Even though it is not easy to give the concept of sustainable development a unanimous definition, we will consider, on our part, that which considers it to be the "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
The main objective of sustainable development is to define patterns that reconcile the three aspects of human activities i.e. economic, social and environmental aspects.

The economic aspect: the “conventional” financial performance, but also the potential to contribute to the economic development of the area in which the company is located and that of all levels;

The social aspect: the social consequences inherent to the company's activity at all levels: employees (working conditions, wage level etc.), suppliers, clients, local communities and society in general;

The environmental aspect: the compatibility between the company's activity and the maintenance of ecosystems. It includes an analysis of the impacts of the company and its products in terms of resource consumption, waste production, polluting emissions, etc.


Sustainable development in Algeria

Today, in Algeria, the notion of sustainability is flourishing and is coming back in force in the press and territorial communication. However, progress towards sustainable development has fallen well short of expectations.

Indeed, in a developing country such as Algeria, progress towards sustainable development is still moderate and the culture of sustainable development is still little spread in society. Public authorities have the obligation to better inform and raise awareness on environmental issues. Spurring companies, public and private bodies to adopt responsible behaviors will help promote sustainable consumption and production patterns to improve the environmental and social performances of products and manufacturing processes.

Companies will, thus, be able to subscribe to environmental standards in terms of natural heritage and human resources management to improve their overall performance. In fact, they will play a proactive role in favor of sustainable development. In addition ,when citizens become aware of issues related to natural resources preservation, the fight against global warming and the improvement of their quality of life, they start changing their relationship with the environment. Ultimately, sustainable development would not only be a matter of politicians, but would expand to include the taking into account of the different intervenors in society for a new social order as well.

Therefore, in order to anchor the notion of sustainable development in all economic sectors the public authorities have adopted a strategy based on several lines for the development of a sustainable economy. Policies were set up progressively through:

⦁ Planning tools and actions that deal with natural assets management and the fight against pollution;
⦁ Economic and social choices;
⦁ The involvement of the various stakeholders in society in the process of sustainable development.

The relationship between sustainable development and industry in Algeria

The development of industry undoubtedly greatly contributes to the economic and social development of countries. However, the industrial sector is a significant element in terms of impact on nature and on the ecological system. In Algeria, industrial and activity zones spread throughout the national territory participate fully in economic development through the creation of wealth and jobs. Nevertheless, the location of most of them was generated by the spontaneous emergence of many big industrial spaces through the massive investments made within the framework of various development plans and the external economic factors (water, energy, and infrastructure) as part of the benefits sought for the implantation of industrial plants in sites that are easy to develop.
All the above-mentioned reasons have led to environment degradation caused by almost all industrial spaces. They are causing nuisance to fauna, flora, habitats and landscapes, warming climate and worsening desertification.
Currently, the Algerian state is aware of the environmental problems caused by industry and has already taken a range of steps to reconcile industry and environment including material, financial and human resources to sensitize businesses to integrate environmental concerns among their objectives.

Which model of sustainable industrial zones for Algeria?

Nowadays, it is more necessary than ever to adopt a development model of industrial zones based on sustainability and determine the right indicators which would best fit the economic, social and environmental aspects of the development of such spaces.
The benefits of realizing sustainable industrial zones are not only economic and commercial but strategic as well; risk exposure is lessened, competitiveness increases, production continues and environmental protection is better controlled.
These economic benefits will then bring about social benefits such as local jobs creation, job security and better working conditions.
Thus, the concept of zones sustainability encompasses different aspects according to the harmonious integration of the industrial zone into its environment.
The stakes for Algeria are quite high. It has to succeed in integrating the dimensions of the environment-social-economy triptych upstream of any project of realization of industrial zones, select judiciously the sites that will host these zones and deal with their planning, operating and management.

All that adds up to the issue of how to cope with the difficulties that will be encountered by companies operating in those sites and the kind of sustainable solutions to propose.

Coming up with integrated solutions by building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and encouraging innovation are key determinants that may provide a tangible answer to that issue.

The answer also includes the integration of key success factors in the design of a sustainable industrial zone model, namely:

⦁ Encouraging green economy and circular economy (by integrating renewable solar or wind energies);
⦁ Waste recovery through recycling, treatment and transformation;
⦁ The achievement of optimal wastewater and rainwater management system;
⦁ The development of green spaces;
⦁ The use of the concept of eco-transport;
⦁ The identification of potential climate risks;
⦁ Improving governance;
⦁ The conduction of a benchmark study on the best practices and models relevant to the development of sustainable industrial zones around the world; models so far adopted by many countries such as Germany, China, Korea and Morocco.

The benefits of the realization of such a model in Algeria will not only be economic and commercial but strategic as well. They will lead to risk exposure minimization, greater competitiveness, continuity of production and environment protection.

In turn, the economic benefits will generate social benefits such as the creation of local jobs, job security and better working conditions.

Thus, the concept of industrial zones sustainability will encompass different aspects according to the harmonious integration into their environment.

Mastering all aspects of a sustainable industrial area is a particularly tough task but remains a great challenge for the protagonists of the concept of industrial sustainability.

ANIREF at the service of industrial land

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