Several industrial parks in the state of Chihuahua have adopted sustainability measures from government and company organizations, aiming to increase industrial competitiveness and attract foreign investment, as well as taking care of the environment and improve workers’ level and quality life in industries.

An example of this was the maintenance of the infrastructure of six industrial parks on different state municipalities, mainly in Ciudad Juarez, by Promotora de la Industria Chihuahuense, with a version that exceeds 12 million pesos.
Promotora also encouraged the strategy of investment promotion and attraction of manufacturing industry, focusing it in high added value projects according to priority sectors of automotive industry, aerospace, biomedical, information technologies and new manufacturing technologies.

The construction of works to access the new Ford engines plant at the Chihuahua Industrial Complex in the city of Chihuahua, with an investment of 2.7 million pesos by the state government, which directly benefits vehicular traffic of Chihuahua northern area.
Moreover, they fulfilled the construction of the second stage with roads asphalt concrete based, water line, sanitary drainage and public lighting at El Soldado Industrial Park in Camargo municipality, for an amount of 5 million pesos.

According to Fabian Santana, director of Promotora de la Industria, these investments are important, since they guarantee two things: 1) assure operations inside industries are fulfilled with the standards needed by companies and 2) improve industries employees’ life quality by optimizing infrastructure, roads, plants access, street patching, esthetic and functional care of parks, among other aspects.

“We are seeking for parks do not become isolated areas, but for them having a positive impact in the community around them.  It is the strategy of security and more efficient crime prevention we have found, according to a study we performed together with the German federal government, through the German Cooperation for International Collaboration (GIZ, by its German initials)” he detailed.
Santana also shared that for 2019 in Promotora de la Industria have budgeted 30 million pesos of investment to improve industrial parks.  “We are hoping to double the investment done in 2018 with the objective of improving infrastructures and life quality,” he said.

Sustainability program for industrial parks: collaboration between Germany and Mexico

The sustainability program for industrial parks is a project born from the agreement with the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development (GIZ, by its German initials) with Promotora de la Industria Chihuahuense which seeks increasing industrial parks sustainability level.
According to Jose Estrada, from Promotora de la Industria, the practice of actions to transform industrial parks in sustainable entities, as well as fulfilling the international regulations in building innovation centers, transform the state on an attractive area for national and foreign investment.
This program provided special maintenance to the Aeropuerto Park, in Ciudad Juarez, and the Chihuahua Sur in Chihuahua.
Among the strategies fulfilled was the reforestation of areas and low maintenance cost region trees’ planting, aiming to enrich the area ecosystem.
Another axis was wastes collection in a suitable manner in areas where marked cans will be located, in addition of creating a garbage collection and daily cleaning system.
Industrial parks will have a social vision by incorporating even commercial areas inside, in such manner that life quality of workers could be improved.

Companies committed with the environment

In exclusive interview for Mexico Industry, Pavel Saenz, properties director of Intermex, shared that de developer began seven years ago with sustainability measures on their parks due to the concern of their customers and their commitment to be socially responsible companies.
Within the first initiatives Intermex adopted regarding sustainability are the use of lighting inside parks that work through photocells.  Another one is the use of wastewaters treatment plant in Carolina Park.

According to Saenz, these measures are important for companies due to different reasons.  One of them is Bell Helicopter, located in Carolina park, which is a company classified by Intermex properties director as “very committed with the environment,” since it has a Leed building, which has solar cells feeding their industrial building exterior lights.  For Pavel Saenz, this is a building which, since design is committed with the environment.
“The company is aware that changes are being generated on weather and they have to seek a way of helping climate change not being so notorious.  It is a 45 years company that has always seek for innovation, they consider this is a guideline that will come for a long term,” he said.

He explained that the advantages of this kind of sustainability measures reduce companies’ expenses, in addition to serve them to comply certifications on their corporates, as well as of potential customers.
“They can use them to comply certifications on their corporate as well as of potential customers.  Within the industry many customers such as Ford or General Motors ask for certain parameters be complied,” he noted.

Sustainability measures: a growth opportunity in the country

For Pavel Saenz, incorporating social sustainability measures in parks and industries has been a challenge, since he considers Mexico is on a growth stage regarding this kind of measures.
“There are many internal questions about this kind of measures and even our customers also do question.  This has to do with a lack in knowledge, on one side, and evaluation of cost-benefit, on the other,” he explained.

He also detailed that on certain cases some customers’ corporate culture makes easy selling the sustainability idea, although other companies are more reluctant to change.  In this cases focusing the strategy on the economic aspects seems to be the best way.  “Many times we explain them that it is an investment they will retrieve in determined time.  In general, we seek making them see this investment will generate some economic saving in the future,” he said.

Finally, Saenz said that in order to fulfill these measures they lean on experts in that matter, such as GIZ.  Currently, they collaborate with this corporation in renewable energies purchase projects.
“GIZ experts are very prepared and professional people regarding energy matters.  They always make us see other perspectives of these initiatives,” ended the properties director.

More information
•    Promotora de la Industria invested more than 12 millions in sustainable parks during 2018
•    They have budgeted 30 million pesos of investment to improve industrial parks for 2019.
•    Sustainability measures are seeking to improve workers’ life quality