Sub-thematic area

Sustainable Production and Consumption Technologies and Management
Current trends in population growth, industrialization and natural resources consumption have seen wastes and pollutants released faster than the earth can absorb them and be restored. Urban and industrial areas are affected by water pollution and by high levels of air pollution. It is imperative that measures to minimize and control pollution need to be undertaken urgently through the prevention of pollution and waste generation at the source of production. Cleaner Production (CP) is the continuous application of an integration of preventative environmental and business strategies for procuring resources, producing and processing products, and/or providing services at higher efficiency, increased profitability, and at reduced risks to the environment.
AIT’s offerings and expertise focus on capacity building and research. Past experience in the region reveals that capacity building in cleaner production was designed and implemented either in an ad-hoc basis or was focused on training the specialists. CP training activities should not only be limited to the training of specialists, but also reach out to the various cross sections of future technicians and planners.
CP concepts in traditional academic programs are limited to few institutions in this region.
In January 2000, AIT introduced an interdisciplinary postgraduate program in “Cleaner Production” with support from UNEP. This program helped professionals in the fields of energy, environment, management, planning, process integration fields towards sustainable development and climate change mitigation activities. A large number of activities have been carried out on CP by faculty, staff and students at AIT through student and sponsored research on activities involving treatment of wastes, improving energy efficiency through energy and environmental audits.
The Asian Regional Research Program in Energy, Environment and Climate (ARRPEEC) also focused on various cleaner production areas including energy-efficient and environmentally sound industrial technologies, assessment of energy efficiency options, small and medium scale industry’s energy, environment and climate interactions, biomass fuels, and energy efficient and cleaner technologies in the urban transport system. Tea, desiccated coconut, foundry, textile, brick manufacturing, cement, pulp and paper are some examples where cleaner productions options have been studied. These have contributed to new climate change interaction knowledge and understanding both to the industry and the research teams. Energy efficiency improvement, material efficiency improvement and reduced material consumption resulting in greenhouse gas reductions are notable benefits from the cleaner production research.
Extensive research on waste management has been carried out at AIT through the Asian Regional Research Program on Environmental Technology (ARRPET) involving 18 National Research Institutions from 8 Asian countries. Wastewater, Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Air Quality are the focus areas where ARRPET conducted climate change research as an integral component among other issues. The solid waste group of ARRPET was involved in technology development for Anaerobic Digestion of municipal solid waste, a potential area for trapping greenhouse gases. Other groups had climate change and GHG mitigation as key component in the research.
The recent project, 3R Knowledge Hub, implemented by the Asian Development Bank and jointly hosted by AIT and UNEP Regional Resource Center for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP), has been promoting waste reduction, reuse and recycle in Asian countries. Working on the upstream production and consumption sectors, 3R Knowledge Hub has generated knowledge and information on GHG reduction potential by promoting a reduce, reuse and recycle culture among the global citizens. Research on the downstream waste disposal side, and upstream waste reduction, reuse and recycle in tandem form a waste refinery (Integrated Solid Waste Management).

The following are the sub-thematic areas under this thematic area:

Sub-thematic areas:

1.      Green house gas mitigation
2.      Energy access and security
3.      Sustainable energy sources and access to energy
4.      Urban Solid Waste Management
5.     Non-hazardous Industrial Waste Management for energy intensive industries and processes