Eco-Industrial Parks Programme

About the Eco-Industrial Parks Programme

The eco-industrial parks (EIPs) concept dates to early 1990s with the uptake increasing in 2018. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) defines EIP as a community of businesses located on a common property in which businesses seek to achieve enhanced environmental, economic and social performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues. While this sounds like what typically defines the traditional industrial park model, EIP approaches go beyond that.

EIP approaches encourage an exchange of synergies known as industrial symbiosis, which is a means by which companies can gain a competitive advantage through the physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products – eliminating a waste of resources and reducing environmental impact. The EIP concept also embraces community collaboration thereby fostering inclusive and sustainable development. The advantage about the EIP concept is that it can be adopted by new or existing industrial parks.

Key components of EIPs

The benefits of EIPs

  • Industrial synergies through which companies to benefit from greater collaboration
  • Reduced environmental impact through resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP) practices
  • Greater collaboration between companies, government and service providers. i.e. inclusion of parks in government master plans
  • Tenant companies and management are enabled to turn environmental problems into solutions
  • Capacitates parks for increased competitiveness, business development, production continuity and a better reputation with key stakeholders
  • Collaboration with surrounding communities

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Learn more about the EIP Programme

Implementation areas and partners


Eco-Industrial Parks Implementation support material

Industry guides and other tools


Eco-Industrial Policy in South Africa

Read more on the Policy guides

Best practice

Eco-Industrial Parks International best practice examples

View our top examples