ASSIST, UL DQS and IGCC launch Auto Sustain PPP

12 11 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation – ASSIST, UL DQS India and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) launched the Public Private Partnership Project Auto Sustain through a CEO Forum last October 30, 2012 at Park Sheraton, Chennai, India.

Co-funded by DEG, Auto Sustain aims to bring about a sustainable transformation in India’s automotive industry by helping the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) from the automotive sector adopt sustainable practices.

The project launch was graced by top managers of various large and medium-sized enterprises including the CEO and Managing Director of UL DQS India, Dr. K. Murugan; Executive Director of ASSIST, Mr. S. Muralidharan; Director of ASSIST & Auditor at Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), Mr. D. K. S. Moorthy; and the Regional Director of IGCC, Mr. S. Raj.

Dr. K. Murugan, Managing Director and CEO at UL DQS India opened the event, and shared a brief on various PPP initiatives and projects implemented by UL DQS India and ASSIST in countries like India and Sri Lanka. Together, ASSIST and UL DQS India hope to build capacity across industrial sectors on practices supporting energy and resource efficiency through adoption of Energy Management Systems and implementation of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production practices respectively.

Then, Mr. Biju Balendran, Vice President, Plant Engineering from Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd highlighted the concept of Automotive Industry and Sustainability from an OEM Perspective in his keynote address that delved on the various measures adopted by Renault Nissan for resource optimization, energy conservation and reduction of GHG emissions.

For his part, Mr. Muralidharan shared his views on the current trends in the automotive industry of India and familiarized the guests with the activities that would be implemented during the course of the project. For example, project beneficiaries will be engaged in surveys to understand the current practices followed by the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and in the technical training workshops to build local capacity on sustainable practices among the SMEs. Technical assistance on ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, IQNet SR 10 and Global Reporting Initiative will be extended to the enterprises to enable them to align with Environmental, Health and Safety Management Systems.

Mr. D. K. S. Moorthy then discussed the importance of Sustainability Reporting and publishing of sustainability reports by enterprises to showcase the accountability of their actions and impacts on the society and environment.

Following an open forum during which company representatives shared ideas about balancing corporate accountability in the automotive sector while improving profits, Mr. S. Raj delivered the closing remarks.

The 18-month project will soon be launched in Bangalore and Pune to reach out to a larger group of beneficiaries from the major automobile manufacturing units. #


ASSIST kicks off UPSCALE Morocco with multi-stakeholder dialogues

12 10 2012

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project UPscaling Sustainability, Competence and Leadership in Energy Excellence (UPSCALE Morocco), co-implemented by DQS UL and Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) was launched with a series of multi-stakeholder dialogues last September 7 and 11 in Rabat, Morocco.

The initiative aims to promote energy efficiency among energy-intensive industries in Morocco. The project features awareness-raising among various stakeholders, policy dialogue, best practices sharing, development of energy consumption standards for energy-intensive industries, training programs on energy management, and creation of a local pool of energy efficiency champions through the introduction of certification programs.

Recognized as the fifth largest economy in Africa, Morocco is also the largest energy importer in North Africa, with 97% of energy supply coming from outside sources. Hence, the expected expansion of the economy would exacerbate the risks to the country’s energy security situation.

The event was attended by representatives of consultancy firms, enterprises, associations, public institutions and universities.

Special guests include Mr. Said Mouline, president of Sustainable Development Commission at the General Confederation of the Moroccan Companies (CGEM) and Director of ADEREE; Mr. Ryad Mezzour, Vice President of CGEM; Mrs. Hanan Hanzaz, Director of Morocco Cleaner Production Centre (CMPP) and Mr. Belgacem Raoudi, Director of DQS Morocco.

Mr. Ahmed Bouzid, Head of Energy Efficient Division, ADEREE talked about the current energy efficiency practices and scenario in the industrial sector while Energy Expert Mr. Abdellatif Touzani presented his views on ISO 50001 standard.

Mr. Bouzid talked about Morocco’s structured strategy for economic development especially related to energy efficiency. A detailed view of the project pilot initiative to introduce ISO 50001 Energy Management System to the industries in the country was then discussed by Mr. Manwah Ayassor, Project Manager at CMPP.

A partnership was signed between CMPP and the Association of Quality and Management (AQM). The event ended with a call for participants to share their views and expectations for the project.

Following the dialogues, awareness training sessions will be conducted focusing on energy efficiency standards and practices in three locations to build capacity of the SMEs.#

ASSIST Cleaner Production Project PROSPER Sri Lanka graduates new batch of trainers

3 10 2012

PROmoting Sustainable Practices on Environment and Resource optimization (PROSPER) in Sri Lanka held another batch of training of trainer (ToT) workshop on cleaner production in Colombo, Sri Lanka last September 11 to 13, 2012.

