The concept of „Sustainable Industrial Areas (SIA)“ promotes sustainable industrial development by balancing environmental, economic and social aspects. While some governments and institutions primarily focus on Eco-Industrial Parks (EIP), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH regards the SIA concept to be more comprehensive, since it incorporates the three pillars of sustainability, namely social, environmental and economic aspects.
While industrial areas are a motor of industrialisation and technology development worldwide, they are often criticised as areas of extended resource consumption and environmental pollution. The concept of “Sustainable Industrial Areas (SIA)” answers to this criticism by highlighting organizational, environmental, economic and social features as indispensable requirements for industrial parks on its pathway to sustainability. This requires in particular management structures, which focus on resource and energy efficiency, environmental protection and social compatibility.
In order to guide industrial areas towards the SIA concept, GIZ developed "SIA Guideslines". The guidelines are directed to industrial park operators, planners of industrial areas, public administrators in charge of regulating industrial areas and experts advising on industrial development. They highlight the most important sustainability aspects for planning and operating an industrial area or for elaborating a legal framework for sustainable industrial area development.
The construction of industrial areas is one instrument of economic development strategies that enjoys great popularity in GIZ partner countries seeking for economic progress. Thus, for the GIZ the concept of "Sustainable Industrial Areas" represents an important element of its advice to partners in the industrial sector. For many years, projects addressing various aspects of sustainable industrial development and sustainable industrial areas have been carried out by GIZ in many countries and significant knowhow and experiences have been accumulated in the organisation. The representatives of SIA projects and experts involved have formed the GIZ-Working Group on Sustainable Industrial Areas, which, together with its partners worldwide, permanently works on further developing the SIA concept.