• CDM Smith is assisting CETESB to study cleaner production technologies to help Sao Paulo's industries move toward more sustainable development practices.

file under: Industrial, Environment, Latin America, Water Reuse

Discovering Cleaner Production Technologies for São Paulo Industry

Many industries in São Paulo, Brazil, generate an excessive volume of wastewater due to the use of outdated industrial processes. CETESB, the São Paulo state environmental regulatory agency, is studying the application and implementation of cleaner production technologies (CPT) to help the state’s industries move toward more sustainable development practices. The state of Sao Paulo represents about 45 percent of the industrial output of Brazil.

To help meet CETESB’s strategic goals, CDM Smith is providing technical assistance to identify indicators, emission factors and measures of cleaner production. Funded by the United States Agency for Trade and Development, the effort is assessing the technical, financial, economical and regulatory viability, as well as the impacts on human health and the environment associated with developing cleaner production in each of six industrial segments: beverage, textile, paper, pulp, sugar cane and slaughterhouses.

The project includes a landmark, comprehensive sampling program of raw wastewater from 30 best-in-class manufacturers across the six industry sectors. The results will be used as a benchmark for all of the industrial groups. Also being developed is multi-faceted, project-specific financial tool that calculates CPT payback period and determines the costs and benefits of a specific technology. 

The project will examine capital and labor requirements, technology and productivity gains, regulatory changes and reforms, as well as compare CPT implementation against the option of no change and then identify the benefits or negative affects should the industries implement CPT. A milestone workshop with key stakeholders was conducted in early 2013 to present key findings and gather input to further refine the plan. A final report, scheduled to be delivered in July 2013, will include all findings and recommendations for the CPT program development and implementation. 

The program will help deliver numerous benefits, including a reduction in raw materials, energy use and water consumption, as well as improved efficiency in the manufacturing process, resulting in overall lower production costs. In addition, there is evidence that shows that companies with a sustainable production approach can use that as a positive differentiator in the marketplace.

CETESB, the São Paulo state environmental regulatory agency