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What would you tell to a company that is not interested in green growth?

Today, Algeria’s energy needs are met almost exclusively by hydrocarbons, mainly natural gas. The other forms of energy are mobilized only when natural gas cannot be used. In order to mitigate climate change and diversify energy sources and therefore our economy, the development of renewable energies (REn) and promotion of energy efficiency is both crucial and promising. At SwitchMed, we interview our MED TEST II local partner Amel Zouaoui to learn more about agreeing manufacturing industries in Argelia.

Can you describe CNTPP's work please? 

The National Centre for Cleaner Technologies Production (NCCTP) is a national institution of the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment. Its main mission is to enhance technical capacities of industrial companies and plants (from both public and private sectors) in order to help implementing good environmental practices in their processes, reducing the use of feedstock - raw material supplied to a machine or processing plant- and preventing the generation of waste.   In order to do so, CNTPP organises technical trainings and workshops, conducts environmental studies including environmental audits and risk management, facilitates the implementation of Environmental Management System (SME-14001) in industries and improves  international cooperation in order to introduce the cleaner technologies and Best Available Techniques in industrial processes.

 

Please introduce yourself 

My name is Amel Zouaoui, I am a Chemical engineer by trained and I work at the NCCTP since 2008. I am currently the Head of the Department dealing with technical assistance towards industries. The Department includes three main actions: 1) National and international cooperation  2) Trainings  ‘of delegates for environment of industrial companies’ and 3)Technical assistance for industries in order to encourage them to implementing their Environmental Management System.

Also I am a trainer of the Delegate for Environment in ‘teaching how to best use the manual of the Delegate for Environment’ elaborated by the NCCTP and the German  cooperation (GIZ).

Regarding the Switch Med Programme, I am the coordinator of the MED TEST II, the Green Entrepreneurship and the policy-maker component in Argelia. Moreover, since 2013, I have been appointed chair of the national working group on the evaluation of environmental Standards (ISO) of the Algerian Institution of Standardization (IANOR).

 

Enterprises in countries with economies in transition are facing numerous challenges in their effort to maintain or increase their competitiveness on the local market and access to international markets with good-quality products, comply with environmental standards and reduce operational costs. Could you please describe what are the country framework conditions for implementing MED TEST II?

Algeria has many devoted institutions dealing with environmental issues. All those institutions, led by the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment, have joint forces to ensure implementation of environmentally sound projects and initiatives. The National Centre for Cleaner technologies (NCCTP) is the national institution in charge of enhancing technical capacities of manufacturing companies.

There are also other institutions of  the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment which deal with Environmental Analysis and Sustainable Development (ONEDD), the National  Conservatory for Environmental Education (CNFE), the National Agency  of Climate Change (ANCC), the National Agency for Waste Management (AND), the National Centre for Biological Resources Conservation (CNDRB), Environmental Directions (48  Environmental Directions in Algeria )...

From the legal framework, Algeria has developed a great number of laws and regulations such as ¨ Law on the management, control and disposal of waste (2001), Law on the protection and enhancement of the coastline (2002) or the Law on the promotion of renewable energies in sustainable development (2004), just to mention a few ones.

 

What would you tell to a company that is not interested in green growth and sustainable development?

In our context, as a developing country, companies are interested more in the financial benefits or economic growth. Shifting away from a long-standing traditional growth paradigm heavily dependent on is very challenging. While doing our work, the main message I would give to industries is that in order to secure the future of their activities and ensure sustainable procurement of raw materials, they should think carefully from the beginning the design of their plants. One way to do so is through green economy.

Algeria is heavily taxed when it comes about environmental issues such as waste generation, so this economic incentive for companies to improve their environmental sound processes and services.

I would also tell them, that good practices, examples and success stories from other Mediterranean developing countries could be a great source of inspiration for them. I would encourage those companies to get in touch with other people working in the same field and to learn from them before starting any project. The scientific community could also contribute a lot. 

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is why I would tell to a company that it is not only about the long term sustainability of their business, but also about the future generations.

 

 

What are the more important industrial sectors in your country to address? Any why?

Based on the environmental and economic problems and circumstances, in my opinion I think the energy sector is the most important one to address.  Today, Algeria’s energy needs are met almost exclusively by hydrocarbons, mainly natural gas. The other forms of energy are mobilized only when natural gas cannot be used. In order to mitigate climate change and diversify energy sources and therefore our economy, the development of renewable energies (REn) and promotion of energy efficiency is both crucial and promising.

I also think that the waste sector is a promising one in Algeria since a lot of actions related to waste treatment can still be developed and so, many opportunities do exist. In addition, waste mainly the industrial waste, is currently a huge problem in the country. Very few and not sufficient actions have taken place, and sometimes not even the very basic ones have been accomplished.

The third sector could be mobility, since common public transportation is still to be developed and also since the country has enough clean technologies (LPG and Gaz).  Food sector is also crucial and could give a lot of opportunities in term of food security and job creation.


By joining MED TEST II, what kind of opportunities companies could have?

MED TEST II is a quite important project in Algeria, for different reasons. Firstly because it is very much related to training, but not only for industries as such but also for local experts of  national institutions in charge of capacity building programmes. This is a great opportunity, as allow us to enhance technical capacities of local institutions (NCCTP, AND-PME, CREDEG, ONA....) who are involved in the project. Those ones (like the NCCTP) will do the training sessions to other companies in order to scale up the knowledge.

Secondly, MED TEST II gives a great opportunity to companies related to food sector, as it will be implemented in 12 food industries  to improve their processes by decreasing the use of resources (water, energy, raw materials), reducing and preventing waste generation. Those measures will clearly help industries to save money due to the need of using less natural resources and feedstock, less amount of waste disposal and fewer taxes to pay on waste generation.

Thirdly, as the project is a demonstration one, the results can be used as good examples to look at for other sectors´ companies and could encourage them to implement similar initiative and sustainable projects.