To increase the competitiveness of the Strasbourg port zone and its companies, the Autonomous Port of Strasbourg (PAS) and the Urban Community of Strasbourg (CUS) started an industrial ecology initiative in September 2013. With 320 companies and 10,000 employees, the Strasbourg port zone is the biggest concentration of industry and logistics in the Alsace region.
Industrial ecology is an approach which aims to understand the industrial system as an ecosystem composed of complementary, interdependent actors, like a ‘natural’ ecosystem. What is proposed is therefore a global approach based on analysing flows of existing and future materials and energies.
Three types of action are possible in this initiative:
– controlling the cost of energy and materials, if necessary by applying inter-company synergies to optimise production and consumption
– reducing energy and materials requirements
– company resilience in the area of fossil fuels
Thus, in concrete terms, the potential study aims at:
– Mobilising 15 environmentally sensitive companies with large flows in the Strasbourg-Kehl port zone.
– Establishing a base line of the main energy and materials flows in their industrial processes
– Detecting the potential for synergies with a preliminary approach to the feasibility of application
– Identifying and characterising possible projects to be launched or encouraged, and the actors to be mobilised
– Establishing an action plan including the financial engineering of the necessary investments
In the first phase (September 2013 – June 2014), 15 companies agreed to take part in this innovative initiative. After an audit of the energy and materials flows of each, inter-company synergies were identified and the first actions are being carried out by the companies. Fifteen new companies will be incorporated into the initiative from September 2014.
Between 2009 and 2013, the agro-food and environmental sectors have been net generators of jobs, as has the general interest sector. In future, the industrial ecology initiative will facilitate structuring to make activities and jobs greener in the medium to long term, and the energy transition of the port zone. It also aims to develop inter-company synergies, especially in environmental activities such as industrial water, waste management, sewage, various services, etc.
Aurore Mourette, Direction du développement, Chef de projet développement durable, Port autonome de Strasbourg, France