U.S. State Department and the World Environment Center Achieve Significant Environmental and Economic Savings in Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Oct 3, 2011 5:00 PM ET
Campaign: Capacity Building
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) October 3, 2011 - The World Environment Center (WEC) announced today the successful completion of a U.S. Department of State funded project entitled Cleaner Production Private Sector Partnerships, part of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)'s Private Sector Environmental Performance Program. In this two-year project that began in October 2009, WEC collaborated with industry associations in Nicaragua and with multinationals in Costa Rica to improve environmental performance while driving cost reduction through the adoption of Cleaner Production and Energy Efficiency practices and technologies. The WEC team worked with the support of the Cleaner Production Centers, key private sector associations, and governments within both countries.   In Nicaragua, the project participants included 12 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from that country’s food sector, representing a critical part of the local economy. In Costa Rica, a total of 17 SMEs from the food sector as well as other sectors participated to learn techniques to prevent contamination and become more competitive. Many of the participating SMEs were suppliers to The Coca-Cola Company, FEMSA, and Marriott International.   The participating businesses applied action plans based on WEC´s Greening the Supply Chain initiative to improve the usage of their resources and increase their operational efficiency while becoming more environmentally sustainable businesses.  The main economic and environmental benefits achieved across both countries are:
  • Economic Savings: $571,260

  • Investments Realized: $521, 096

  • Projected annual savings: $1,073,083

  • Water consumption reduction: 3.32 million gallons

  • Electricity consumption reduction: 862,341 kWh

  • Fuels consumption reduction: 58,403 gallons

  • Waste water reduced: 9,755 cubic meters

  • Solid waste reduced: 697 tons

  • CO2 emissions reduction: 872 tons

“Under the CAFTA-DR Environmental Cooperation Program, we have partnered with WEC, multinationals, and over 60 small and medium sized private-sector enterprises (SMEs) in the region to reduce the SMEs’ energy use, CO2 emissions, and waste production, and at the same time save money—achieving wins for the environment, the economy, and the public,” said Rob Wing, Chief of the Environment and Trade Division at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Environmental Policy.  “WEC is an innovative partner and at the forefront of the region’s transition to a green economy.”      “This project executed in Nicaragua and Costa Rica achieved important benefits for the participating SMEs. These results can be considered a good starting point for replication at many more companies interested in applying best practices to improve their production processes,” stated, Ernesto Samayoa, WEC Director of Operations for Latin America.   WEC17334