Managing for global producer responsibility Promoting recycling of company products Demanding extended producer responsibility Instituting manufacturer responsibility for life of product
Improving economic efficiency, reducing the use of resources and the environmental impact of products all along the chain, from the extraction of raw materials through production, packing, shipping, use and safe disposal when the product is discarded, as well as how to handle the residues produced along the way.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) advances environmental responsibility of industry beyond the manufacturing process to the entire life-cycle of its products. EPR can take several forms, including among others, providing information to product users or waste handlers, requiring assessments of wastes arising from post-sale products, and voluntary and enforced agreements between government and industry of industry "take-back" of wastes.
In Germany, the Act on the Avoidance and Disposal of Waste (1986), gives waste avoidance priority over waste disposal. Regulations and provisions for compulsory take-back of waste have since been enacted for packaging, waste solvents and waste oil, and further measures for other products are being drafted. Voluntary agreements in Germany include take-back of PVC window frames, mercury lamps, mercury and cadmium containing batteries, and used computers. In Austria, the 1992 [Federal Waste Management Plan] includes take-back obligations of waste. In 1993, a packaging ordinance obliged all companies in the distribution chain to accept all waste packaging resulting from their products. In both countries, the packaging industry has established an organization to collect and recycle waste packaging. Several large companies such as IBM, Grundig, and Kodak have started their own take-back initiatives. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is supporting EPR, including take-back of waste, through its Cleaner Production Programme.
This strategy could reduce the resource intensity of consumption by a factor of 4 to 10. For example, a producer of televisions could lease instead of sell televisions, which remain the property of the manufacturer. If the television breaks down it is repaired. If this is not possible, the manufacturer can use its components to produce a new television.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.