Industrial Parks (IPs) have played an important role as growth engines for local economies in the miraculous 30-year economic transition in China. IPs have contributed significantly to national GDP, employment, exports and the attraction of foreign investment. In 2014, 333 national development zones1 generated RMB14 trillion, accounting for 22.5% of the country’s GDP. However, due to rapid industrial expansion and high development density, IPs have also faced increasing resource constraints and serious environmental degradation. Water security and pollution problems top the list of concerns for many local authorities in charge of IPs.
In 2014, 333 national development zones generated RMB14 trn = 22.5% of China’s GDP…
… TEDA, one of China’s earliest development zones, is known for its unmatched economic scale & its good investment environment
Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA), one of China’s earliest national development zones, is known among its domestic IP peers for its unmatched economic scale and its good investment environment after more than 30 years of rapid growth. It has committed to pursuing sustainable development by decoupling between economic development and energy resources consumption. Moreover, it has consistently worked towards improving its environment management through initiatives including ISO14001, GRI reporting, Eco Logo on industrial solid waste management, energy/carbon emission audits etc.
In order to holistically implement “Solid waste-Energy-Water” management system, TEDA, together with Water Stewardship Australia (WSA), is now rolling out a long-term project. This project will use the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s International Water Stewardship Standards to fundamentally change the way that water is understood, used and disposed by industries, institutions and communities located in this area.
TEDA is now rolling out a long-term project with WSA…
…”this project will use the AWS International Water Stewardship Standards to fundamentally change the way that water is understood, used & disposed by industries…”
The AWS Standards set out a new roadmap for water users to understand their own water use, catchment context and shared concerns in terms of water governance, water balance, water quality and Important Water-Related Areas, then engage in meaningful individual and collective actions that benefit people and nature. In TEDA, the project will mainly focus on three tasks:
- Adopting AWS at the TEDA Level: to thoroughly evaluate the potential water risks and challenges based on the status quo, and recognise the opportunities that may comprehensively improve economic and environmental benefits;
- Launching a long-term AWS certification and recognition scheme in TEDA: to help enterprises augment efficiency of water utilisation based on voluntary standards and market mechanism;
- Developing necessary mechanisms and infrastructures to support the AWS framework, such as relevant supporting policy, data system and communication platform.
TEDA forms a replicable & sustainable model for nationwide IPs
As a major step to enhance water management and motivate major water users to make positive change individually and collectively in reducing water consumption and minimising water pollution, TEDA will summarise the best practice management for water resource development and utilisation, form a replicable and sustainable model for nationwide IPs, and promote the standardisation of AWS in national level. Thus, TEDA will demonstrate its leadership in Eco-Industrial Park Construction with a complete set of programmes covering water, solid waste, and energy (carbon) management.
Just as the Director of TEDA Eco Centre Ms. Song Yuyan said: “International cooperation is a good way to promote ecological construction of industrial parks in China, we do deem that the advanced management concept and green technologies from Australia will definitely make a difference in accelerating sustainable development of TEDA.”
This project is kindly supported by the Australian Water Partnership. The experience from this project is expected to be shared with more industrial parks in China as well as those in other countries across the Indo-Pacific Region.
1 333 national development zones includes 115 National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zones and 218 National Economic and Technological Development Zones.
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