The Clean Technology Centre
The Clean Technology Centre is an independent
body, whose mission is to advise and assist industry, government
and society alike, towards a more sustainable pattern of consumption
and production. The integrity and reputation of CTC ensures its
unbiased assessment of environmental issues.
The Clean Technology Centre (CTC) was formed in January
1992, in response to -
- the growing need for better environmental performance in industry
and society - and
- the clear advantages of minimising waste at source over standard
end-of-pipe methods of waste treatment and disposal.
The Centre was founded by its Directors (Dermot
Cunningham & Noel Duffy) and initial funding was raised primarily
from the pharmachem industry and the European Regional Infrastructure
Development Programme. Based in The Cork Institute of Technology,
the Centre is, thus, a strategic partnership between Irish
industry and academia.
The CTC is neither a State Agency, nor a private
consultancy - it is, rather, a national resource - allowing
all concerned with the environment to avail of a pool of expertise
which is not aligned to industry, government nor any sectoral
Since its inception, The Clean Technology Centre has
become nationally and internationally regarded as a major centre
of excellence in the area of proactive and innovative environmental
improvement across a range of industrial sectors.
Past and present CTC staff at the opening
of new offices in 1999
The CTC has provided training, awareness raising and environmental
consultancy to the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, textiles,
electronics, plastics, dairy, tourism and service sectors.
The organisation has a wide experience in -
waste minimisation, process engineering, cost reduction, waste
quantification, IPC licensing, environmental management systems
(including ISO14001 and EMAS), waste minimisation assessment,
identification of alternative technologies, and product and
process Life-Cycle Assessment.
The Clean Technology Centre also advises and has carried out a
large number of studies and projects for individual companies and
consortia - and has undertaken pure and applied sustainable development
related research activities for the European Commission (Directorates
General IA, III, XI, XII, XVI and XXII), Irish Government Agencies,
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Local Authorities, Irish
Business Employers Confederation (IBEC), Enterprise Ireland and
The CTC is active in developing and utilising a better understanding
of socio-economic factors in the move towards sustainable development.
The key barriers and driving forces that impact on sustainability
are no longer technological - rather, they relate to our societies
and how they function. The use of networks, communication channels
and support groups, is a crucial tool - as is a fundamental change
in mass consumer behaviour. The role of innovative, punitive and
well-implemented legislation is a also major driving force for sustainable
Consideration of the environment is fast becoming a key
priority for our society. Global pressures - such as climate change
and ozone depletion; regional issues - such as acidification and
local issues - such as water and air pollution, demand attention.
Finding places where we can dispose of our waste or alternatives
to our 'throw-away' society, are applying further pressures. International
and national policies are responding to these concerns, with regulations
and charges being applied to address the problems we face. In the
midst of all this, enterprise is trying to satisfy demands of production,
quality, service, cash-flow and community relations - as well as
short and long term requirements to conserve the environment.
It is now undoubtedly true that companies which do not fully
consider their environmental performance, will not survive
in the market place. The growth of voluntary measures such
as the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and
ISO 14001 is proof of how proactive companies are meeting
these market pressures.
The development of more environmentally friendly products
through eco-design and the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
techniques are other growing trends.
As a result of all these forces, environmental sustainability becomes
identical to economic sustainability. Companies that cannot - or
will not - meet the rigorous demands and pressures of their environmental
responsibilities, will simply not survive. The Clean Technology
Centre provides the expertise, experience and knowledge necessary
to ensure environmental sustainability and hence business viability.
Since its inception, the Clean Technology Centre has advised industry,
local authorities and government of the importance of awareness
raising and training relating to environmental protection. With
its mixture of academic and industrial backgrounds, the CTC is especially
qualified to develop and present such training materials and CTC
staff are regularly invited to workshops and seminars to give training
on pollution prevention strategies and techniques.
As a result of IPC licensing and EMS developments, businesses
have recognised that there is now an urgent requirement for
environmental training at all levels of the workforce.
To satisfy these requirements, CTC has developed a full suite
of training courses which can be geared for any size organisation
in any industrial or service sector.
The Clean Technology Centre can provide in-house - or externally
located - training courses for organisations of all sizes, in any
industrial or service sector. Experienced trainers participate in
giving these courses and a wide range of training methods and media
are utilised. The courses are highly interactive and activity-based
in order to involve the trainees as much as possible and ensure
a high level of interest and learning potential.
