Cooperation is the key

01 Aug 2009


Industrial organizations have come together to cooperate in order to develop sustainable measures for managing natural resources at Iskenderun Bay.

New Horizons - The first step towards potential cooperation was taken through a launch event, held in Adana at the end of June. The event was attended by 120 participants, 30% of whom were women, from industrial organizations, NGOs and the government. 

In his speech, Chairman of the Adana Chamber of Industry (ADASO) Ümit Özgümüş stressed the need for Turkey to to develop sufficient infrastructure and environmental policies to be compatible with existing EU legislations.

While talking about the project activities, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Ulrika Richardson-Golinski explained: “the development challenges are just too great for any actor to do it alone and ‘partnership is the key’”. Insinuating the prominence of environmental management, she underlined that businesses do not necessarily have to make a tradeoff between economies and the environment but instead see environmental contribution as a win-win solution. (To view Golinski's full speech, please click here). 

During the meeting, industrialists agreed on the necessity of a cleaner environment to enable effective industrial symbiosis. ADASO chairman Özgümüş said that obtaining the ample infrastructure would cost around $60 billion to complete. Such high costs may be reduced with suggestions provided at the conference including designing logical frameworks, applicable business plans, monitoring and evaluating budgets, and preparing working project documents.

Industrial symbiosis is broadly defined as cooperation between two or more parties, resulting in mutual benefits. Currently an unfamiliar business practice in Turkey, examples of industrial symbiosis can be found in Denmark, Sweden and the UK where industrial organizations benefitted from each other’s natural resources, infrastructure and work force. The multitude of advantages in forming industrial relations under the framework of symbiosis include increased resource efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and cost effectiveness. Despite these benefits, hurdles facing mutual industrial activities such as the difficulty of reaching accords are also present. Launched at the end of 2008, Towards an Industrial Symbiosis Programme in Iskenderun Bay Area is run by the UNDP in partnership with the State Planning Organization and executed by the Adana Chamber of Industry (ADASO).

Blooming partnerships

A workshop for industrialists was held the following day with the participation of around 30 industrialists where input/outputs in terms of material, waste, energy, water, wastewater were derived and inter-industry relations were established. Additionally, areas of environmental management, information management, equipment and logistics were also discussed to identify the potential synergies among industries. In addition, other necessary partners which may benefit from such synergies were outlined, highlighting the problems that may arise from potential partnerships.

As a consequence of the workshop, industrialists decisively formed approximately ten partnerships on material/waste exchange, logistics, etc.. Moreover, the participants foresaw the need for a mutual platform of industrialists and important stakeholders in overcoming the problems, that cannot be dealt with by individual industries. The workshop was extended upon their request to discuss the structure of such a platform.

Proving highly fruitful in encouraging networking among the industrialists, the workshop was instrumental in highlighting the existing potentials to form synergies among various industries.