Eco-industrial parks can reduce waste, energy consumption – US economist

first_imgTo effectively lessen waste generation, reduce energy consumption and improve social growth in Guyana’s manufacturing sector, there is a window of advantages if eco-industrial parks are established at key locations.This is the opinion shared by a senior economist of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Ralph Lucan on Thursday evening, who presented the idea after taking a look at some sites on the coast.According to Lucan, an eco-industrial park is one where “People collaborate in managing environment and resource issues and they interact. The community of business seeks collective benefit that is greater than the sum of individual benefits. Each company would realise by optimising its individual performance.”While there are a few negative implications, the positive outcomes far outweigh these setbacks. As companies utilise the waste materials such as steam from another plant, less greenhouse gases and chemicals are generated.“There are benefits of an eco-industrial park and there are several around the world. There is reduced use of waste of raw materials [and] water energy chemicals, minimise greenhouse gases; reduce waste through resource circularity or industrial symbiosis,” said the economist.He added, “There is reduced economic environmental social risks; recycling of activities, improve competitiveness and profitability, better jobs, health and safety, better access to new technologies and finance by sharing ideas.”However, such a concept must be carefully executed using a park management performance initiative to keep track of the growth rate and if companies are benefiting as they should. Employment generation is greatly influenced by this mechanism.“Park management performance focuses on environmental performance in terms of energy management, waste management, water management. They think about the social performance in terms of the social structure, community outreach and there is improved productivity in employment generation, local business SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). The idea is more along the lines of sustainable development.”He noted that in these cases, there must be adequate facilities on site to cater for emergencies including fires and industrial accidents. Waste removal can pose as a major issue as large generation of unwanted materials are produced.In Guyana, Lucan alluded to areas such as Coldigen, East Coast Demerara which is known for furniture making and woodworking activities. A similar setup can be seen at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt on the East Bank Demerara and there are possibilities for these areas to become primetime eco-industrial parks.last_img

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