Co-financed by DEG and UL DQS and implemented by UL DQS, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), and Sri Lanka NCPC, PROSPER Sri Lanka hopes to raise overall awareness on the need and means to implement Resource Efficient and Clean Production (RECP) methodologies and strategize transfer of knowledge through a series of trainings and capacity building initiatives.

The three-day training was led by Sri Lanka NCPC Deputy Director Samantha Kumarasena, and Director Sena Peiris, and was attended by members of the chemical, textile, and service industries.

Following the event, the project team is set of conduct two more ToTs, implement the training curricula, and distribute an e-toolkit among the SMEs.

ASSIST Project and Grants Management Director Sathappan Sathappan and PGM Associate Kruti Shah helped launch the activity.

ASSIST is an international non-profit organization focused on capacity-building. It seeks to promote sustainable practices to address social problems in the developing world, with focus on Asia and Africa. It takes pride in its process-oriented approach to capacity building towards social improvement and sustainable transformation. Its goal is to empower its target groups to make them resilient to the social, economic, and environmental challenges.

ASSIST goes to Bangkok for UNEP Expert Workshop on APELL and Responsible Production

19 03 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is among the participants of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) Expert Workshop on Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) and Responsible Production held in Bangkok, Thailand last February 29 to March 2, 2012.

Earthquakes, typhoons and other emergencies highlight the need for APELL.

The event served to raise awareness among public and private sectors in Thailand on the effectiveness of the APELL approach for improving local level preparedness to industrial and natural hazards and to build capacity of experts from both the government and the private sector in Thailand to carry out training activities that will adress capacity building needs of industrial SMEs.

Around 60 practitioners from government agencies, industry associations, chemical industries, including SMEs, academia, consultants and individual experts attended the event.

Through the event, UNEP hoped to (1) build participants understanding of the main concepts behind Responsible Production adn APELL (2) equip participants on the proper use of the UNEP RP Toolkit, Learners and Trainers Companion and (3) identify potentail trainers in the country to replicate trainigns on RP nationwide.

The APELL process is a methodological tool focusing on the identification of possible manmade and natural hazards, on awareness raising, and on the establishing and strengthening of local capacities for immediate, multi-party responses in the event that an emergency occurs. Since its development in the mid-1980s, APELL has been implemented in more than 30 countries and 80 communities worldwide.

Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh attended on behalf of ASSIST. In inviting ASSIST, UNEP recognizes the organization’s efforts at greening the industries.

Among these is the Systematic Engagement to Culture Responsible Enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat), a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Project funded by German Development Bank DEG, which aims to explore how Responsible Production (RP) Framework can be mainstreamed in India’s rapidly growing economy.

Further, under the PRE-SMEs (Promoting Resource Efficiency for Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries) project, ASSIST also developed a self-implementation resource efficiency toolkit for the UN Environmental Program (UNEP). Later, it also released a Responsible Production Learners and Trainers Companion, an interactive software-based training and communication package that can be used by presenters, trainers and trainees to raise awareness to the benefits of the approach and to guide RP users through some of the most important tools in the RP Toolkit.#

SECURE Gujarat project of ASSIST, UL DQS and GCPC ends with a Best Practice Forum

15 02 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) Project Systematic Engagement to Culture Responsible Enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat) closed with a Best Practice Forum held at the St. Laurn Towers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India last February 13, 2012.

SECURE GUJARAT is an initiative co-financed by DEG and UL DQS India and implemented by UL DQS India, ASSIST, and Gujarat Cleaner Production Center (GCPC). UNEP and UNIDO, meanwhile, served as knowledge partners (UNEP/UNIDO’s Responsible Production (RP) framework offers practical solutions for a systematic and effective management of chemical hazards, risk identification and reduction, and accident prevention).

The Project Team boasts of significant accomplishments for the 18 month-initiative: establishment of awareness on RP Framework among the chemical industries, conduct of local capacity building activities, and provision of direct technical assistance to 10 companies. Furthermore, the project featured the development of an elearning kit which was distributed to 500 SMEs to help them in the self-implementation of RP framework.

Among those present at the closing ceremony were ASSIST’s Projects and Grants Management Director Sathappan Sathappan, UL DQS’s Dr. Murugan and Dr. Vinit Mishra, and GCPC’s Member Secretary Mr. Bharat Jain.

Also providing a networking venue for all multistakeholders and SMEs, the forum gathered representatives of various industry associations, SMEs and non-profit organizations. #