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Abstract Industrial symbiosis, as part of the emerging field of industrial ecology, demands resolute attention to the flow of materials and energy through local and regional economies. Industrial symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products. The keys to industrial symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity. This paper reviews the small industrial symbiosis literature and some antecedents, as well as early efforts to develop eco-industrial parks as concrete realizations of the industrial symbiosis concept. Review of the projects is organized around a taxonomy of five different material exchange types. Input-output matching, stakeholder processes, and materials budgeting appear to be useful tools in advancing eco-industrial park development. Evolutionary approaches to industrial symbosis are found to be important in creating the level of cooperation needed for multi-party exchanges.
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November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Annu. Rev. Energy Environ. 2000. 25:313–37
° 2000 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.
and Taxonomy
Marian R. Chertow
Director, Industrial Environmental Management Program, Yale School of Forestry
and Environmental Studies, 205 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511;
Key Words eco-industrial parks, industrial ecology, materials exchange,
sustainable development
Abstract Industrial symbiosis, as part of the emerging field of industrial ecology,
demands resolute attention to the flow of materials and energy through local and
regional economies. Industrial symbiosis engages traditionallyseparate industries in a
collective approachtocompetitive advantageinvolvingphysicalexchangeofmaterials,
energy, water, and/or by-products. The keys to industrial symbiosis are collaboration
and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity.
This paper reviews the small industrial symbiosis literature and some antecedents,
as well as early efforts to develop eco-industrial parks as concrete realizations of the
industrialsymbiosisconcept. Reviewofthe projectsisorganizedaroundataxonomyof
five different material exchange types. Input-output matching, stakeholder processes,
and materials budgeting appear to be useful tools in advancing eco-industrial park
development. Evolutionaryapproachestoindustrialsymbosisarefoundtobeimportant
in creating the level of cooperation needed for multi-party exchanges.
INTRODUCTION ................................................ 314
INSPIRATION: Kalundborg, Denmark
................................. 315
.............................. 317
........................... 319
........................ 321
Through Waste Exchanges: Type 1
.................................. 321
Within a Facility, Firm, or Organization: Type 2
......................... 322
Among Firms Colocated in a Defined Eco-Industrial Park: Type 3
............ 323
Among Local Firms That Are Not Colocated: Type 4
..................... 325
Among Firms Organized Virtually Across a Broader Region: Type 5
.......... 325
....................................... 327
Input-Output Matching
........................................... 327
Stakeholder Processes
............................................ 328
Materials Budgeting
............................................. 328
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Stream-Based or Business-Based .................................... 329
New or Existing Operations
....................................... 329
............................................... 329
The Usual Suspects
............................................. 330
The Question of Scale
............................................ 330
Pollution Prevention versus Industrial Ecology
.......................... 331
Industrial Symbiosis and Development
................................ 332
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: Three Evolutionary Approaches
........... 332
Approach One
................................................. 333
Approach Two
................................................. 333
Approach Three
................................................ 333
.................................................. 334
The emerging field of industrial ecology demands resolute attention to the flow
of materials and energy through local, regional, and global economies. The part
of industrial ecology known as industrial symbiosis engages traditionally sepa-
rate entities in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical
exchangeof materials, energy, water, andby-products. The keys to industrial sym-
biosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic
proximity. Eco-industrial parks are examined as concrete realizations of the indus-
trial symbiosis concept.
According to the first textbook in the field, the concept of industrial eco-
logy “requires that an industrial system be viewed not in isolation from its sur-
rounding systems, but in concert with them. It is a systems view in which one
seeks to optimize the total materials cycle, from virgin materials, to finished ma-
terial, to component, to product, to obsolete product, and to ultimate disposal.
Factors to be optimized include resources, energy, and capital” (2, p. 9).
Industrial ecology allows focus at the facility level, at the inter-firm level,
and at the regional or global level. Industrial symbiosis occurs at the inter-firm
level because it includes exchange options among several organizations (see
Figure 1).
The expression “symbiosis” builds on the notion of biological symbiotic rela-
tionships in nature, in which at least two otherwise unrelated species exchange
materials, energy, or information in a mutually beneficial manner—the specific
type of symbiosis known as mutualism (3). So, too, industrial symbiosis consists
of place-based exchanges among different entities. By working together, busi-
nesses strive for a collective benefit greater than the sum of individual benefits
that could be achieved by acting alone. This type of collaboration can advance
social relationships among the participants, which can also extend to surrounding
neighborhoods. As described below, the symbioses need not occur within the strict
boundaries of a “park, despite the popular usage of the term eco-industrial park
to describe organizations engaging in exchanges.
