(223a) Collaborative Profitable Pollution Prevention Theory for Improved Industrial Zone Sustainable Development | AIChE

(223a) Collaborative Profitable Pollution Prevention Theory for Improved Industrial Zone Sustainable Development



In its most general form, the most widely accepted definition of sustainable development was identified in the Brundtland Report as ?development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.?[1] Industrial sustainability looks to improve the material and energy efficiencies, product quality and variety, and productivity within an industrial zone, thus pursuing the long-term sustainable development of a given industry. Although industrial sustainability is a specific field within the sustainability hierarchy, it is still broad in scope, ranging anywhere from the development of a specific plant, industry, or region.

The concept of industrial pollution prevention (P2), introduced by the U.S. EPA, refers to the maximum feasible reduction of all wastes, including wastewater, solid waste, and air emissions, generated at production sites.[2] Various P2 technologies have been developed and implemented since P2 was first introduced, each essentially geared towards the areas of technology change, material substitution, in-plant recovery/reuse, and treatment, all of which require a sizeable capital investment and hence were not widely accepted by industry.[3] In order for P2 to gain industry wide approval, it needed to be able to demonstrate significant improvements to the economic bottom line of the entity implementing the technologies. To overcome this issue, the concept of profitable pollution prevention (P3) was developed, which incorporated both environmental and economic benefits, thus allowing industries to simultaneously become environmentally conscious and profitable.[3]

While P3 technologies encompass two of the triple bottom lines associated with the study of sustainability, i.e. the economic and environmental aspects, this paper will further extend the P3 concept to encompass the third leg of the triple bottom lines of sustainability, namely the social dimension. From an industrial sustainability stand point, this social dimension can be viewed as the effect industrial operations have on their employees, suppliers, investors, local and global communities, and customers. In order to achieve improved industrial social sustainability, there is an unmistakable need for collaboration and a direct relationship among all involved in the supply chain (i.e. the corporations, employees, suppliers, investors, communities, customers, etc.). Therefore, there is a need for collaborative profitable pollution prevention (CP3) techniques in order to study the three aspects of industrial sustainability and to identify specific methods that assist in the analysis decision-making required for the improvement of the state of industrial sustainability within a system. Furthermore, it is important to note that CP3 methods apply to a manufacturing zone consisting of a number of different plants or an industry composed of many of the same types of plants, P3 technologies on the other hand apply only to a single plant.

This paper will introduce the CP3 methodology that can be implemented at the plant, industry, or regional level to improve the sustainable development of an industrial region by creating more value, wealth, and profits (economically viable dimension), providing cleaner/environmentally benign products with less raw material consumption and waste generation (environmentally compatible dimension), while simultaneously encouraging the industrial regional synergistic efforts on resource use efficiency among member entities (socially responsible dimension). This area of research is quite valuable to the area of industrial sustainability due to its novel problem description and evaluation. The models and system design approach are useful in the component-based characterization and evaluation of regional waste generation, by-product recycle, and production efficiencies. This information can then be used to adapt and modify the industry dependencies and determine alternative methods of product manufacturing if necessary. This methodology is also useful for industry forecasters to analyze potential industry changes as well as evaluate their effects on the industry's sustainability in the future.

[1] World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1987. [2] Cushnie, G. C., Pollution Prevention and Control Technology for Plating Operations, NCMS, Ann Arbor, MI, 1995. [3] Lou, H. H. and Y. L. Huang. Profitable Pollution Prevention: Concept, Fundamentals, and Development. J. of Plating and Surface Finishing. 2000, 87(11), 59-66.