Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Non-agricultural livelihoods
Diversifying livelihoods
Manufacturing livelihoods

Manufacturing livelihoods


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Manufacturing often uses lots of natural resources, creates waste, consumes fossil fuel energy, and can cause pollution and even generate disease vectors.

Manufacturing can adversely affect nearby ecosystems and adversely affect human health for both those working on the manufacturing process or settled in the surrounding areas.

Product design directly affects how much waste and pollution are caused including the durability of the product and emissions released in its design, manufacture, storage, and distribution. Design for sustainability reduces natural resource consumption, including designing products that can be reused, repurposed, composted, and recycled.

Supply chains can cause significant environmental waste and other impacts. 30% of food globally is wasted before it gets to market. There are environmental impacts from packaging, transport, raw materials, and whether recycled materials are used.

Livelihoods can be significantly strengthened through enhancing productivity. This can be done sustainably through reducing waste, energy and raw materials use, packaging, and transport.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Assess the different needs, vulnerabilities, and capacities of women, men, children, boys, girls, the elderly, disabled, people living with chronic or terminal health conditions, and people from vulnerable minorities. Address their specific needs within livelihoods opportunities.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate Change
Natural Resource Depletion
Water depletion

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Unsustainable abstraction of natural resources

Air, water, and soil pollution

Harm to ecosystems.

Transport, storage, and distribution emissions.

Fossil fuel use for electricity provision. Water wastage and pollution.

Solid waste pollution and resulting disease vectors.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Manufacturing processes typically have many impacts on the environment. Raw materials may be sourced unsustainably and their method of extraction may pollute the air, water, soil and harm ecosystems.

Transport of raw materials, and transport, storage, and distribution of manufactured products usually release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Transport of goods usually causes significant vehicle emissions, air pollution, emission of greenhouse gases. Inefficient driving creates excess consumption of vehicle components including tires and brake pads.

Manufacturing processes typically use significant amounts of fossil fuels for electricity provision. Water can be used in large and unsustainable quantities, and discharged water may not be reused or treated, causing environmental pollution which can harm flora, fauna, and human health.

Solid waste may not be re-used or managed effectively – disposal to landfills or burning causes harmful pollution. Similarly, packaging may be excessive, unnecessary, or contain lots of plastic which is slow to degrade and harms flora, fauna, and human health.


Summary of environmental activities

Identify and reduce environmental pollution from manufacturing. Promote the benefits including financial, health, and wellbeing, or reduce these impacts.

Assess whether natural resource use is sustainable or more sustainable sources or alternatives are available.

Procure more efficient equipment and maintain existing equipment.

Identify and reduce manufacturing air, water, and soil pollution and potential harm to ecosystems.

Assess and reduce impacts of transport, storage and distribution, and fossil fuel use for electricity provision.

Assess and reduce water wastage and pollution.

Assess and reduce solid waste pollution.

Support sustainable procurement and market sustainable sourcing.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Work with people involved in manufacturing to identify environmental pollution and help them to understand the benefits to them including financial, health, and wellbeing, of reducing these impacts.

Support people in assessing whether their natural resource use is sustainable and whether they can find a more sustainable source or alternative more sustainable raw materials.

Look for opportunities to support them in procuring more efficient equipment and maintaining existing or new equipment so that it runs efficiently.

Identify sources of air, water, and soil pollution and potential harm to ecosystems, such as raw material extraction, fossil fuel burning, burning of wood, charcoal, kerosene, diesel.

Support manufacturers in assessing and reducing impacts of transport, storage and distribution, and fossil fuel use for electricity provision. Provide low energy consumption and renewable energy options for manufacturing/production, lighting, heating, and transport, where possible.

Water wastage and pollution are common in manufacturing and should be assessed and reduced.

Solid waste pollution and resulting disease vectors are also common and should be assessed and reduced.

Work with procurement staff to support sustainable procurement policies and market sustainable sourcing. Support local markets in sourcing and selling more sustainable products.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

Agencies supporting small-scale manufacturing in Pakistan have demonstrated how reducing waste and saving energy, recyling water and safe disposal of waste products benefit both the environment and increase quality and income.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

Number of manufacturing processes reviewed and amended to reduce their negative environmental impacts.

Activity Status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Mitigation of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time and resources to assess manufacturing processes and to work with manufacturers, suppliers and markets to adapt.

Next guidance:

Market assessment
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