Cleaner production: Cases of the metal-mechanic automotive cluster of Serra Gaúcha, Brazil
What is it about?
Industrial production, allied to a vertiginous economic improvement for the last decades, has provoked negative impacts to the planet’s natural resources, which reflects on the quality of life of any society and its environmental health. Currently, humanity is facing extremely complex environmental problems, whose solution seems to be in applying a preventive environmental strategy, instead of implementing corrective actions. Undertaken and recognized strategies, such as organizational competitiveness, efficiency and profitability, create concerns about environmental realities, and provoke, then, necessities to re-think these vital actions and their impact on the productive process. Organizations started to adopt new technological strategies, by means of implanting environmental management systems. Facing an environmental decadency, these systems are seen as a competitive difference, as well as a factor of organizational improvement, in order to rationalize the consumption of natural resources. The expectation of environmental management strategies, besides decreasing the environmental impacts, may generate more profit, increasing companies’ competitiveness and efficiency. Within this context, there are different methodologies in environmental management, as well as practices of cleaner production, which consider the opportunity of reducing costs, since a polluting organization is usually an entity that wastes raw material and inputs. The objective of this study was to identify environmental innovations, cleaner production methodologies and the results of its implementation. Three companies were analyzed in the automotive metal-mechanic cluster of Serra Gaúcha (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). From this multi-case qualitative research, the results demonstrate that it is possible to highlight that companies, which implemented technological innovations from the implementation of cleaner production methodologies, has an impact on the improvement of its productive process, such as an increase in operational efficiency, costs reduction with raw material and energy, and an improvement with product’s environmental quality; having positive effects on organizational and socio-economical impacts.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Pelayo Munhoz Olea