key players to give a sustained, high-level focus on Green Industry across the board. In so doing, the Platform will ensure that the emerging ‘Green Industry revolution’ is given the policy profile and coherence it deserves.


How does the Platform operate?

The Platform is a voluntary partnership of executive-level signatories who engage to promote and implement the Platform’s objectives and principles in their own organizations and, where appropriate, in conjunction with other organizations. To ensure flexibility and creativity, each signatory will decide on how best to implement the Platform’s objectives and principles. A key engagement will be the ability to show measurable progress towards Green Industry on a regular basis. The Platform will offer signatories a convening, information sharing and analytical framework. While it is not envisaged that the Platform will be a decision-making body, it may decide to make policy recommendations on the better advancement of Green Industry.


What are the Platform’s main features?

The Platform has a number of unique features. These include:

  • Mandate – It is the first and largest purpose-built multi-stakeholder framework with a focus on Green Industry. It will be an action–oriented Platform whose goal is to inspire measurable progress towards Green Industry.
  • Meetings – It uses a combination of high-level meetings of signatory organizations and various modes of online communications to facilitate discussions on key developments, profile achievements, and recommend further actions.
  • Materials – It links existing data resource bases and develops its own materials and communication mechanisms, including a web-based portal to share information on relevant policies, technologies, and developments.
  • Management – While the Platform will be hosted by UNIDO (which will also provide chairing and secretariat services), it will have a multi-stakeholder governance and membership model to promote diverse, innovative and effective approaches.


What are the Platform’s main priorities?

Green Industry is a broad agenda, for this reason, it has been necessary for the Platform to make early decisions on priority focus areas. These have been determined as: resource efficiency, water optimization, industrial energy efficiency and chemicals management. By way of guidance, it is envisaged that the Platform may want to prioritize the development of concrete and detailed road maps for the expansion of Green Industry in a select number of countries. These would seek to identify the most relevant sectors, challenges and opportunities for developing the economy based on, for example, increased energy and material efficiency, and using a public/private partnership based approach.


Who is eligible to join?

The Platform is a voluntary global multi-stakeholder framework open to signature by the chief executive/head of organizations from the public, private and civil society sectors which have an interest in advancing Green Industry. The Platform encourages adherence by national governments, intergovernmental organizations, large and medium sized companies, clean technology business associations, research and technical institutions, and by non-profit bodies with interest or expertise in Green Industry policies and technologies.


What is the cost of membership?

Membership is free of charge. By adhering to the Platform, signatories may incur a level of costs associated with the form of participation they choose. These may include the costs associated with their promotion of the Platform’s objectives and of participating in meetings, and internal investment costs associated with implementing the policies and practices of the Statement of Support.


What are the benefits of joining?

There are many benefits from joining the Platform. These are expected to include:

  • increased access to the latest information on Green Industry policies and practices worldwide;
  • enhanced networking opportunities with peers and stakeholders on Green Industry;
  • improved understanding of Green Industry risks and opportunities, and how these can be used to improve organizational strategies and performance;
  • greater opportunity to develop national/organizational road maps towards Green Industry and to influence emerging national, regional and global policies;
  • increased public recognition of an organization’s contribution to sustainable development;
  • expanded opportunities for partnering on specific projects; and
  • a recognized global platform to discuss dilemmas and profile achievements.


What are the conditions of membership?

By signing onto the Platform, signatories indicate their public support for its objectives, their engagement to implement and promote the Statement of Support’s policies and practices within their organizations and with others in the manner that they judge most appropriate, and to share information and ideas on their experiences and achievements. Activities and achievements are required to be reported on and may be subject to peer and public review and discussion.


What is its legal status?

The Platform is a voluntary, non-profit, initiative. Participation carries no legal rights or obligations. Signatories assume a moral responsibility to advance the Platform’s objectives and principles and to respect such operating rules as may be established by the Platform’s governance mechanisms.