In 2013, the OAS Department of Sustainable Development worked with the Government of Ecuador to implement the Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas (CLCPA) initiative, aimed at deploying the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) certification process in the food industry. The pilot project concluded successfully, and Batery Alimentos S.A.—a food company in Ecuador—became the first company in Latin America to be awarded the C2C certification for one of its packaging products. In 2014, the Department of Sustainable Development launched the second phase of the CLCPA initiative.
The C2C manufacturing approach aims at minimizing the environmental impact of a product by employing sustainable production, operation, and disposal practices. To this end, the sustainability and efficiency of a manufacturing process is assessed. The goal is to ensure that adequate materials are used during production and that the final product is non-toxic and has a high potential for reuse through recycling or composting. The objective of the CLCPA initiative is to create the capacity to promote this practice and facilitate its adoption as a means to promote sustainable development in the Americas.
An exploratory mission was conducted in Colombia to assess the capacity of the industrial sector to deploy clean, sustainable and efficient manufacturing techniques consistent with the C2C manufacturing approach. OAS officials met with private sector representatives and government agencies to introduce the project to key public and private national authorities, to complete a national production sector diagnostic and to analyze how the CLCPA Program may serve current initiatives at the national level.
Specific components of this collaborative effort include developing and implementing production sector policies that integrate circular economy principles as a business model consistent with the C2C vision. Access to credit for the adoption of sustainable practices such as change of packaging or chemical substitution in raw materials is contemplated as a fundamental component of this effort geared toward strengthening sustainable production and consumption. Additionally, the exploratory mission increased local awareness with regard to the relevance and viability of the C2C approach. This ECPA initiative was presented as an effective means for small and medium sized enterprises to achieve greater energy efficiency.
The ECPA Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas initiative seeks to create the capacity to adopt and implement sustainable production and consumption techniques across the region. The initiative has partnered with Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas, the Global Partnership for Low Emissions Development Strategies, and the Cradle-to-Cradle Centre Knowledge Platform to increase outreach and foster the exchange of sustainable, low greenhouse gas emissions manufacturing techniques.