According to “The Report of Industry in Forging Green Cities,” it is important for society to improve its industrial energy efficiency if it wants to achieve social and environmental changes. The paper, published by the Institute for Industrial Productivity, states that “the world’s cities are as diverse as the challenges that face them, but the importance of improving energy efficiency in industry is common to many.”
A significant societal effect is the trend that sees industry located on the outer fringes of cities’ where people who aren’t as wealthy invariably end up living due to high real estate costs.
Industrial energy effiency improvements to benefit society
Jigar V. Shah, Executive Director of the Institute for Industrial Productivity and also a co-author of the study says that this approach has “come at a high cost”, and that by “creating sustainable cities will be the key to reversing this trend”.
“We will need to develop more sustainable cities – that are compact, connected and well managed – and manage their hunger for energy through industrial energy efficiency processes and technology, and the smart reuse of waste and energy,” says Shah.
According to the report, “the impact of industrial pollution on the urban poor is not unique to developing countries and has been well-documented in US cities, where industrial facilities releasing toxics into the air, soil, and water tend to be concentrated in areas with higher numbers of low-income and minority residents.”
Chris Sall, also a co-author of the report, adds that it will require strong leadership by both national and local governments to build green cities that meet the needs of its citizens.
Local & national government support essential in development of green cities
“With more and more of the world’s population moving to the cities, we can expect a massive strain on cities’ infrastructure and resources,” says Sall.
“Smart urban planning, better access to basic services, good leadership, transparent processes, and integrated authority will ensure cities are well-positioned to mobilize greater resources for industrial energy efficiency,” she adds. “Cities should focus on the basics first and lay the groundwork for progressively more ambitious actions,” explains Sall.
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The Institute for Industrial Productivity also tries to highlight other issues including the fact that the energy demand of the industry will remain relatively constant in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries as well as in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe.
Energy demand to increase substantially as countries continue growth
However, the industrial energy efficiency report believes that energy demand will increase substantially in the emerging economies of Asia, including that of India and China, and to a lesser degree that of the Middle East and Africa.
The report also indicated that in the coming decades, industry will remain an important element of the international urban economy. It will provide over a billion jobs and generate almost 30 per cent of economic output.
Concerning industrial energy efficiency, the report’s profiles of urban centres are varied. However, it still confirms the importance of urban industry as the end user of energy and also a major producer of greenhouse gasses, especially in regions that manifest aggressive and faster growths.