Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) has released a report which says four Cambodian industries could benefit from a green scenario that would improve resource productivity and decouple growth from environmental impacts.
The four sectors are food processing, garments, bricks and electronics manufacturing.
The report based its analysis on System Dynamics to improve resource productivities and estimated the current sectoral GDP based on revenue, production cost and taxation.
GGGI Country Representative to Cambodia Karolien Casaer-Diez said the study for the four industries is based on national economic significance, reliance on natural resource and climate change vulnerability.
“When we reduce material use, we also reduce production costs (by investing energy efficiency or reducing energy costs). Lower production costs translate into higher GDP at the sectoral level."
“The extent to which GDP is said to increase in these various sectors depends on their cost structure and material intensity,” she said.
The research report found that “the introduction of green technology can lead to an increase of 46% for the garments sector, 14.7% for bricks, 33% for food processing, and 35.5% for electronics while greening the industrial sub-sectors can create 512,000 additional jobs”.
Karolien noted that in Cambodian industries, “there is an inefficient use of resources such as energy, water, material and waste. This is due to old equipment and sub-optimal production processes”.
“They lead to unnecessary production costs for businesses, but also contribute to depletion of valuable natural resources.
“The increasing number of garment, food and beverage factories led to an increase of solid waste and wastewater. The cement, lime and plaster sector cause significant air pollution,” she said, urging the government to take action on the matter.
A country such as Cambodia, she said, needed to promote its industrial growth to create jobs and increase the people’s income.
What the study shows, Karolien said, is that Cambodia can grow by choosing a green industrial growth that is sustainable in the long run.
“A lot of good regulations have already been put in place by the government, for example on industrial wastewater treatment. So now it is a matter of ensuring compliance,” she said.