Introducing SIA - Standards
Presently, in many parts of the world government institution and industry representatives are discussing standards for sustainable (eco-) industrial areas. While governments want to guide their national industrial development towards sustainability, park operators and company representatives regard the standardisation process as a good instrument to increase the efficiency of their production, to lower the costs and to enhance their reputation.
Guidelines and standards of sustainable industrial areas focus primarily on the management level of the park. They intend to guide the parks as a whole to become sustainable and are less dealing with the individual companies. The environmental friendliness or performance of companies in the park is assumed to be guided by the respective sector or company related guidelines or standards. Nevertheless, a sustainable framework on park level of course will initiate and promote positive changes on company level.
Good Practices for Sustainability Standards:
There are various ways of increasing and measuring the sustainability performance of industrial areas. If a standard is taken into consideration, certain rules and aspects need to be followed. Otherwise the claim of the standard itself or of a possible certification is not credible. The organisation ISEAL Alliance is committed to sustainability standards and gives worldwide accepted guidance on the issue. ISEAL published for example a "Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards" which defines effective standard-setting processes, thereby increasing the credibility of the resulting standard. Also, the ISEAL Credibility Principles set the framework for trustworthy standard practices.
Sustainability Standards for Industrial Areas:
A number of approaches have been made to define standards, guidelines and indicators for SIA or EIP in various parts of the world:
- DGNB Standards for individual buildings and entire (industrial) quarters
The DGNB standards define quality levels for environmental, economic and technical performance. Amongst other the site suitability, socio-cultural factors and processes are assessed. Eco-friendly solutions like renewable energy sources, energy efficient material and uses, waste-water management, local food production, permaculture or symbiotic solutions are considered while planning.
The DGNB offers a certification for "Industrial Locations" (Industrial Areas).
- Kaiserslautern University Pilot Project
The Kaiserslautern University of Technology conducted a pilot project to identify the potential for a sustainable development of industrial areas in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2011. During this study, requirements which need to be fulfilled by the parks, as well as indicators to evaluate the progress in the different sectors have been identified. Different aspects of sustainability stated in international, national and regional policies were aggregated and characterized according to their relevance to the three dimensions of Sustainable Development (SD). The recommendations have the character of a pilot project.
- GIZ SIA Guidelines
GIZ and its SIA Working Group are very active in developing guidelines for sustainable industrial areas and intend to stimulate a worldwide standards setting process. The GIZ SIA Guidelines shall give orientation when establishing sustainable industrial parks or developing a legal framework for sustainable industrial area development. The structure of the GIZ Guidelines for sustainable industrial areas is based on the following four features – organisational features, economic and infrastructure features, environmental features and social features.
- ECOSIND: Rating system based on the principles of EID
The EU-funded ECOSIND project has developed an elaborated approach towards a rating system for industrial parks. The initiative is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Housing of the Catalan government. It also includes two regional Italian governments, i.e. Abruzzo and ARPAT (Agenzia Regionale per la protezione ambientale della Toscana) as well as the regional Peloponnese government in Greece. ECOSIND intended to lay the foundations of a new strategy fostering sustainable industrial development in Southern Europe. Industrial symbiosis and industrial ecology are key concepts in its attempt to surpass economic, social and environmental limits that impact the overall industrial production.
- HQE (High Quality Environmental standard)
The Haute Qualité Environnementale or HQE (High Quality Environmental standard) is a standard for green building in France, based on the principles of sustainable development. The standard is controlled by the Paris-based Association pour la Haute Qualité Environnementale (ASSOHQE). The certification is awarded to building construction and management as well as urban planning projects. The standard is a process quality standard similar to ISO 9000 or 14000 series. The standard specifies criteria for managing the impacts on the outdoor environment (e.g. minimizing energy use, water use and waste) and creating a pleasant indoor environment (different control mechanisms). HQE certifies buildings of different utilisations and urban areas, but is not specialised in industrial areas.
- Chinese Standard for EIPs
In 2006 the Chinese Environmental State Agency (SEPA) developed a comprehensive guidance, which describes the concept of EIP as well as criteria and indicators for successful EIP projects. It was the first national standard to guide EIPs in the world. SEPA’s programme’s general objective is to encourage, manage, and monitor EIP projects by setting up criteria and indicators. According to its definition, the difference between an EIP and a traditional industrial park is the emphasis on establishing a park-wide network of industrial symbiosis composed of varied industries. Characteristics of these networks are by-products exchange, water and energy cascading, and information sharing among firms. This is supposed to promote the principles of cleaner production, industrial ecology and a circular economy.
- Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)
For Indian industrial parks a Green Rating System has been developed by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The IGBC Green SEZ Rating System is an extension of the Green SEZ guidelines, which were prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It encourages projects to exceed the requirements of well-established codes and standards. In addition, appropriate international benchmarks have been considered wherever local or national standards were not available.
Presently, only few attempts have been made to develop and test standards in Latin America in particular in Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
In Mexico, the Mexican Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) is responsible, that the industry and production in Mexico comply with the current environmental regulations and laws. The program of the PROFEPA3 aims to identify, assess and control industrial processes which may cause pollution to the environment. The programme consists of a systematic and comprehensive review of the company´s procedures and practices. The goal is to detect potential risk and to give necessary preventive and corrective recommendations. All industrial parks are formally incorporated into the National Environmental Audit Programme through a Collaboration Agreement signed in 2009 between PROFEPA and the Mexican Association of Industrial Parks (AMPIP). They also created a "Clean Park Label" to be awarded to industrial estates, offering two types of certifications: the "Certificate of Environmental Quality" and the "Clean Company Certificate".
An excellent overview of eco-(innovation) parks of the world was gained by a study carried out by Guillaume Massard et.al. from SOFIES, Switzerland on behalf of the European Research Area Network on Eco-innovation (ERA-NET ECO-INNOVERA) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in 2013/14. This study shows the guidelines and indicators which govern the various parks.
The Advanced Training Program aims to support wet processing plants in China and Bangladesh in establishing detox-compliant chemical management. The program was initiated by Tchibo GmbH, Rewe Group and GIZ within the develoPPP.de program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and in cooperation with the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.
The Training aims to provide the knowledge and practical skillset required to replace hazardous chemicals in the wet processing units in a comprehensible way.
The Advanced Training Program is a combination of classroom training and on-site visits. Target of the classroom trainings is to raise awareness and teach general knowledge on the subject. During the factory visits, consultants will then further introduce the program, identify gaps between the operations and best practices, develop a management action plan with the factory and consult on any challenges regarding the implementation. Incorporated into the training is also a train the trainers scheme which helps to increase chemical management capacity in the region. The complete training program will run over approximately 12 months from kick-off to completion.
The content of the training materials are based on the GIZ Resource Efficient Management of Chemicals" (REMC) Toolkit and closely follow the recommended structure and content of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Chemical Management System Guidelines. Currently, the training materials are available in English, Chinese and Bengali.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the commitment of the private sector to social concerns beyond legal requirements. This can be either company-internal commitment (employees’ welfare) or in the social environment of the enterprise (community relations). Ideally, CSR is implemented in the area of business operation.
Sustainable development in Industrial Areas requires an integrated approach towards stimulating economic growth, embedding environmental protection and economic development in a stable and prosperous social environment. Well-developed CSR projects enhance community relations, ease conflict potential, enable communal service providers / communal small businesses to meet industrial park requirements and support the capacity building of more employable local workforce.