Designing New Generation Industrial Parks

Jorge L. Reyes
Sustainable Development Advisor, UNDP Manila

(This is an excerpt from the speech delivered at the conference dubbed as "Industrial Estates and Ecozones: The Millenium Challenge". This event was jointly organized by the Philippine Chamber of Industrial Estates & Ecozones, United Nations Development Programme, PRIME Project, US-AEP and US-EPA held at Manila Peninsula Hotel, Makati City)

We would like to convey our gratitude to the Department of Trade and Industry and our very active partners from the Industrial Estate sector, The Philippine Chamber of Industrial Estates and Ecozones (PCIE) in convening this conference.

We are privileged to have started and are now continuing our partnership with the private sector, through the PRIME Project (Private Sector Participation in Managing the Environment). We are also honored to build partnership with other agencies and programmes, such as the RPP International-Indigo Development and the US Asia Environmental Partnership and the US-EPA in pursuing environmentally sustainable management of industrial estates.

We convene this conference at the threshold of the new century and the new millenium, preparing ourselves not only in terms of our existing preoccupations, but also in terms of the new challenges and the corresponding strategies that we have to face and adopt in the coming years. Secondly, this conference comes at a time when new concepts and tools are emerging to confront industrial and environmental issues in order to pursue a sustainable development path.

The main objective of this conference is to capacitate developers through knowledge and understanding in designing new industrial estates in order to improve their economic and environmental performance and those of the companies operating in them. As gleaned from the programme for this two-day conference, the potential benefits of these approaches include:

  • New sources of revenues for the management of existing industrial estates;
  • Improved design of new estates, enhancing competitiveness of their recruitment process;
  • Cost savings for plants operating in the estates;
  • Opportunities for interplant collaboration in R&D, training, purchasing, environmental management, and other key operational areas;
  • Improved resource efficiency, cleaner production, and overall reductions in environmental burdens of the companies and the estate infrastructure

Industrial ecology offers a new way of thinking towards a holistic and systematic approach in the environmental management of industrial estates. The present attempt to elevate the waste exchange application to the level of industrial ecology in the Philippines is consistent with the principles embodied in the Philippine Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) among which is the promotion of area based industrial environmental management for sustainable development in eco-industrial parks. The Industrial Ecology Module of the PRIME Project is designed to enhance business competitiveness through sound environmental management.

Business and industry, in particular, can play a major role in improving efficiency of resource use, minimizing wastes and protecting human wealth and environmental quality. Business and industry can also develop policies that result in operations and products that have lower environmental impacts. On the other hand, governments can provide economic incentives, laws, and standards to promote and sustainably manage enterprise and development projects. Industrial estates, on one hand, can be designed in such a way that the community of businesses within the estate seeks a collective benefit to improve economic performance while minimizing environmental impact.