Welcome to the first circular, eco-effective, water-bound business park in Antwerp.
What used to be the heart of the Antwerp petroleum industry, is now being redeveloped into the key breeding ground for innovation: Blue Gate Antwerp.
Petroleum South, the area south of Antwerp, next to the Scheldt was waiting for years to serve a new purpose. Now the area has been sanitized, it’s ready for a new chapter: it will become a climate-neutral business park where innovative companies can grow together.
Blue Gate Antwerp’s journey began in 2011: Petroleum South was officially renamed Blue Gate Antwerp. In 2014 the visual quality plan was approved and in 2018 DEC (DEME) completed the first phase of the remediation. In the spring of 2020 we have welcomed the first two settlers BlueChem – incubator for sustainable chemistry – and BlueApp – pre-incubator of the University of Antwerp.
The ambition is to create circular flows both on-site and off-site. In addition to the combined innovation capacity, companies benefit from guided eco-effectiveness: they achieve efficiency gains thanks to ecological efforts. For example, they commit themselves to construct BREEAM certified business buildings and to make the modal shift in terms of mobility.
Blue Gate Antwerp is realised through the collaboration of public and private partners (PPP). Bopro is one of the private partners in the public-private partnership (PPP) that realises Blue Gate’s development.
DEC, Bopro, AG Vespa, PMV
City of Antwerp, Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the European Regional Development Fund, Flanders, The Flemish Waterway.
The ambition is to create circular flows both on-site and off-site. This way one company’s residues will become raw materials for another one. This will result in cost-efficient collaborations and a significant reduction in the consumption of raw materials. And, through knowledge sharing and joint research, the companies will achieve accelerated innovation. The presence of BlueChem and BlueApp will boost the cross-pollination in terms of knowledge and production. In short, collaboration is Blue Gate Antwerp’s key word, and its benefits are numerous: efficiency gains through the activation of complementary processes, accelerated innovation and a shorter time-to-market just to name a few.
The fact that the site is water-bound, makes it possible for entrepreneurs to reach Europe over water as well as over land. Thanks to the new loading and unloading quay, the freight transport can be organised via inland navigation, and from there it can reach the multimodal city distribution network.
Bopro will provide BREEAM advice and assessment (BREEAM Communities on site level, BREEAM New Construction on building level), as well as the business park’s marketing. Concerning BREEAM, the Interim Assessment for the BREEAM Communities Excellent certificate has been obtained already.
An intensive collaboration between Bopro and CIFAL Flanders, member of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, led to the integration of SDGs into the development strategy. The Sustainable Development Goals set the starting point and will be taken into account on every level: the site, the buildings and the business processes. As a developer Bopro will take the necessary measures from the start, to ensure the site’s long-term sustainability.
Blue Gate Antwerp has also launched its first CSR report. This is the very first time in our country that a CSR report based on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations) has been drawn up for a business park. This was produced by sustainability director Bopro, together with DEME, co-investor in the project. “In order to gain the trust of partners worldwide, it is useful and even necessary to report uniformly on our objectives based on the SDGs according to recognised standards”, says Peter Garré, CEO of Bopro. By drawing up a CSR report, BGADnv’s mission is anchored in targets based on the SDGs. Using the linked KPIs, BGADnv can monitor, during the development of the site, the extent to which the targets are achieved and – if necessary – adjust the strategy.
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