The Nkok Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Gabon has been awarded a new certificate. The industrial zone has just obtained ISO 14064-1 certification in carbon neutrality. With this certification from Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), the Swiss multinational certification company, the Nkok SEZ becomes one of the few industrial economic zones in the world recognized as low carbon.
In Gabon, the Nkok Special Economic Zone (SEZ) emits as much CO2 as it absorbs. This carbon neutrality, the very first in the world in a special economic zone, has just been recognized by the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), the Swiss multinational environmental certification company.
“The SEZ is implementing best practices and meeting the highest international standards to achieve its goal of carbon neutral industrialization. This provides a replicable framework for all industrial zones managed by Arise IIP and will lead to systemic and clean product transformation across Africa,” says Gagan Gupta, the co-founder and CEO of Arise IIP, the company that manages the Nkok SEZ.
A model to follow?
Created in 2011 with the aim of boosting Gabon’s economy, the SEZ, located 27 km from the capital Libreville, has since been home to 96 operators from various fields. Divided into industrial, commercial and residential areas, the zone includes amenities such as a water network, a railroad, banks, insurance companies, a fire station, etc. Nearly 4,500 people, 70% of whom are Gabonese, work there full time.
In February 2021, the Nkok SEZ was qualified as an African reference by the African Organization of Economic Zones (OAZE). This was one month after the entry into the zone of two green companies. The Jia Ming Plastics Manufacturing, a company specializing in plastic recycling and the consulting firm in quality, health, safety, environment (QHSE), Safer. The two entities have a mission to help the Nkok SEZ reduce pollution and ensure the environmental performance of companies operating there.