Closed-Loop Cycle Production in the Americas (CLCPA) Program

As Program Coordinator of the Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas initiative facilitated by the OAS/DSD (2009 - ongoing till August 2016), Mr. Araya and colleagues are pioneering in the introduction of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) design philosophy in the Americas currently implementing the Program in Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. 

In collaboration with C2C ExpoLAB (The Netherlands), the Cleaner Production Center in Colombia,  McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (EPEA-MBDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States, they have worked on the introduction and validation of the "Cradle to Cradle (C2C)" design concept as an innovative business model development tool to facilitate a low carbon development transition towards a Circular Economy approach, through the improvement of energy efficiency and the environmental performance of manufacturing processes, while increasing the productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability of companies in the production sector of participating nations in the Americas, with a focus particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Since 2012, function as principal point of contact on behalf of the Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas Team (CLCPA-ECPA/OAS-DSD) in the Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP). The Closed-Loop Cycle Initiative for the Americas is base on the Closed Looped Cycle Production (CLCP) Philosophy derived from the Cradle-to-Cradle certificated method and the UNEP-UNIDO Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Performance Criteria (RECP).


Senior consultant (concept development) and program coordinator.

See attached note:

(ii) Closing the loop with today's LCIA methodologies which have come a long way from where they started, find it here not only available an introduction to Life Cycle Thinking but also check out the cutting-edge research on life cycle sustainability assessment in the latest issue of the JIE.

  • Transitioning to a circular economy will require a mix of policy interventions to remove barriers to circularity, "Make Circularity Profitable" and thereby provide grounds for new business models and business innovation. "The Role of Business in the Circular Economy: Markets, Processes and Enabling Policies", published by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), identifies key policy areas for triggering change and ways forward.

(iii) A worldwide renaissance in manufacturing is "Good News for Emerging Markets", find here also available at a recent IFC - International Finance Corporation Conference, some highlights showcasing how manufacturing unlocks the full potential of emerging markets successfully using the Circular Economy and Sustainable Materials Management to optimize packaging among other products and processes. 

"The Insight Report on the Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 prepared for the World Economic Forum is excellent in its approach. It clarifies definitions, concepts and approaches to Manufacturing. Technology and the fourth industrial revolution are looked at from different angles (structure of production and drivers of production) and their impact on countries." –  S. Schlorke, IFC - Global Head of Manufacturing and Global Portfolio Manager Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services.

(v) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recommendations of standards and ecolabels for federal sustainable purchasing (Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services Share). Cradle to Cradle Certified is recommended at the highest level across seven-building materials and construction product categories (C2C is also recommended at the highest level for furniture), including adhesives, carpet, ceiling tiles (acoustical), fiberboard and wallboard, flooring, insulation and interior latex paint. “EPA recognition of Cradle to Cradle Certified as a rigorous multi-attribute third-party standard for product sustainability is a tremendous vote of confidence in the significance and value of both the Cradle to Cradle product design methodology and the product certification itself,” said Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute President Lewis Perkins. 

  • What does the circular economy mean to you? Are some of the words and terms we use within the circular economy narrative creating a misleading understanding of what the concept actually is or could be? And will this then have a direct implication on how it is realised on the ground? Challenges of implementing a circular economy are a frequent discussion point amongst businesses, policymakers and other organisations as they grapple with the reality of how to actually ‘do it’. Just how do you make even the tiniest step towards enabling a seismic shift to a totally different economic system? What barriers need to be overcome? #circulareconomy #circularity

(vii) A Circular Economy has profound consequences for production, employment, education, money and finance but also induces a shift in public policy and taxation. Read both "A Wealth of Flows" extract in GreenBiz and "Resources, Conservation and Recycling" by Elsiever on conceptualizing the circular economy, an analysis of 114 definitions.

(viii) Contreras-Lisperguer, Rubén et al. "Cradle-to-cradle approach in the life cycle of silicon solar photovoltaic panels". Journal of Cleaner Production. Elsiever Volume 168, 1 December 2017, Pages 51-59.

(ix) The OECD RE-CIRCLE project (resource efficiency and circular economy) provides policy guidance on resource efficiency and the transition to a Circular Economy. RE-CIRCLE aims to identify and quantify the impact of policies to guide a range of stakeholders in OECD member countries and emerging market economies through quantitative and qualitative analysis.

  • Driven in part by PSI's work with the Flexible Packaging Association over the past year, the plastics industry continues to move towards embracing #EPR for packaging to improve plastic recycling and reduce costs for municipalities and consumers alike.

WBCSD has developed this practical guide to "Circular Economy", a great tool that brings together case studies and bibliography. Enclosed also available, the "first standard of Circular Economy at organization level published in the UK". To keep in mind!

(x) Policy levers for a low carbon circular economy: This document contains a high-level (not policy-motivated) legal review of current and upcoming key Circular Economy and Climate Mitigation policies in selected Member States and the EU.

It reflects the findings of a policy mapping exercise conducted by Allen & Overy and commissioned by Dutch based social enterprise Circle Economy. Based on inter alia these findings, Circle Economy authored its report for the European Climate Foundation (ECF) with the support of i24c, Sitra and Material Economics, looking into the most effective policy levers toward a low-carbon circular economy". Download it here 

  • The urban population of today is expanding and growing in density at a pace that is difficult to match for many existing cities. The Cities of the Future program, sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, examines how cities today are designed and redesigned to meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

Competitiveness and Environmental Program (CYMA)

Competitiveness and Environment Program - CYMA (2004-2007), an initiative promoted by MINSALUD, MINAE, MIDEPLAN and GIZ as facilitator.

