Clean production is an approach to environmental management that is applied to processes, products and services with the goal of preventing and/or reducing the production of pollutants and waste through general streamlining. The clean production slogan is "reduction at source", which replaces the “end of the pipeline” approach that focuses on treating pollutants only after they are created. Clean production brings with it streamlining that leads to a reduction in production costs by the intelligent use of raw materials, energy and water, a reduction in pollutants and waste products produced in the process and thus a reduction of costs in sewage treatment, solid waste and hazardous waste products.
The UNEP definition of "clean production":
the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products and services to enhance general efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.
This concept developed around the world in the 1980s and 1990s along with the development of environmental management systems that were adopted in the business sector, such as ISO 14000 standard.
Many "clean production" centers have been established throughout the world, and they operate under the auspices of the United Nations' UNIDO and UNEP organizations or under independent auspices.