These courses can be geared to fit exactly to the needs of the
company or personnel to be trained. Such courses include the following
||Introduction to ISO14001*
|| Waste Minimisation/Pollution Prevention Basics
||Cleaner Technologies in the Process Industry
||Environmental Management Foundation for Local
||Waste Prevention in a local authority Area
||Environmental Awareness in SMEs
*Note: These two courses can also be given with
regard to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
Environmental Management Systems
Environmental management systems - and certified systems in particular,
such as the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and ISO 14001
- offer businesses a method of managing their environmental impact
in a way which is structured and familiar to progressive companies.
They provide a potential mechanism to link together the many different
stakeholders - e.g. business, consumers, shareholders, neighbours,
and regulators - in a mutually supportive manner.
In fact, installing an EMS, such as ISO 14001 or EMAS, has many
benefits, including -
- assisting with compliance to IPC license requirements
- providing an advantage in competitive markets
- enhancing the public image of your company
- increasing environmental awareness within your company
- increased profitability
- ensuring that you meet your social responsibilities.
Since its inception, the Clean Technology Centre has been a leading
Irish proponent of EMS and is represented on the NSAI's Environmental
Standards Consultative Committee - which developed IS310 and which
now decides the Irish input regarding development of the ISO14000
The Clean Technology Centre has developed considerable expertise
in the identification and implementation of Clean Technologies in
a wide range of industrial sectors. More and more, businesses are
now making use of clean technologies because of legislative, customer
and other pressures - or due to the knowledge that sustainable development
is the only viable option for progressive companies.
The best clean technology options for individual companies can
be identified through a proper audit and assessment and/or with
the use of a substance flow analysis. Clean technology can be implemented
using improved practices, process/technology modifications, materials
substitution and/or product modification.
The Clean Technology Centre can also assist companies in
carrying out a Life Cycle Assessment of their processes and/or
products - looking at the full environmental impact from cradle
This method of environmental impact analysis is now well
established in developed countries and is accepted and being
used by advanced organisations in a variety of industrial
Audits & Assessments
It is impossible to organise an environmental management structure
without including provisions for the examination of performance
- including compliance with objectives, whether they are legislative
requirements or corporate policies.
Environmental auditing is essentially a management tool comprising
a systematic, documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how
well the organisation, management and equipment are performing in
environmental terms. The CTC - whose three auditors, fully qualified
and registered to the Environmental Auditors Registration Association
(EARA) - can carry out any audits and assessments required to ensure
environmental protection by - (a) Facilitating management control
of environmental practices and (b) Assessing compliance with company
policies, which would include meeting regulatory requirements.
CTC can provide a full service to all sectors of industry to ensure
completion of the following audit classifications as necessary -
- Regulatory Compliance Audit
- Environmental Management System Audit
- Waste Minimisation Audit.
CTC can also assist companies in preparing grant applications for
The EPA Act 1992 brought about the implementation of the
rigorous industrial licensing system - Integrated Pollution Control
(IPC) (based on the EU Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
(IPPC) Directive) and the setting up of the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to implement it.
The Clean Technology Centre has been assisting companies to apply
for and implement IPC licenses since the system began.
IPC licences issued to date have followed a consistent pattern,
with a series of at least thirteen conditions - followed with six
schedules. These schedules are specific to the site and stipulate
for all emissions, the emission limit values, the control equipment
and the method and frequency of monitoring. Off-site disposal is
also addressed, as are noise levels. Finally, the reporting requirements
CTC provides the following services to industry requiring IPC compliance:
1. Application - CTC provides a consultancy service to
assist in the efficient compilation and generation of the comprehensive
data necessary for an application.
2. Implementation - CTC has developed expertise in the following
areas, necessary for compliance with the requirements of an IPC
||Environmental Management Programmes/Systems
||Material mass balance for PER requirement
||Fugitive emission quantification
||Development of facility-specific waste minimisation
||Training for all levels of the workforce
||Assistance with reporting requirements
||Environmental noise surveys
Since 1992, the Clean Technology Centre has been providing innovative
and effective environmental engineering consultancy to a wide range
of industrial sectors in Ireland and abroad. CTC can provide a client-oriented
engineering solution for environmental problems by whichever is
the most suitable method.
