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Europe, Middle East & North Africa

Europe and Central Asia Resource Efficiency Program

2010 – present

The program is being implemented over five years

Supported with funds from the Federal Ministry of Finance of Austria and IFC.

The Program aims to stimulate investment into uptake of resource efficient (REF) technologies and best practices; to improve management processes and operational practices in industry across all sectors; and to raise awareness among policy makers and financial institutions.

Countries included in the Program: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, FYR Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

The Challenge

Resource efficiency is the improvement of operational processes to make more efficient use of inputs such as power, raw materials, and water along a company’s value chain. Effective resource efficiency interventions not only help conserve resources and reduce waste, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but can also reduce operating costs. Yet most companies in the region remain unaware of the potential cost savings and environmental benefits of resource efficiency. As a result, such companies can be reluctant to invest the upfront costs needed to identify and take advantage of resource efficiency opportunities, particularly in the current global credit environment. Specific barriers impeding market uptake include:

  • limited in-house technical expertise to identify and implement Resource Efficiency projects,
  • lack of knowledge about appropriate technologies and possible cost savings, and
  • lack of access to appropriate financing, with financial decision makers often excluding attractive Resource Efficiency projects with a payback period of longer than two years.


The IFC Approach

The Program operates at two levels: Firm and Sector

1) Firm

IFC provides selected businesses with in-depth advisory support to help them identify and implement opportunities for better resource efficiency.

Every project is different, but the core stages in the advisory process typically include:

  • base service - an initial scoping visit
  • an in-depth advisory engagement – usually involving a resource efficiency audit or feasibility study (jointly funded by the Program and client), often supported by an experienced external consultant
  • development of recommendations, and their implementation – typically through Program staff and consultants working closely with the client, often with financial support from IFC or partnering banks

2) Sector

The Program is committed to instituting best practices in resource efficiency. To drive market change in key sectors we implement special sector studies.
Our current and future sector-specific initiatives in Ukraine include:

  • a benchmarking study (initiated 2011) on the nitrogen chemicals and fertilizers sector in Europe, and Central Asia including Russia and Ukraine (Link to web-page)
  • collection of Industrial water business cases - proven, financially viable best practices adopted by companies in the region (UMKA case)
  • mapping the industrial and residential solar heat (and cold) use and markets in the region includes identification of major suppliers of technologies and services with reference to existing installations and experience (report anticipated early autumn 2012)
  • FBT - Food (processing) Benchmarks Tool. Food benchmark tool contains information on 9 types of environmental benchmarks for 12 food processing sub-sectors collected from 126 different sources. This tool is a collection of environmental performance benchmarks for food industry compiled from various selected publications. The tool enables the user to search for collected benchmarks within industry sub sectors.


For more information please contact: Viera Feckova, Program Manager,



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