The eco-industrial complex of Suzhou Industrial Park

The purpose of an is to help enterprises to reduce the amount of negative impact they have on the environment. The primary way of doing so is supposed to be the increased volume at which the companies in certain areas exchange resources within the system instead of taking those from the outside world. The result of such exchange is the simultaneous increase in energy efficiency and decrease in pollution[i].

However, the improvement in resource management is not supposed to be the only benefit of establishing an eco-industrial park. In heavily industrialized regions, such as some districts of China, these complexes begin playing a bigger role not only in production but in other areas. In this way, an eco-industrial park gains significance in other aspects such as social and economic. The present work is going to be aimed at considering the case of the eco-industrial complex of . It will evaluate its performance in the following areas: management, social, environmental, and economic areas.

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An eco-industrial park is designed for a plethora of purposes. These complexes have relationships not only with the production capacities of the enterprises that are included in them, but also nature, the community, and the broader economic context. In this way, it is necessary to bear in mind that an is supposed to produce benefits in each of the areas mentioned above. Suzhou Industrial Park is no exception as it can be subjected to the same criteria of analysis in those areas.

Economic benefits should include the annual growth of industrial added value, an increase of the proportion of scientific and high-tech input in the production of gross industrial output value, and, consequentially, growth of research of certain areas. Social benefits must primarily include the government revenue from taxation of the enterprises, the rise in employment rates, and the increase in the quality of life of the local population.

Environmental benefits must have an increase in the following components: industrial water recycling rate, repeated utilization of raw materials, energy recycling rate, the substitution of raw material, harmless garbage disposal rate, and so on. At the same time, it is expected to produce a decrease mainly in the following: the COD emissions, solid waste emissions, and the CO2 emissions per unit of industrial added value. In terms of management, an eco-industrial park must effectively formulate the internal management system and implement it for enterprises, , certification, and monitoring[ii].

Management and Institutional Action
Ecological protection has been the main principle of Suzhou Industrial Park planning since its beginning. In its practice, SIP relies primarily on the environmental regulations that had been implemented in the 1990s. However, it continues to improve and modernize its approach to environmental regulations as the new companies, which have a desire to locate their businesses there, must be assessed in terms of their projected energy consumption and other important metrics.

There is a strict rule of one-vote veto in the energy inspection, regardless of the profits promised. Currently, the use of coal-fired boilers is prohibited as the management of the park is required to combat the industries that have intensive energy consumption and cause excessive pollution. The range of new regulations, implemented in the 2010s, targets the companies that use more than 3000 tce/year[iii]. This means that papermaking, electroplating, and circuit board manufacturers must constantly improve their production process in terms of ecological sustainability.

There is also a separate policy regarding water consumption. Any use of freshwater that exceeds the quota stated by the national standard is strongly discouraged by the 50% increase in pay comparing to the price for regular water rate. There are also measures for incentivizing the adherence to environmental protection rules. A company may be awarded up to 10% of the cost of the resource used in the evaluation of the Financial Bureau and the environmental commission finds no violations. In the same manner, up to 20% of expenses on energy savings and up to 50% fees on energy audits can be subsidized by the administration of the park.

Environmental Infrastructure
The synergetic aspect of Suzhou Industrial Parks use of energy and resources is concentrated in two systems. The first one establishes a symbiotic interaction between the facilities that are involved in sludge, wastewater, and cogeneration. The second one deals with cascading of heating, electricity, and cooling[iv]. The wastewater treatment plants of SIP have the capacity of processing 350 000 metric tons of water per day. The reclaimed water systems can process up to 30 000 tons per day and direct it to Dongwu Cogeneration Plant. The sludge, which is a byproduct of the aforementioned operations, is processed in a nearby sludge drying plant, which can eliminate 300 tons of it per day. The dried sludge is mixed in fuel that is also used in a cogeneration plant. The total amount of energy saved in this way amounts 12 000 tce yearly.

The ash of burned sludge is further used for construction material production. For the cooling of a nearby district, the let-down steam from the cogeneration plant is used, resulting in the effective functioning of non-electric air conditioning systems.

Community and Social Component
The SIP has been developed primarily for the industrial operations of electronics and machinery. However, property development in the area was also a big part of the overall process. The housing provided in the district attracted a significant amount of skilled workforce to the area, which resulted in a demographic increase, which then caused the implementation of new strategic programs. Namely, those programs were aimed at further improving the infrastructure for making the SIP area the first pilot smart city in China[v]. The program is expected to implement 3 service portals that would integrate services in the areas of public health, social insurance, education, and leisure organization.

The program also has attractive urban development in mind. The SIP management regularly works on organizing activities for schools and community residents. The smart bus system schedules and maintains 640 buses circulating between 455 bus stops. SIP plans a 25 square kilometer area for universities and scientific facilities. In addition to that, the SIP administration created 25 million square meters of green areas around the district[vi].

It can be said surely that Suzhou Industrial Park is an example of a . The administration is successful in properly managing the enterprises under its custody. The ecological norms are strictly formulated and specific measures are implemented to control for adherence to them. In addition to that, the numerous activities and programs are concerned with the well-being of the population and the establishment of a coherent and sound community.


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