Such consultancy may include:
- mass balancing and emissions estimation;
- product eco-design and life cycle assessment;
- technology transfer;
- clean technology implementation;
- waste minimisation and treatment;
- waste stream studies;
- reduction of loads to treatment plants;
- solvent, energy and water studies, etc.
Ireland is now one of the most stringently regulated countries in
Europe with regard to environmental protection. A whole plethora
of environmental legislation now exists in Ireland - covering several
media and activities. Regulations pertaining to the EPA Act,
1992 and the Waste Management Act, 1996, alone, are coming
being implemented regularly. But further pressures are still to
follow, due to Irish obligations to various EU Directives and other
international agreements. Several pending Directives are soon to
be ratified and these will, in turn, impact on Irish law.
Furthermore, with the growth of voluntary standards such as EMAS
and ISO14001, companies are obliged to compile registers of the
environmental legislation that is affecting them. CTC has developed
many such registers in the pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, drink,
food, medical products, electronic and metal sectors.
The detail, comprehensiveness and understanding of the regulations
in CTC registers makes them widely regarded as one of the best available
in Ireland. CTC registers are structured to fit the exact needs
of the client company, whether they require the register for in-house
use or for certification to a standard.
They contain details such as -
- Document No.
- Revision No.
- Relevant SIs
- Regulations Superseded
- Relevant Guidance Notes and Documents
- A detailed Description (including how the company can comply
with the legislation)
- Relevance to the company.
CTC registers provide full details of all current and pending
Irish and European environmental legislation and updates - whenever
One of the main areas of expertise in the Clean Technology Centre
is in the writing of grant applications to a wide range of support
bodies both in Ireland and the European Union.
Whether an organisation is a local authority, a semi-state
organisation, an NGO or a business, the CTC is fully conversant
with the potential environmental-related funding that is available
- and its track record in securing such grant aid is exceptional,
as the list of successful applications shows.
Furthermore, if a company has implemented high level environmental
projects, the CTC can assist in getting the recognition it
deserves through Irish or European environmental awards.
Such grant aid schemes and awards include:
- Better Environmental Award for Industry (BEAFI) applications
- Cleaner Production Pilot Demonstration Awards (EPA)
- Retex Operational Programme Grants (Enterprise Ireland)
- Environmental Management Systems Grant Scheme (Enterprise Ireland)
- Environmental Audit Grant Scheme (Enterprise Ireland)
- European Project Funding (DOE and European Commission)
- LIFE Environment Programme (European Commission).
The terms - best practice, best available technologies (BAT),
technology transfer, benchmarking, etc. - are now becoming common
in environmental circles - but how can a company identify these
practices or technologies and how can a company find out where it
stands in comparison to its competitors or partner companies?
The Clean Technology Centre can provide companies with assistance
in answering these questions. Through its extensive experience in
environmental engineering and technology over several years and
its work in highly developed countries such as the Netherlands,
Austria and Denmark, the CTC can both identify and implement the
BAT - or best practice.
Technology transfer from such countries is now also a very attractive
option and the CTC has the contacts and networks in these countries
to make this possible.
Furthermore, benchmarking is now becoming a common method for
companies to identify how their environmental performance compares
with the best practices in Europe and the USA and where they stand
in relation to their competitors and partner companies. Again, the
CTC can carry out such benchmarking, due to its broad range of experience,
its access to the best and most recent information and its wide
range of contacts in Ireland and abroad.
The Clean Technology Centre has carried out a large number of studies
and projects for individual companies and consortia and has undertaken
pure and applied research activities for the European Commission
(Directorates General: External Relations; Industry; Environment;
Science, Research and Development; Regional Policies and Cohesion;
Education, Training and Youth), Department of Environment, Heritage
and Local Government, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Local
Authorities, IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Confederation),
Enterprise Ireland (Irish national agency for enterprise development)
These projects and studies allow the CTC to remain at the
cutting edge of new developments in preventive approaches
to environmental protection.
They also give the Clean Technology Centre opportunities
to develop partnerships in Ireland and abroad and to enlarge
its already sizeable network of contacts in several countries.
for further information on the Clean Technology Centre, Click