Small and Medium Enterprises Adopt Sustainable Business Practices in Morocco

Small and Medium Enterprises Adopt Sustainable Business Practices in Morocco

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 6:55pm

CAMPAIGN: Capacity Building

CONTENT: Press Release

October 14, 2015 /3BL Media/ - The World Environment Center (WEC) announced today the successful completion of a U.S. Department of State funded project to expand the sustainable development commitments of Moroccan businesses by Improving operating costs, reducing materials, energy and water consumptions, and minimizing solid waste, wastewater and e air emissions. WEC has partnered with the Casablanca-based firm RIO (Reduce-Invent-Optimize) to implement the local activities and provide advanced technical expertise for the project. The partnership is the fifth of its kind between the State Department and WEC which, together, span seven countries.

Through the WEC and RIO partnership with the Moroccan food-processing and textile associations, FENAGRI (Fédération Nationale de l'Agroalimentaire) and AMITH (Association Marocaine des Industries du Textile et de l'Habillement), the technical team selected 15 small and medium-sized local member companies to provide technical assistance in Cleaner Production and Energy Efficiency, strengthening their environmental capabilities as they grow.  Significant results to date include:

  • Participating companies reduced their annual CO2 emissions by 2.6 % since implementing earlier this year. This reduction is the yearly equivalent of taking 10,000 average cars off the road.
  • For most improvements implemented, their return on investment was realized in approximately 6 months.
  • Companies that implemented action plans on certain materials or waste generation quickly achieved reductions of up to 50%. 

In addition to environmental and economic objectives, the project also aimed at educating students on the technical aspects of industrial sustainable development by working directly with students from the University Mohammed V’s Engineering School EMI (École Mohammedia d'Ingénieurs).

Ms. Meriem Berrada Elmandjra, President of RIO, emphasized that “the partnership between RIO and WEC was successful due in large part to the turnkey approach of the project and the hands-on technical assistance to the companies for a period of three years. The activities of the project which included technical assistance to the beneficiaries, capacity building, training of engineering students, and information dissemination resulted in the inclusion of sustainability practices into the core businesses of the pilot companies and provided an opportunity for future engineers to integrate tangible and measurable solutions into their education. The results achieved to date prove that the project was very successful”.

The participating businesses applied action plans based on WEC´s Greening the Supply Chain methodology as well as RIO’s substantial experience in energy efficiency which resulted in enhanced operational efficiency and the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices.

“WEC and our partners believe that the best sustainable outcomes occur when we apply creative and practical business solutions to address environmental and operational issues,” stated Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President and CEO. “We’re pleased to continue this approach in Morocco and in several other countries as an example of small businesses leading sustainable development efforts through innovative environmental and economic improvements.”

The main measures implemented by companies are  related to chemicals, water, electricity and fuels (process improvements, water management system, reductions in compressed air leaks, insulation), which resulted in direct reductions (10% on average) but also on indirect benefits like the reduction of solid waste, wastewater and CO2 emissions (600 ton reduced / year).

Throughout the project period, the total amount invested by the companies amounts to $ 88,000 resulting in savings of $ 140,000. These investments represent 23% of the total potential that was identified during the diagnostic phase, and that companies will continue to invest in the near future.


About World Environment Center

WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive-level learning and competency in applying sustainable development across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, DC, with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.

About RIO

Based in Casablanca and established in 2006, RIO (Reduce Invent Optimize) is a Moroccan company specialized in environmental studies and project achievements, saving water and energy. It is involved in the industry, tertiary buildings, farms and transport. RIO supports its customers upstream of their projects through eco-design benefits and downstream through the implementation of simplified or depth diagnosis, measuring purposes, assistance in implementation of the reduction action plans energy costs and monitoring of savings over the long term.

RIO has participated in many national and international projects in the energy sector, and is one of the first companies to implement performance contracting (ESCO) projects in Morocco.

CATEGORY: Environment