Eco-industrial parks: 5 steps to optimize sustainability
Eco-industrial parks (EIPs) are growing in number as businesses seek ways to boost sustainability and reduce environmental impact. In these cooperative ecosystems, businesses on a shared site work together on the principle of industrial symbiosis, exchanging and reusing resources such as materials, energy, water and by-products. Their goal is to create competitive advantage while reducing waste and pollution, protecting the environment and enriching local communities.
Each EIP is unique: some have been specially designed, while others have evolved over time. The Kalundborg ecopark in Denmark, for example, evolved gradually through the cooperation of neighboring industries. Here, the use of surplus heat from a coal-fired power plant to heat local homes cuts the amount of thermal pollution discharged to a nearby fjord. A local fish farm, which also benefits from the surplus heat, sells its sludge as a fertilizer. Steam from the power plant is sold to a pharmaceutical and enzyme manufacturer and a petroleum plant. A by-product of the power plant’s sulfur-dioxide scrubber meets almost all the gypsum needs of a wallboard manufacturer, while the plant’s fly ash and clinker are sold on for road building and cement production.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Chemelot is focusing on shared knowledge and sustainable processes and products to realize its vision of becoming the safest, most sustainable and competitive chemical site in western Europe by 2025.
Whatever their make-up, EIPs involve a complex network of interrelated value chains and processes. Some essential steps are needed to streamline coordination of those elements for optimal sustainability, innovation and growth.
To discover how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help to achieve these goals, visit https://www.3ds.com/industries/infrastructure-energy-materials