The Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Network
RECP-2009 l RECP-2011 l

Global RECP Network

Since 1994, UNEP and UNIDO have established and supported National Cleaner Production Centres/Programmes (NCPCs/NCPPs) in developing countries and economies in transition to build local capacity to implement Cleaner Production and to provide core CP services at the national level. The programme is based on the premise that Cleaner Production will only be truly integrated into a country's industries and policies if local capacity is in place to sustain it. Countrywide application of Cleaner Production can only come about if the concept is promoted by professionals in the country itself and adjusted by them to suit the local conditions.

UNEP and UNIDO view the RECP Programme as a means to their activities; to foster what UNIDO refers to as Sustainable Industrial Development and UNEP refers to as Sustainable Consumption and Production.

Where are they located?

To date over 40 NCPCs have been established worldwide:

NCPC Activities

The role of National Cleaner Production Centres is to promote, coordinate and facilitate Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production activities within each country. The NCPC's target is primarily to transfer know-how. The Centres do not deliver ready-made solutions, but train and advise their clients on how to find the best solutions for their own specific problems.

Five basic services:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits and advantages of Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production: In countries where there is little awareness of RECP, awareness-raising is a primary activity for a NCPC, particularly in its early years. NCPCs work on awareness raising and are directed to central and local governments, private sector, academia and national and/or regional financial institutions.

  • Demonstrate the environmental, financial and social benefits of RECP through in-plant assessments and demonstration projects: Through in-plant demonstrations, an NCPC can show that the concept of Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production, applicable to any industrial sector, can not only benefit the natural and social environments, but also bring profit to the industry.
  • Help obtain financing for Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production investments: NCPCs also support the promotion of RECP investment projects to facilitate the transfer of Environmental Sound Technologies to industries particularly SMEs in developing countries. This activity is closely linked to the in-plant assessments which also enable NCPCs help industries identify and formulate RECP investment projects.

  • Provide policy advice to national and local governments: Governments play an important role in providing the overall policy and economic framework for a country's development. NCPCs thus have an important role in helping governments to identify and develop the policy tools and economic instruments suitable to their country's context which would encourage industries to favour Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production over end-of-pipe treatment.

  • Disseminate technical information: One of the key advantages of being part of an established international network, is the greater access to the latest Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production information. NCPCs are thus able to obtain and share Cleaner Production information nationally and internationally :


    In the Latin American region, UNIDO has successfully developed a Regional Cleaner Production Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Regional Programme was launched 2005 and 12 countries are participating Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. The Programme aims at the development of an efficient mechanism to facilitate the active cooperation between the National CP Centres and Programmes to ensure regional transfer of experience and know-how on Cleaner Production and Environmentally Sound Technologies (EST). This is achieved through the establishment of an Internet based platform (the Knowledge Management Network).


    In the African region, under the auspices of the UNEP's 10 year framework of programmes, four priority Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP) areas for the region have been identified and concrete actions initiated. The priorities areas are: energy, water and sanitation, habitat and urban development, and renewable resource based industries. Cleaner production approaches and the NCPCs in the region are key to technical implementation. Another important aspect in the region is the strong cooperation and coordination with two important partners African Roundtable on SCP (ARSPC) and the Marrakech Task Force on Cooperation for Africa, which are supporting the implementation of the African 10YFP.


Global RECPnet

In early 2009, UNEP and UNIDO agreed on a new joint programme on Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production as the framework for collaboration with and support to the NCPCs/NCPPs. One of the core Programme objectives is to strengthen, upscale and open the network, rendering it a "network of centres of excellence in RECP promotion and implementation".

A detailed proposal to institutionalize the Network was developed in 2009 with inputs from six NCPCs (China, Kenya, Lebanon, Macedonia, Peru and Sri Lanka), international reference centres (Stenum, Empress and CSD) and UNIDO and UNEP Programme Management. This proposal was elaborated into a draft charter and together with associated documents on membership, code of conduct and excellence, was shared and discussed with the remaining NCPCs in the global RECP Network conference which took place in Lucerne, Switzerland, 20-22 October 2009. In November 2010, 43 NCPCs and international institutions signed on the final global RECPnet charter. The RECPnet meets every two years

RECPnet Charter Code of Conduct Membership

Become a member of RECPnet

NCPC Resources

  • Primer to provide practical guidance to improve organisation, management and governance of the NCPC to foster national ownership and ultimately its institutional or organisational sustainability.