Within the European Union-funded EU4Environment Action, UNIDO advances the technical knowledge of managers and specialists from the private Belarusian companies residing in the Free Economic Zone (FEZ) “Minsk” on the key approaches of Eco-Industrial Parks (EIP) – resource-efficient and cleaner production (RECP) and industrial symbiosis (IS).
In accordance with the national action plan, FEZ “Minsk” and FEZ “Mogilev” have been designated pilot territories for testing and introducing the elements of an Eco-Industrial Park (EIP). The work in FEZ “Minsk” began in February 2021 with an information seminar, “Ways and possibilities of creating an eco-industrial park in the conditions of the free economic zone “Minsk”, which was held at the national RECP Center. It aimed to raise awareness among managers and specialists of resident enterprises on the approaches and advantages of an eco-industrial park, and the best practices for increasing resource efficiency.
In late April – early May 2021, the RECP Center carried out a survey for the FEZ “Minsk” tenant companies on resource-efficient and cleaner production, and on industrial symbiosis. The main purpose of the survey was to collect statistical data in order to analyse the level of resource-efficient production at the pilot site, to assess the performance of the site using the International Framework for Eco-industrial Parks (EIP), as well as to identify promising practices of industrial symbiosis. 16 organizations from Minsk city and the Minsk region participated in the survey, including companies working in food production, machinery and equipment, vehicles, metal, and wood products.
In June – July 2021, the work on the assessment of the pilot plot of FEZ “Minsk” (“Shabany”) against the International EIP Framework was launched. According to the preliminary findings, the current level of compliance of the site with the international recommendations for EIP was at 50%.
A technical workshop on RECP and IS was organised in October 2021. It was considered to be the next important step to further prepare the recommendations for the operator of FEZ “Minsk” to become fully compliant. It also helped continue strengthening the cooperation between the RECP Center (a National Implementing Partner of UNIDO under the EU4Environment Action) and the FEZ “Minsk” management, as well as to involve private companies in the process of creating an Eco-Industrial Park. Core topics of discussion revolved around the importance and benefits of green transformation for businesses and industrial parks, the transition to low-carbon, and circular economy. The role of hosting the so-called RECP Clubs by the FEZ “Minsk”, and the approaches on developing IS were also included as instruments for such a transition.
Over 25 participants (out of which 15 were women) from private enterprises and the Zone’s management took part in the online event. The event’s presenters singled out their contribution around best international practices in the field of RECP and IS (relevant for the private companies), the identification of local opportunities for cost reduction, means of increasing SMEs’ competitiveness, and ways to strengthen corporate responsibility.