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Figure 1 Industrial ecology operates at three levels.
At the same time that interest began to develop in industrial symbiosis and eco-
industrialparks, anumberofotherparalleltracksadvancedthatmightbeconstrued,
broadly, as “green development. These include sustainable architecture, green
building, sustainable communities, and smart growth, among many other terms.
In the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Green Development: Integrating Ecology and
Real Estate, the authors point out that there is no single face to this kind of
enterprise because “for one project, the most visible ‘green’ feature might be
energyperformance; for another, restoration of prairieecosystems; foryetanother,
the fostering of community cohesion and reduced dependence on the automobile”
(4, p. 4).
Rather than take on the broad task of green development, this paper focuses
on predominantly commercial and industrial activities that include a materials
exchange component to qualify the activity as industrial symbiosis. This paper
examines these collective exchanges from the perspective of industrial ecology
rather than from an economic development, environmental planning, or land use
on eco-industrial parks and exchanges that are beyond the earliest planning stages
and are beginning to move, or have moved, toward implementation in the United
States and other parts of the world.
INSPIRATION: Kalundborg, Denmark
The model of industrial symbiosis was first fully realized in the eco-industrial
parkat Kalundborg, Denmark.Theprimary partners inKalundborg,anoil refinery,
power station, gypsum board facility, pharmaceutical plant, and the City of
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Figure 2 Industrial symbiosis at Kalundborg.
Kalundborg, literally share ground water, surface water and waste water, steam
and electricity, and also exchange a variety of residues that become feedstocks
in other processes (see Figure 2). The waste exchanges alone amount to some
2.9 million tons of material per year. Water consumption has been reduced by a
collective 25%, and 5000 homes receive district heat (5). Cooperation of this na-
ture has significantly increased environmental and economic efficiency, and at the
same time, has created many less tangible benefits for these industries, involving
personnel, equipment, and information sharing (JChristensen, personal communi-
cation). Indeed, the very term industrial symbiosis was coined by the powerstation
manager in Kalundborg, meaning “a cooperation between different industries by
which the presence of each...increases the viability of the other(s), and by which
the demands [of] society for resource savings and environmental protection are
considered” (7, p. 42).
Only in the late 1980s did the participants in Kalundborg first recognize the
environmental implications of the partnerships and exchanges that had evolved
since the early 1970s. Two early references to Kalundborg in the international
press appeared in 1990 and 1992 in the Financial Times, which began to raise
awarenessof Kalundborg: onebyPeter Knight called A Rebirth of the Pioneering
Spirit” (8) and one by Hilary Barnes called “Fertile Project Exploits Recycled
Wastes” (9). One of the Kalundborg participants, Jørgen Christensen, who was
plant manager of the Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical plant, gave a paper in 1992
outlining Kalundborg’s achievements at the International Industry Conference for
Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (9a).
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
In any multi-disciplinary field such as industrial ecology, there are strands from
many disciplines and paths of research that are the antecedents of current under-
standing. Although the quantity of literature on industrial symbiosis and eco-
industrial parks is quite small (with the exception of documents relating to specific
eco-industrial projects), some of the related literature is described here.
To theextent that industrial symbiosis deals with local and regional economies,
there is some tie to the environmental economics literature that recognizes the
spatial dimension of environmental and resource systems and attempts to model
itsinputs, outputs, and residuals (10). More directly, thereis a significant literature
on locational advantages, including Piore & Sabel (11), Krugman (12), and Porter
(13), which buildson the body of economic theorythatseeks to explainandpredict
the spatial pattern of the location of economic agents (14). This economics litera-
ture has long considered the effect of proximity to major inputs and transportation
costs in determining business location decisions and the resulting spatial pattern of
development, buthas not considered the effectthat strategic colocation of facilities
with complementary input/output needs can have on locational advantage.
The literature on industrial districts dates back 100 years to economist Alfred
Marshall, who examined them to understand Britain’s leadership in textile produc-
tion. A recent doctoral dissertation brought some of these topics together to dis-
cuss how industrial colocation and inter-firm networking could lead to significant
economies in environmental management related to infrastructure, information
flows, and regulatory enforcement, as well as to decreased conflict over land use
In international development, the term industrial estate is used to describe
“a large tract of land, sub-divided, and developed for the use of several firms
simultaneously, distinguished by its shareable infrastructure and close proximity
of firms” (16). The United Nations (U.N.) EnvironmentProgramme issued a study
in 1997 on environmental management of industrial estates. Although managing
industrial estates in an environmentally sound manner is different from industrial
symbiosis, this study mentions Kalundborg and describes how industrial estates
are excellent places to apply principles of industrial symbiosis because the estates
contain diverse industries and can achieve economies of scale (17).
