Construction of Eco-Industrial Parks
Korean economy has shown remarkable performance in a short space of time, unprecedented in the world economy. It was only possible due to the devotion and hard work of the industrial workers who led the production and export activities. However, the condition of industrial complex has significantly transformed over time. It is difficult to manage environmental problems due to rapid transition that filled the vicinity with residential and commercial facilities, and consequently companies within the industrial complex have difficulty in operating the business. To resolve the issue, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) launched on a project to build eco-industrial parks (EIPs), in cooperation with Korea Industrial Complex Corporation (KICOX) that would mitigate difficulties of the businesses in the industrial complexes, and increase their competitiveness. The aim of this project is to build sustainable industrial parks where environment and economies are harmonized. An eco-industrial park (EIP) is based on the idea of industrial ecology that applies principles of a natural ecology, which is held by food chain. It pursues zero emission of pollutants by recycling by-products, waste, used energy generated from the industrial complex so that they could be used as material or energy source for other production activities. The South Korean government led a three-phase, 15-year EIP initiative since 2005 for the balance of the environment, economy, and society. The first phase (2005-2010) has been progressed to carry out the demonstration projects for converting five existing industrial complexes into EIPs under the vision of establishing the sustainable industrial eco-system. The first phase has been completed successfully with 120 million USD in economic benefit and 390 thousand tons of waste material reduction annually. Constructing the second phase (2010-2014) EIPs is started in June, 2010 by expanding from five complex-oriented pilot EIPs to eight region-oriented EIPs. Strategies including regionalization of resource circulation networks, increase of company's participation, vitalization of community cooperation, and internationalization of the Korean EIP model are suggested in order to achieve 330 million USD in economic benefit, 3 million tons of waste material reduction, and 5 hundred jobs creation in 2014 for the greening of industry.