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Industry Track 4: Green Industrial Zones In the Mediterranean





Industrial parks, which include industrial facilities, trading centres and  offices, have main different environmental impacts such as, air pollution, creating solid waste and wastewater, energy consumption and emission of GHGs and more.


Monitoring and reduction of these environmental impacts can be achieved through regulatory tools, licences and permits. At the same time, however, there can be an increase in productivity and efficiency through incorporating sustainable development environmental management in the entire industrial zone. Such development, which takes into consideration the environmental impacts of the whole industrial park, allows implementing environmental solutions in which the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. Additional gains are also possible, including economic efficiency, new ways to produce profit, and improvement of the labor conditions of the employees and the connection with the community in the industrial park. The director of the industrial part guides the implementation of a vision of the park as a connected system through the principals of sustainability.    


One of methodologies to achive an ecological industrial zone is to implement industrial symbiosis. This refers to an association between two or more industrial facilities or companies in which the wastes or by-products of one become the raw materials for another. In the Mediterranean region, there are several leading examples that can be replicated towards achieving green and competitive industry development. For example, Israel is moving ahead with an initiative to shift industrial parks to be sustainable parks. Green industrial zones are designed with basic sustainable concepts  and collaborative strategies which include shared water treatment facilities, shared logistics and shipping and receiving facilities, shared parking, green technologies, district energy systems, and local education and resource centres.


“The importance of sustainable industrial parks and industrial symbiosis?

  1. Highlight that sustainable industrial park and industrial symbiosis are key approaches towards realising sustainable production goals and circular economy vision at regional and national levels
  2. Share leading demonstrations in the Mediterranean region
  3. Collate lessons learned and suggestions for replicating the demo


The main moderator in this session was CAROLINA GONZALEZ MUELLER, Industrial Development Officer at United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Various sustainable industrial park examples or industrial symbiosis examples were presented during the panel presentations. These cases are mainly from MED TEST II demo component participants and business intermediaries joining from Spain, France and Italy:


1)     FRANÇOISE BONNET, Secretary General of the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+)


The FISSAC project (Fostering Industrial Symbiosis for a Sustainable Resource Intensive Industry across the extended Construction Value Chain) involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology, and software platform to facilitate information exchange that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.


The model is based on three sustainability pillars:

  • environmental (with a lifecycle approach)
  • economic
  • social (taking into consideration stakeholders engagement and impact on society).


FISSAC aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of the processes, services and products at different levels.


Download the presentation here.


2)     Noa Cohen-Kissinger, Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator at the Eastern Negev Regional Unit - Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection


Yeruham Sustainable Industrial Park example


The need of promoting eco industrial parks is evident to increase economic gains and improving environmental quality. Small businesses are not usually considered.


The aim should be minimising the environmental impact while increasing economic and social impacts, involving small businesses and local communities.


The industrial park was built 50 years ago. But during the last years the town municipality has acquired a socio-environmental approach.


Stakeholders of the Yeruham Sustainable Industrial park: the town residents, the Ministry of Environment, the smaller businesses (it is important to contribute to their prosperity since it is mainly the local people), large factories (growing number of environmental standards and revisions from the ministry, they have been pushed to make environmental investments), the town municipality, ministry of economy and industry.



  •     Upgrade of the sewage treatment facility
  •     New solid waste treatment facility
  •     Use of natural gas and green energy (following the cleaner act to reduce industrial pollution), installing solar panels
  •     Advancing sustainable local economy by giving higher priority to local businesses competing for local projects (collaborating with google Israel to increase the visibility of small businesses)
  •     Infrastructure: the municipality and the ministry of economy invested to connect the town and the industrial park (safe road and sidewalk, plus a bike road, with light)


More to come:

  •      Aggregating businesses on energy efficiency
  •      Advance volunteering programme to integrate in the community projects
  •      Encourage walking or riding to work
  •      Encourage sharing materials between factories
  •      A community recycling centre
  •      Education: in schools, advancing with SMEs on environmental issues
  •      A new park will be planned based on green building principle and the green industrial park standard, new businesses will need to comply with these principles



  •     Multi stakeholder cooperation is key
  •     Support is needed for small businesses
  •     An integrative approach is required, one that includes industry, community and environment


The moderator posed a question after the presentation:  What were the different contributions of the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Economy and the Municipality?


The answer was: The Ministry of Environment started the project but wanted to integrate the SMEs. Municipalities also wanted to support the local businesses. The Ministry of Economy had also a similar objective and saw the model so they joined the project.


                                                    Download the presentation here.



