Agenda 21, Chapter 30.2, (1992):
'Through more efficient production processes, preventive strategies, cleaner production technologies and procedures throughout the product life cycle, hence minimizing or avoiding wastes, the policies and operations of business and industry (...) can play a major role in reducing impacts on resource use and the environment.'
World Summit on Sustainable Development, Plan of Implementation, III. 18.a, (2002):
'Encourage industry to improve social and environmental performance through voluntary initiatives, including environmental management systems, codes of conduct, certification and public reporting on environmental and social issues''
Competing water uses for main income groups of countries
Industrial use of water increases with country income, going from 10 percent for low- and middle-income countries to 59 percent for high-income countries.
[Figure source]: Extracted from the Executive summary of the WWDR. World Bank, 2001. . Washington DC.
Industrial water use
Water withdrawals for industry
- World: 22% of total water use.
- High-income countries: 59% of total water use.
- Low-income countries: 8% of total water use.
The annual water volume used by industry will rise from 752 km3/year in 1995 to an estimated 1,170 km3/year in 2025.
In 2025, the industrial component is expected to represent about 24% of total freshwater withdrawal.
Cleaner Production: production which seeks to generate improvements within the manufacturing cycles of industry leading to significant reductions in industry emissions, more efficient production, and improved product quality.
Water pollutants from industry
Some 300-500 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and other wastes accumulate each year from industry.
Industries based on organic raw materials are the most significant contributors to the organic pollutant load with the food sector being the most important polluter.
Contribution of the food sector to the production of organic water pollutant:
- High income countries: 40%
- Low-income countries: 54%
More than 80% of the world's hazardous waste is produced in the United States and other industrial countries.
In developing countries, 70% of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.
Most of this information is based on figures provided by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).