Towards a comprehensive analysis of cleaner technology potentials to address industrial pollution arising from natural rubber processing industry: A case study of Cameroon Development Corporation - Rubber Factories

Napi Wouapi & Tamo Maimo

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Abstract The introduction of best environmental practices (in this study it implies adoption of cleaner technology in varying degrees) among industrial enterprises in Cameroon remains a serious challenge to environmental policy makers. Whilst research has shown that the rubber industry can play an important role in strengthening a nation’s economic development; its negative environmental impacts, due to poor effluent treatments and the lack of research to generate more knowledge on opportunities and usefulness offered by better management practices, remain a serious concern. The seldom improvements to rubber processing and effluent management take place off farm and are more likely to occur when they are regulated by environmental laws. In so doing enterprises are instead reactive (i.e they are less active in engaging themselves into learning processes within their network to build technical competencies, which are prerequisites to receive, interprete and use environmental information) and try to comply with environmental regulation at the lowest possible level. In reality, effluents from primary rubber processing are not a problem when standard end-of-pipe treatments are installed. However the study indicates that such treatment plants are uncommon in any of the Cameroon’s primary rubber processing industries. A case study exploring the potentials of adopting cleaner technologies to address industrial pollution arising from natural rubber processing in the CDC revealed great opportunities and constraints towards improvement of rubber-based factory environmental performance. These findings indicate that environmental policies (only grounded on environmental demands with less consideration of the company’s business view) aimed at ecological industrial transformation need to be supplemented with more innovative instruments embedded in what is referred today as “second generation” regulation. It suggests that policy makers, actors and institutions of the Cameroon Government will continue to intervene in the arena of environmental issues indeed, but selectively and in interaction with a range of other non-market and market sources of pressure. The claim here is that such network relations can better facilitate learning and knowledge accumulation, which are needed to strengthen the dynamic of interactions between actors and institutions embedded in a particular Enterprise’s network (a sort of complex system of interactions between suppliers, producers, consumers, regulators, learning centres and financial institutions to bring about environmental innovation within a corporation). In fact, the examination of these interactions gives sufficient insight to understand what can actually determine the CDC’s capability to carry out and participate in successful environmental innovation processes. Despite the challenges of implementation of Ecological Modernization concepts in Cameroon, great opportunities may exist for its deployment in understanding environment-informed ecological restructuring of industrial systems. The result of all this is that there is a lot of very concrete projects - in the sense of win-win perspective as it is emphasized by Ecological Modernization - that will be possible to make functioning in the processing of natural rubber and that can provide valuable asset for environmental technology market. These projects are all about resources optimization in converting natural rubber into industrial grade products (on and off farm processing) and they include: (i) biogas generation plant and energy recovery; (ii) sludge treatment and reuse either for soil amendment or as fertilizer for farmland; (iii) wastewater recovery techniques through irrigation etc. To this end it appears that the only demand would be the availability of some kind of technical competencies to implement the said facilities in order to improve the environmental performance of the CDC and Cameroon industrial web as a whole. Keywords: Environmental Modernization, Environmental Innovation, Environmental Regulation, Environmental Capacity Knowledge, Network Model, Environmental excesses, Industrial pollution, CDC

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato30 sep. 2007
VejledereHansen Ole Erik & Erling Jelsøe


  • Environmental Modernization, Environmental Innovation, Environmental Regulation, Environmental Capacity Knowledge, Network Model, Industrial pollution, CDC
  • Environmental excesses