A negotiation and cooperation process was led and facilitated among the institutions in relation to the development and implementation of the CYMA Program - Sustainable Change Management and the consolidation of stakeholder networks and key programs: i) requirements, processes, resistance; ii) systemic concept and implementation; iii) process architecture; iv) Strategic planning, harmonization, alignment of the operational plan and management.

Coordination function: public-private transversal axis (PPP); Strategic Component of Planning and Legislation; Component of solid and municipal waste management.


The objective of evaluating Mr. Araya's performance within the CYMA Program was to improve the integral waste management through joint actions and strategies among different stakeholders in selected sectors.


(i) A development cooperation process was lead through technical-policy solutions, based on the architecture-design, implementation of a policy-regulatory process, and actions focused on the promotion of productive value chains in regards to Integral Waste Management (IWM). Among the main outcomes and achievements of impact are: a National Materials Handling Report 2006, the Integrated Waste Management Law (Act 8839 / Ley 8839 GIR), the National Plan for Solid Waste Management (PRESOL), the Manual for the Elaboration of Municipal Plans for Integral Waste Management and its implementation in selected municipalities, and the Public-Private Partnership (PPPs) between GTZ and Holcim (Costa Rica), S.A., among others. 

(ii) Public-Private Partnership (PPPs) between GTZ and Holcim (Costa Rica), S.A. (eg. Guidelines #2006), with a specific goal of increasing the acceptance of waste co-processing in cement kilns in Costa Rica, as a viable clean technology alternative in the valorization and recovery of materials and energy, based on industrial waste. [Online] Available:  

(iii) The multiplying impact, due to the outcomes obtained through the CYMA Program, has facilitated the potential of identifying and attaining new types of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with shared goals and activities; particularly:  

  • With the Costa Rican Agro-Industry, the potential was assessed and identified using energy-based on organic waste (biomass) for the production of biofuels (among these considerations, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) from the Kyoto Protocol) for the fruit production and processing sectors (eg. Banana, pineapple, etc.). This was an opportunity to work jointly with the four leading agro-industrial groups of the Guapiles region (Mundimar-Chiquita, Demasa-División Palmito, Dole, Fructa Wessergold), in order to promote cost-effective solutions and productive value chains with regional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), towards an action plan of cleaner production in process industries (waste to energy and material recovery in the Costa Rican agroindustry).
  • Intense lobbying for the development and start-up of Business Consortiums of Shared Responsibility to reply to a business model through a Costa Rican consortium for recovery of material flows, for the management of post-consumption/industrial waste, such as: E-waste, tires, packing material (eg. PET, HDPE, glass, aluminium, polylaminates, cardboard, and paper), used engine oil, biomass, industrial sludge (star), distillation tank sludge, agricultural plastics, end-of-life-vehicles management, among others (eg. Going Green and Blue (case study): Three Lessons Learned from a Circular Partnership).
  • Similarly, based on the lessons learned and the actions lead in CYMA, we have been invited to assess the process of the Waste Management Act in Guatemala, as well as a Public Private Partnership. 

(iv) Creation of an Institutional Platform of key stakeholders through joint efforts between the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce (CICR, UCCAEP, ACIPLAST, CCC, CACIA, AHK, CNAA), NGOs (eg. Costa Rica Cleaner Production Center – CNP+L, ACEPESA, and other), Large and Small and Medium Size Enterprises (such as: Sur Química, Intel, Pipasa, Dos Pinos, Femsa/Coca Cola, Florida Bebidas, VICESA, Total PET, Gente Reciclando, Empaques Santa Ana, Bridgestone, ICE), Academia, the Ministry of Health (MINSALUD), the Ministry of the Environment, Energy, and Telecommunications (MINAET), the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MIDEPLAN), the Institute for Development and Municipal Advising (IFAM), and GTZ as the facilitator.

Within the main areas of actions that were lead, are: i) improvement of the policy-regulatory framework conditions in regards to Integral Waste Management (IWM); ii) Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as an instrument to strengthen the development of the country.  

(v) The outcomes obtained to date from the CYMA Program, are linked to other domestic/regional actions, in order to strengthen processes and align shared and common goals and activities, such as: National Plan for Development (PND), National Climate Change Strategy (ENCC/C-Neutral), Presidential Initiative for Peace with Nature, local IADB-FOMIN Program, Sustainable Consumption and Production Policy, Central American Policy for Integral Waste Management promoted by the Central American Commission of Environment and Development (CCAD), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  

(vi) Monitoring of impact. Material Waste Management performance in Costa Rica: 2nd National Materials Handling Report 2006 (Material Flow Analysis - Accounting). CYMA-GTZ, CNP+L. San Jose, Costa Rica. Position: coordinator. [Online] Available:  

(vii) Orientation Phase Design: Strategy Development Preparation–CYMA Operative Plan.

Final Outcome: the creation of CYMA Program components and transversal axis to be implemented. The employed methodology was carried out through stakeholder dialogue and plenary decision-making sessions:

  • Components: i) Cooperation, communication, and dialogue; ii) Strategies, plans, and legislation; iii) Municipal and Solid Waste Management; iv) Production and competitiveness.  
  • Transversal axis: i) Monitoring and Assessment; ii) Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).  


Senior consultant (concept development) and local technical staff/expert (project management).

Other solutions in the industry (eg. NGOs, Industry, Chambers of Commerce)



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