On the 25th and 26th of May 2022, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa hosted the 5th Biennial Industrial Efficiency Conference 2022. NatuReS participated in the conference with a specific contribution under the topic of Eco-Industrial Parks. Amanda Nyingwa presented on behalf of NatuReS on the role of water stewardship as a conduit for facilitating sustainable water management in industrial parks. Critically, the presentation mentioned the multi-level benefits of water stewardship for industrial parks, addressed the role of water stewardship in responding to water-related risks faced by industrial parks and emphasized the significance of guiding mechanisms for supporting the uptake of water stewardship in industrial parks with a spotlight on the Water Stewardship for Sustainable Water Management: Standard Operating Procedures for Industrial Parks (Water Stewardship SOPs). The Water Stewardship SOPs were developed in cooperation between NatuReS and the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
Through a four-phased approach, the Water Stewardship SOPs support industrial parks, including park tenants, to holistically view their interaction with water and establish actions for efficient and sustainable water use within the facility, at park level and beyond park boundaries into the catchment. The value of this integrated approach is that it provides a basis for engagement in collective action for the shared management of a common resource and offers first level guidance for stewardship-embedded responses to support industrial parks on their journey towards water security. Moreover, it represents an opportunity for industrial parks to curate measures elevating their business competitiveness while enhancing their water security, both for their sites as well as the catchment, where their supply chain network and employees are located.
The Industrial Efficiency Conference is a key calendar event in South Africa. The topics covered underscored that industrial areas have immense potential for substantial improvements in supporting South Africa’s transition to a just green and resource-efficient economy. At the same time, the conference highlighted the significance of availing supportive structures, mechanisms and resources to ensure that that industrial areas are able to respond effectively to natural resources risks, enhance their competitiveness and support socio-economic growth.
To access the conference, sessions, presentations and pictures: Industrial Efficiency Conference 2022 archive – Industrial Efficiency