In­dus­trial sym­bio­sis an eco friendly realm

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - Shah Faisal Afridi

HOW a mirac­u­lous eco trans­for­ma­tion came into ex­is­tence in China? This is a fre­quently asked ques­tion. In fact China pro­moted in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment through the con­cept of eco friendly In­dus­trial sym­bio­sis. In sym­bi­otic in­dus­trial col­lab­o­ra­tion there is a phys­i­cal ex­change of ma­te­ri­als and by-prod­ucts, as well as shared man­age­ment of in­fra­struc­ture for wa­ter, en­ergy and waste. To achieve In­dus­trial Sym­bio­sis China has im­ple­mented eco-in­dus­trial park (EIP) ini­tia­tives as a main­stream strat­egy of a cir­cu­lar econ­omy since the turn of the new cen­tury.

China had around 300 na­tional in­dus­trial parks, in­clud­ing 210 ETDAs (Eco­nomic and Tech­no­log­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Ar­eas) and 113 HTPs (High-Tech Parks)and re­cently, a great num­ber of suc­cess sto­ries re­gard­ing in­dus­trial sym­bio­sis have emerged in which one in­dus­try out­put ben­e­fits an­other.

An eco-in­dus­trial park 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 cen­tral theme of In­dus­trial Sym­bio­sis is uti­liz­ing the out­put of one in­dus­try as a feed­stock of an­other. The aim here is to max­i­mize the uti­liza­tion of waste prod­ucts of each in­di­vid­ual unit in the zone with the goal of pro­mot­ing greener pro­duc­tion of goods.

En­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly pro­duc­tion has been fully in­te­grated in the re­cently in­tro­duced con­cept of eco-in­dus­trial parks. An eco-in­dus­trial park (EIP) is ba­si­cally one where in­dus­tries, busi­nesses and lo­cal com­mu­nity co­op­er­ate with one an­other, thereby re­duc­ing waste and pol­lu­tion by ef­fi­ciently shar­ing re­sources. All this helps to achieve sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­ment friendly pro­duc­tion of goods.

EIPs act as an in­no­va­tion plat­form for en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment, in­clud­ing mas­ter plan­ning, in­dus­trial lay­out, en­vi­ron­men­tal risk con­trol, en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance re­port­ing, All of which leads to the tran­si­tion of the en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment of in­dus­trial parks from the end-of-pipe treat­ment paradigm to a more sys­tem-ori­ented one.

Com­pany to com­pany ex­changes is only one part of an in­te­grated sys­tem for re­cov­er­ing wasted re­sources and reusing them at high­est value. A strong clus­ter of re­source re­cov­ery and re­cy­cling com­pa­nies, an ef­fec­tive co­or­di­na­tion agency or com­pany, com­pany eco-in­dus­trial net­works, re­search and de­vel­op­ment, and fi­nanc­ing are other es­sen­tial parts of this sys­tem. In ad­di­tion, cleaner pro­duc­tion within fa­cil­i­ties must pre­cede end-of­pipe re­cov­ery to op­ti­mize uti­liza­tion of re­sources in the pro­duc­tion process.

An Eco-In­dus­trial Park will achieve prof­itable re­turn on in­vest­ment while demon­strat­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tally and so­cially sound form of in­dus­trial real es­tate de­vel­op­ment. This model of in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment will be a ma­jor hub for sus­tain­able re­gional de­vel­op­ment.

The orig­i­nal in­spi­ra­tion was the case of Kalund­borg in Den­mark, where ma­te­ri­als, en­ergy, and wa­ter ex­changes evolved among a group of com­pa­nies in a re­gion and their host com­mu­nity. Here a large power plant's out­puts was the ba­sis for a se­ries of in­ter-firm deals to uti­lize by-prod­ucts eco­nom­i­cally among a re­fin­ery, a wall­board com­pany, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany, a fish farm, and com­mu­nity district heat­ing. In China the Guangxi Gui­tang Group is a no­table ex­am­ple of us­ing sugar pro­duc­tion by-prod­ucts, first within a sin­gle city­owned com­pany, and then in a broader net­work in­clud­ing other sugar pro­duc­ers in the city of Gui­tang and the farm­ers grow­ing cane. This suc­cess was pos­si­ble be­cause the first in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture and plants were all within a sin­gle cor­po­rate group, not be­tween sep­a­rate firms.

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