Environmental Engineering Reference
minerals). This integrated approach pursues collective benefits that are greater than the sum
of individual benefits that each company would obtain individually from the optimization of
its own performances. The strategies to achieve such a goal require a new design or a
revitalisation of infrastructures and of industrial park planning, cleaner production, protection
from pollution, energy efficiency and business cooperation.
We distinguish three basic categories of eco-industrial projects:
1. Eco-industrial park or estate (EIP) - an industrial park developed and managed as a real
estate development enterprise and seeking high environmental, economic, and social
benefits as well as business excellence.
2. By-product exchange (BPX) - a set of companies seeking to utilize each other's by-
products (energy, water, and materials) rather than disposing of them as waste.
3. Eco-industrial network (EIN) - a set of companies collaborating to improve their
environmental, social, and economic performance in a region (see Figure 1).
We believe these distinctions are important to maintain, although there are various ways
projects can overlap. EIPs and EINs may include by-product exchange programs. One or
more EIPs may participate in either a BPX or an EIN .
An eco-industrial network may include stand-alone companies, companies in industrial
parks, and the park management organizations. EIN members collaborate to enhance their
performance and to create shared services and facilities. One form of collaboration is to
exchange by-product materials, energy, or water among companies, when feasible .
Hence, the strategic objectives of environmental performance pursued by the EIPs are:
efficient resource use
environmental impact reduction
management of interactions between the environment and surrounding communities.
Some of the shared services may be: environmental management systems of a single
production cycle, logistics, by-products exchange, recruitment of other businesses, external
promotion, management of green areas, etc.
Figure 1. Eco-industrial network.