In our Eco-Industrial Park Handbook for Asian Developing Countries (download it) we have updated the concept and strategies and incorporated cases from Asia. (This work was supported by the Environment Department of the Asian Development Bank.) We now define the EIP concept as: "An eco-industrial park or estate is a community of manufacturing and service businesses located together on a common property. Member businesses seek enhanced environmental, economic, and social performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues. By working together, the community of businesses seeks a collective benefit that is greater than the sum of individual benefits each company would realize by only optimizing its individual performance. "The goal of an EIP is to improve the economic performance of the participating companies while minimizing their environmental impacts. Components of this approach include green design of park infrastructure and plants (new or retrofitted); cleaner production, pollution prevention; energy efficiency; and inter-company partnering. An EIP also seeks benefits for neighboring communities to assure that the net impact of its development is positive." Communities and businesses that create eco-industrial parks will have a foundation for industrial development that is more competitive, more efficient, and cleaner than traditional industrial parks. In addition, new business niches will be opened for recruitment or incubation of new companies.
Benefits of EIPs
Communities embracing the EIP concept are seeking benefits for all public and private stakeholders. * Business derives cost savings and new revenues; shared services; reduced regulatory burden; and increased competitiveness. * The community enjoys a cleaner, healthier environment; business and job development; an attraction for recruitment; and an end to conflict between the economy and the environment. * Government receives increased tax revenues; reduced enforcement burden; reduced costs of environmental and health damage; and reduced demand on municipal infrastructure. * For the environment there is reduced demand on finite resources; decreased local and global pollution; increased use of renewable energy and materials; and an overall renewal of natural systems.
Strategies for Designing an Eco-Industrial Park
Several basic strategies are fundamental to developing an EIP or industrial ecosystem. Individually, each adds value; together they form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Integration into Natural Systems
Design the EIP in harmony with the characteristics and constraints of local ecosystems; Minimize contributions to global environmental impacts, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Systems
Maximize energy efficiency through facility design or rehabilitation, co-generation (the capture and use of otherwise wasted heat from the electrical generating process), and energy cascading (the use of residual heat in liquids or steam from a primary process to provide heating or cooling to a later process: steam from a power plant, for example, is used in a district heating system); Achieve higher efficiency through inter-plant energy flows; and Use renewable sources extensively.
Materials Flows and "Waste" Management for the Whole Site
Emphasize pollution prevention, especially with toxics;
Ensure maximum re-use and recycling of materials among EIP businesses; Reduce toxic materials risks through integrated site-level waste treatment; and Link the EIP to companies in the surrounding region as consumers and generators of usable byproducts via resource exchanges and recycling networks. Water
Design water flows to conserve resources and reduce pollution through strategies similar to those described for energy and materials. Effective EIP Management
In addition to standard park service, recruitment, and maintenance functions, park management does the following: * Maintains the mix of...
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