An Eco-Industrial Park (EIP) or estate in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the local community in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution, efficiently share resources (such as information, materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural resources), and help achieve sustainable development, with the intention of increasing economic gains and improving environmental quality.
EIC was first described at the United Nations conference on environment and development, Rio de Janeiro 1992 as a promising strategy to promote sustainable industrial development and to improve the industries’ environmental performance in terms of material, energy and waste management.
The goal of an EIP is to improve the economic performance of the participating companies while minimizing their environmental impact
Components of EIP design :
EIPs have a set of choices as design options including site design, infrastructure, support services etc.
EIPs can be developed as Greenfield land projects, where the eco-industrial intent is present throughout the planning, design and site construction phases, or developed through retrofits and new strategies in existing industrial developments. Components of EIP are as follows:
Natural systems: An industrial park shall utilize natural setting in a way that minimizes environmental impacts while cutting operating costs. The EIP designed in harmony with the characteristics and constraints of local ecosystems; minimize contributions to global environmental impacts.
Energy: energy efficiency is maximized through facility designs or rehabilitation, co-generation and energy cascading. This can be achieved through use of renewable energy sources and inter plant energy flows.
For example: the use of residual heat in liquids or steam from a primary process to provide heating or cooling to later process such as waste steam from power plant is used in a district heating or cooling system.
Material Flows: EIPs emphasize pollution prevention by ensuring maximum re-use and recycling of materials among EIP businesses. It reduces toxic materials risks through integrated site level waste treatment. One emerging strategy for EIP planning involves anchoring the park around resource recovery companies that are recruited to the location or started from scratch. Example: Brewery, mushroom farming, pig raising and vegetable farming in Fiji.
Water Flows: It is also known as water cascading. Processed water from one industry is may be reused by another, passing through a pre-treatment plant as needed. The park infrastructure may include mains for several grades of water (depending on the needs of the companies) and provisions for collecting and using storm water runoff.
Park Management and Support Services: Management supports the exchange of byproducts among companies and helps them adapt to changes in the mix of companies (such as a supplier or customer moving out) through its recruitment responsibility. It may maintain links into regional by-product exchanges and a site-wide telecommunications system. The park may also include shared support services such as a training center, cafeteria, day care center, office for purchasing common supplies, or a transportation logistics office.
Principle of EIP:
EIPs have three main principles:
- The minimization of energy requirements
- The use of industrial wastes as inputs
- The development of a diverse and resilient system.
Considering the changing scenario the term Eco-Industrial development needs a new definition, especially in situations like India
For the Indian scenario where in there are several old industrial parks that do not have cost effective common environmental infrastructure and services as well as lack synergies among the industries in the parks, the eco industry park concept has been customized to address the following aspects:
- Siting and site master planning of new industrial parks integrating environment, energy and climate issues
- Conversion process of existing industrial parks to eco industrial parks,
- Strengthening of environmental infrastructure and services in the industrial parks,
- Resource efficiency and improved environmental management in individual industries
- Capacity building of individuals and organizations in the areas of eco industrial development, pollution control/regulatory actions, disaster risk management etc
Advantages of EIPs: