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Towards Sustainable Business Parks: the case of Roomburg, Netherlands
Limited resources and a changing climate require a shift in business practises to ensure a more sustainable future and is high on policy and business agendas. Business parks provide an opportunity to make significant improvements, for instance through eco-industrial parks and industrial symbiosis. However, much less has been done on business parks with mainly SMEs and service providers that are often in an earlier stage of environmental implementation. This paper presents the case of the business park of Roomburg, which mainly involves SMEs and different kinds of service companies. It has only a few sustainability related interventions in place but has a park manager with a strong sustainability ambition. Roomburg is situated near Leiden in The Netherlands, and provides a useful case study to evaluate the potential interventions to improve sustainability and circularity performance on the business park. Based on a refined methodology, qualitative and quantitative analysis was done through interviews, data collection and literature analysis to suggest interventions and collaborations which could increase the overall sustainability of the business park. The proposed interventions and collaborations for the five participating case-study companies within Roomburg include thermal storage, collective waste separation and installation of LED lighting. In addition to these recommendations, this study found that current methodology is focused upon more advanced collaborations, which limits its usability for the many business parks that are still in an early stage of implementing sustainability related interventions. For such parks a novel framework and methodology has been developed focusing on business parks in the starting phase of becoming sustainable. This is a result from literature reviews, expert consultations and first-hand experience in Roomburg. This framework shows an iterative process for a project with key importance of a facilitator, ability for multiple projects to occur simultaneously, development of a shared vision, implementation of quick interventions and evaluation and communication of concrete results.