Ministries seek cleaner business in Lebanon

File - Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan arrives to attend a Cabinet session in Baabda, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Industry Ministry is planning to update its database of industrial enterprises to pave the way for the adoption of improved environmental standards in cooperation with the Environment Ministry, Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Wednesday.

“Our main goal is to use clean energy in the manufacturing process instead of using fuel and diesel,” he said, adding that an updated database of industrial firms would help the ministry monitor and curb factories’ impact on the environment.

Hajj Hasan’s remarks came during a news conference to announce a memorandum of understanding between the Industry and Environment ministries on updating the data on industrial enterprises and issuing common environmental indicators.

Hajj Hasan said around 7,000 factories existed in Lebanon, with the majority complying with international environmental standards.

The minister highlighted the recent opening of a factory that relied on solar energy for 30 percent of its production as an example of industrial enterprises using clean energy.

“We aim to secure subsidized loans in order to duplicate this experience. This helps in formulating an industrial policy that supports environmentally friendly production.”

Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said the deal would be followed by other agreements to be signed with different ministries in order to boost cooperation.

“Preserving the environment is a common responsibility among all individuals and institutions,” he said.

Ross Mountain, UNDP representative in Lebanon, said the success of the industrial sector no longer depended just on the products manufactured but also on the firm’s social responsibility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 22, 2014, on page 5.




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