OSAKA — Osaka firms are making progress in introducing environmentally friendly policies but need to do more, especially in helping smaller firms meet international standards, according to a white paper on the Osaka economy released Wednesday.

The paper was prepared by Osaka Prefectural Government’s Industrial Research Association, which reports on a different theme each year.

This year’s survey presents data tracking the change in the prefecture’s environmental situation between 1991 and 1996.

The report begins by noting that the amount of industrial waste was reduced. Over the five year period, toxic waste produced by local businesses dropped from nearly 24.6 million tons to just over 20 million tons.

This was mainly due to changing business conditions combined with the introduction of more environmentally friendly technologies, the report says.

On the down side, the report notes that only about 10 percent of Osaka small and medium-size businesses had obtained ISO4001 certification, which is issued to businesses that adopt specific environmental standards and have an environmental management system in place.

Over half of the small businesses said they had not received certification because of the high costs involved in going green.

The prefectural report came the day after a national white paper on waste reduction was approved by Cabinet. That report suggests more efficient energy use, which would trim greenhouse gas emissions and boost gross domestic product by 6 trillion yen.

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