Assessment | Good management practices

Sustainability Calculator for Industrial Areas

Sustainability Calculator

The Sustainability Calculator for Industrial Areas has been designed to guide the decision making of developers and managers of Industrial Areas (IA), who want to improve environmental and social impacts of their IA, increase their competitiveness in international markets and attract new investors and clients by integrating profitable voluntary measures into the design and management of their IA. The results generated by this tool allow estimating the potential economic benefits of voluntary investments into improving the sustainability of a IA. Additionally, they visualize the impact of potential investments on the sustainability of an IA, generating a diagram for the user that assists in identifying voluntary measures that impact positively on the sustainability of your area while simultaneously generating profits.
The calculator offers measures that can be applied to both new and existing IAs that wish to improve their performance. The tool is embedded in a web page with further information re Sustainable Industrial Areas, Testimonials from other industrial zone developers and managers re the benefits they were able to reap by investing in specific sustainability measures, and contact information for international and local experts.

Main features and components

The Sustainability Calculator itself asks developers or managers of industrial zones to answer about 100 questions re the status quo and/or planning re a specific industrial area, all of them requiring only information readily available to developers and managers of industrial zones, such as location, size, number of companies located or to be located in your area, if the area will be focused on attracting companies from a specific sector or will be open to companies regardless of the sector they belong to, cost for core and shell construction, planned total energy consumption, distance to the nearest community, etc. All captured data is stored and processed anonymously. After finishing the questionnaire, the user can generate a pdf with his/her results for his/her own use or as initial information when contacting one of the specialists enlisted in the “contact” section of this webpage. Experts listed in the “contact” section of the webpage will be able to support the user in concretizing sustainable investment opportunities identified through the calculator. The tool is available in English and Spanish, and its use is free of cost.

Implementation and work steps

Answering all questions included in the Sustainability Calculator takes about 20-45 minutes.

Lessons learnt

There is a substantial number of sustainability measures which will probably generate an economic benefit for the developer/manager of industrial areas in the region. However, advanced measures (e.g. industrial symbiosis) require a level of coordination and trust between developers/managers and companies located or to be located in the industrial area that may be difficult to achieve in the region in the short and medium term.


Availability of basic data re a specific industrial zone (see above).


Based on data captured for Mexico and Costa Rica and the information provided by the user re the status quo of a specific industrial area, the Sustainability Calculator generates a diagram that indicates on the x-axis an estimate of the potential economic benefit of investments in specific sustainability measures, and on the y-axis an estimate of the potential impact on the sustainability of the industrial area of each of these sustainability measures. For each measure, a box that pops up when clicking on the point that visualizes the measure in the diagram, includes further information on what exactly can be done, links to websites with further information, and testimonials of developers or managers of industrial areas around the globe that have successfully invested in this specific measure.


Phase of intervention

Designing SIA, Master planning, Retrofitting, Technical infrastructure, Operating SIA, Management

Level of intervention

Park management, Planning level


Latin America & Carribean


Costa Rica, Mexico

Target groups

Industrial area management and operator, Local and international consultant and advisor, Private investors

GIZ project

COPLAN - Cooperation Platform Northern Latin America II

Networks & local partners

The Mexican Association of Industrial Parks (AMPIP)

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