Like most countries, Sri Lanka adopts a traditional command and control (CAC) approach to industrial pollution control. The Environmental Protection License (EPL) is the main instrument through which the pollution is controlled. The standards for discharge of waste including wastewater are stipulated by the CEA. The list of industries has also been prescribed for which an EPL has to be obtained for operation.
In spite of the control of wastewater discharge through the EPL scheme, the quality of many water bodies continue to deteriorate in many regions of Sri Lanka. This is because the standards stipulated are concentration based and no consideration has been given to the pollution load discharged into the environment.
Cleaner Production (CP) is a process through which industries could reduce the amount of waste generated thereby reduces the cost of end of pipe treatment costs. Adoption of Cleaner Production techniques is a win-win situation as the industry could meet the regulatory requirements of the CEA while increasing profits.
Unfortunately the concept of Cleaner Production hasn't been reached to a large number of industries in Sri Lanka. Therefore the Central Environmental Authority has taken steps to awaken the industrialists include the Cleaner Production Concept in their process.
CP will assist industrialists to reduce waste generation in a cost effective manner. There is the added that the pollution load to the environment will be reduced through the adoption of cleaner production technologies. Therefore adopting the CP is beneficial to industrialists in order to reduce the pollution load.
“The Environmental Protection License (EPL) is the existing main legal tool for control of industrial waste to the environment according to the provisions of the NEA. It is implemented as a command and control method. On the other hand Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the legal tool to protect and manage the natural Environment from the development projects. In addition to the two legal enforcement procedures, the CEA is implementing environmental Education and Awareness Programmes among all schools in the island.
However the above three systems are not adequate to achieve the CEA target in control of polluting substances to the environment. Also CEA is facing many practical difficulties in implementing the above systems in the field. Therefore it is very important and necessary to apply other administrative tools together with existing legal tools to minimize pollution from the different type of activities.
In the context, the CEA has identified the National Green Award Scheme as a strategy for environmental pollution control and management to implement among the activities which discharge or emit pollutants to the environment. The Green Award scheme makes a competitive forum among different sectors to apply the best practices in the pollution abatement and greening the environment, thereby improving the quality of environment in Sri Lanka.
Awards are considered as a recognition to their endeavors in industrial process, commitment, coordination and communication to keep the environment green and clean. And it is a platform to discover, discuss, disseminate the best options adopted by the winners while appreciating their attempts in respective industrial processes and activities as a whole. And it is one of the best ways to encourage entrepreneurs and service providers to keep the environment green and clean.
Target and Objectives
Industrial award scheme has following goals and targets as it proceeds.
Granting government recognition to industries/institutions which have advanced environment practices in Sri Lanka.
Promotion of self monitoring based pollution control and environmental management system to compliance with standards, regulations and to maintain the sustainability of the environment.
Enhance interest among the working group on clean and green environment within the premises.
Development and adoption of novel strategy to encounter the improvement of the quality of the environment.
Enhance environmental consensus of the industrialists by the market acceptance of their industrial products which are made by environment friendly processes.