3)     Maria Dolors Nuñez, Acció


Catalonia Connects

 From linear to circular economy - In Catalonia they have realized the importance and strength of circular economy and was integrated in the industrial plans raising awareness in the territory but also among companies. They had different objectives: awareness raising, mapping the economic activity related to circular economy (including water, waste, materials, energy, 384 companies, 4080 million € turnover),  providing tools (eco innovation vouchers- direct discount and strategic partnership instrument; and pilot in mobility to shift the way of thinking and boosting CE initiatives),and giving sectorial workshops and providing guides …


They used the methodology of the Ellen MacArthur (they are members of the Foundation) and their support.


Tools and incentives:

  •     Pilot project: energy efficiency and water consumption optimization in meat industry
  •     Positive City block, not only near energy building but positive energy (even taking into account the difficult legal framework) but they want indicators to prove it is possible
  •     Industrial symbiosis


They just launched the CircE Project (European regions towards Circular Economy) to build partnerships.

Download the presentation here



4)     Carles Rivera, Managing Director, Barcelona Metropolitan Region Industrial Park


The Pacte Industrial is the alliance for sustainable economic development between Catalonian Associations And Trade Unions in Spain.


They have published a number of guides that tackle issues related to circular economy, including mobility, public transport, human capital formation, in-depth sectorial studies, internationalization, and local initiatives for energy transition in industrial parks.


The publication on local initiatives serves as a practical guide for municipal councils and local businesses that are seeking help in developing their potential to boost the process of energy transition by implementing actions in industrial parks.


Furthermore Mr. Rivera presented the following industrial park and industrial symbiosis examples:

  •     Barberá del Vallés and Sabadell- Simbiosi industrial – Fostering industrial symbiosis in industrial park. Six industrial parks in Sabadell and four in Barberá with 2500 industries- 150 industries were visited. Activities from 2014 to 2016: Survey, informal and technical sessions, factsheets, prospecting industrial companies (needs), strong communication campaign, …


  •    Viladecans- Low–energy industrial urban-industrial park where they want to improve the energy infrastructure of an industrial park, and thereby improve its competitiveness.


  •    Rubí Brilla- Fostering energy efficiency in industrial parks promoted by the Mayor’s office. The goal is to transform the city into national and international leader in energy efficiency and use of renewable energies, while promoting industrial competitiveness.


  •    Granollers- EcoCongost - Energy symbiosis in industrial parks. This concerns a diagnosis which measured the potential of each industry to reduce emissions and to transition to sustainable energy. The diagnosis is a kind of branding tool which includes an analysis of heat and residual energy and different alternatives for the best economic return. They have also evaluated district heating, amongst other potential solutions.


  •    Mataró- TurbVerd- District heating and cooling from residual energy. This is a joint venture (51.1% Gas Natural and 48.9% Aigües de Mataró) promoted by the municipality which involves district heating and cooling using excess energy.


One of the questions from the audience was: Is there any pushback or has it being smooth?

In answer to the question Mr. Rivera and Ms. Nuñez answered:

In general you always find companies that are at the beginning very enthusiastic depending also on the prior relationship and collaboration with the municipality, when the relation is good. If the relation is not good the private company feels that much is being asked from them. So they are not always success stories, and the unsuccessful ones are not compiled in the guide.

In some cases it is necessary to move back and to build a trust relationship. Particularly to improve their knowledge from each other’s work. So they build on this climate. Many workshops and facilitation dynamics are necessary to make it work, though sometimes this is not possible.

 Download the presentation here.


5)     Carolina Gonzalez Mueller, Industrial Development Officer at UNIDO - Eco Industrial Parks (UNIDO case study)


UNIDO’s mandate is to promote inclusive and sustainable industry:

  •     Advancing economic competitiveness
  •    Safeguarding the environment
  •    Creating shared prosperity for communities


The approach takes place in 3 levels:

  •     Company level: resource efficiency and cleaners production (RECP) assessment (good housekeeping, input material change, better process control, …)
  •     Working together with the industrial park to shift to collective resource efficiency solutions: helping identify synergies on resource efficiency exchange and at the management level (introducing regulations and providing service and infrastructure provision system through supply of goods, renewable energy and water; …)
  •     Helping build sustainable cities: social infrastructure for employees and communities (educational and training center, medical services, sufficient accommodation for employees, child care facilities) in order to improve working and living conditions.


UNIDO intends to scale up SCP and take it to the next level through industrial parks (retrofitting the old ones and building new ones). For this it is important to have a common framework and a comparable base to work from.


                                                    Download the presentation here.


The audience asked: In some countries there are not sustainable providers so how could these industrial parks be built?

To which Ms. Gonzalez answered: It depends on the specific situation. You can’t limit the options for the park and you need to go case by case.

“There needs to be an enabling environment!?Quote from a Session Participant