A greening of industry is taking place as the traditional industrial model of producing product plus waste for disposal is gradually being transformed into a more integrated "industry ecosystem" model which consumes the minimum of energy and materials, generates the minimum of wastes and uses the effluents of one process as the raw materials for another. The UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Industry and Environment Programme Activity Centre promotes industrial greening. UNEP and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) convened the first World Industry Conference on Environmental Management (WICEM I), which committed itself to develop and promote environmental management in industry. In 1991, WICEM II issued the [Business Charter on Sustainable Development], which is being adopted by companies worldwide. UNEP's Cleaner Production Programme promotes and disseminates information on low-waste technologies.
Capital investment in pollution abatement accounted for about 5% of total industrial investment in Germany, Japan and the USA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Often up to 60-80% of pollution can be eliminated with only small increases in costs. Thereafter, additional cost rises sharply as the degree of abatement is increased.