Eco-industrial parks

Industrial parks form the platform for business and the interaction of various manufacturing sectors and play a key role in the national economic development. However, such parks have a number of well-known disadvantages.
That is why today's trend is to create eco-industrial parks (EIP), which have already proven to be an effective solution in the fight against climate change and social problems associated with the industrial sector. At the same time, EIPs demonstrate a significant efficiency increase. Thanks to this balance, the eco-industrial park model is preferred by industrial companies in many countries.

The concept of an eco-industrial park was first presented at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. 50 EIPs had been created in various countries of the world already by 2000. Currently, there are about 250 eco-industrial parks.

International structure of eco-industrial parks

In 2017, the consortium comprised of the World Bank Group, UNIDO and the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) developed the first international EIP structure. It establishes the minimum parameters for the eco-industrial parks environmental, social and economic indicators.
The main criteria for the EIP status are:

  • efficiency of the park management;
  • environmental indicators;
  • social indicators;
  • economic indicators.

Advantages of eco-industrial parks

The main driving force for the creation of eco-industrial parks is still the business competitiveness. In turn, parks provide means to mitigate the effects of climate change through collective actions and innovations and provide an opportunity for the local community environmental and social support. Compared to conventional industrial parks, EIPs have several advantages, including the mitigation of the climate change effects and the access to renewable energy, supply chains environmentalization, operating costs minimization and productivity increase.
Industrial Complex in Ulsan, Korea
EIP infrastructure effects for users Management Company:
  • attractive for international investors;
  • high quality services;
  • lower service cost and higher profitability.

  • better social and economic indicators;
  • less harmful emissions.

  • higher productivity and lower operating costs;
  • better company image;
  • opportunities to collaborate with other sustainable producers.

  • high return on investment;
  • sustainable investment.

Local non-profit organizations:
  • development promotion and local people involvement.

Policy makers:
  • better development conditions and higher domestic market profitability;
  • independence from non-renewable resources;
  • creating a vision of the country's sustainable growth;
  • energy sector attraction for investments.
Eco-industrial parks are a separate industrial use area, combining sustainable production sites, the responsibilities of which also affect social, economic and environmental aspects. In this area, the companies' operational processes are regulated.

Kalundborg eco-industrial park, Denmark

An industrial symbiosis established in 1972 and combining commercial and public companies in a single system with a common production cycle. Thanks to this collaboration, a resource surplus has been created to supply the neighboring areas. For example, the park central object, i.e. the Asnass Power Station, provides electricity to the EIP entire territory, as well as 3,500 houses and a large fish producer. Among the companies comprising the EIP are pharmaceutical industries, construction materials manufacturers, power plants, waste processing plants, power&water suppliers, and many others. The park has received the WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2018.

Environmental Impact Reduction (2004):

3.9 m cu m of ground and surface water per year;
53 t of sulfur dioxide per year.

Economic indicators (2004):

USD 78.5 of attracted investment;
USD 15 bn is annual cost reduction.
Kalundborg eco-industrial park, Denmark

Association of Ulsan Mipo and Onsan industrial parks, South Korea

In 1962, a special economic zone was created in the Ulsan city. In 2003, the Korean National Cleaner Production Center launched the transformation of an industrial park into an EIP, as part of a national project. The park territory making 6,500 ha accommodates ca. 6,500 companies in the areas of shipbuilding, oil, machinery and metal production, chemical industry and fertilizer production. Thanks to the eco-industrial park concept implementation, the administration hopes to improve the regional ecology, which was severely damaged during the active growth of the industrial chain, and to increase the life quality of the local residents.

Environmental impact reduction (2015-2016):

79,400 t of ground and surface water;
665,700 t of CO2;
280,000 t of oil equivalent.

Economic indicators (2015-2016):

USD 14.8 bn;
100,000 jobs.
Association of Ulsan Mipo and Onsan industrial parks, South Korea
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