The underlying concept of industrial symbiosis is the metaphor of an indus-
trial ecosystem that mimics a natural ecosystem, which appears early in the in-
dustrial ecology literature. In 1989, Frosch & Gallopoulos inspired much of the
industrial ecology that was to come when they wrote about “an industrial ecosys-
tem” in which “the consumption of energy and materials is optimized and the
effluents of one process... serve as the raw material for another process” (18,
p. 144). The same year Ayres wrote about both the biosphere and the industrial
economy “as systems for the transformation of materials” and how studying this
“industrial metabolism” could lead to shifts in the direction of increased efficiency
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
inmaterialsflowsandwastestreams(19). Infact,intheinauguralissueoftheJour-
nal of Industrial Ecology, editor-in-chief Reid Lifset commented on the symbiotic
exchange of materials and the excitement over Kalundborg, but reassured read-
ers that the Journal “is not simply about co-located facilities exchanging wastes”
(20). A special issue on industrial ecology in the Journal of Cleaner Production
features an article on the origins of industrial ecology by science journalist Suren
Erkman. Erkman tracked back some of the ideas underlying industrial symbiosis
to agencies of the U.N. in the 1970s, including papers delivered at a 1976 meet-
ing of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe on “non-waste technology and
production” (21).
With regard to the sustainability literature, researchers of regional socio-
economic systems have hypothesized that the transition from unsustainable to sus-
tainable is an evolutionary process most likely to be introduced at the local level.
Calling these “islands of sustainability” that are thought, like biological evolution,
to move in a process “toward higher rates of circulation of materials within the
system, and toward an increase of the total solar energy flux through the system,
industrial symbiosis is specifically cited in this literature as on the evolutionary
path toward higher diversity and complexity of regional systems (22,23).
Havingbecome aware of Kalundborg,twoAustrian researchers askedthe ques-
tion of whether the systems concept of an “industrial recycling-network” was
unique to Kalundborg. They discovered a network with a higher degree of diver-
sity and complexity in the Austrian province of Styria, which benefited the region
ecologically and economically. Specifically, they found:
In 1992, the following aggregated amounts were recycled: 34,000 tons of
power plant gypsum, >200,000 tons of steel mill slag, 85,000 tons of blast
furnace slag, 28,300 tons of sawdust (fine ground), 15,600 tons of sawdust
from uncoated wood, 100,820 tons of recyclable paper and board, 445,000
tonsof residual wood, 28,000 tons of bark, 310 tons ofwastetextiles, 650 tons
of shives, 5,500 tons of used tires and tire chips, 4,500 tons of oil coke, 5,400
tons of slaughter house and meat waste, 45,000 tons of spent malt, 3,100
tons of fodder year, 350 tons of rape seed cake, 130,000 tons of nonalloy
iron scrap. Also, district heating, fly ash, used oil, halogen-free solvents,
whey, plastics, and grape cake were distributed through the network (24).
As the authors commented, both geographic regions developed over time, but
while the Kalundborg participants became conscious of the environmental charac-
teristics of their exchanges, the Styrian companies have not been made conscious
of the comprehensive networking in regional material flows, and are likely miss-
ing out on the benefits of a coordinating function such as exists in Kalundborg,
which tries to increase exchange and improve internal and external communica-
tion. Another example of an unconscious network is described by Korhonen et al
(25) in the city of Jyv¨askyl¨a, Finland where the energy supply is organized around
coproduction of heat and electricity and includes industrial wastes used as fuels in
ahighly efficientsystem. As with Kalundborgand Styria, the system arose foreco-
nomic/regulatory reasons, but was never previously labeled as industrial ecology
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
or industrial symbiosis. Many more such examples are likely to be uncovered and
added to the literature, even if they consciously eschew an environmental label.
In several articles researchers have looked at applying a related discipline or
tool to specific places where industrial symbiosis could occur. Audra Potts Carr
examined the potential to retrofit an existing 107-acre industrial park in Choctaw,
Oklahoma, into an eco-industrial park as a new challenge for landscape architects
(26). Boyle & Baetz tested the use of a knowledge-based decision support system
at an industrial estate in Trinidad. The team used this support system to identify
wastes being produced by four industrial plants, specifying both mass and waste
characteristics in more detail than had previously been done. From the analysis,
outputs, as well as waste reuse and recycling (27). Keckler & Allen used a linear
programming model to evaluate water reuse scenarios at a large industrial park in
Houston, Texas. Through the model, facilities could be added or deleted, water
separated or blended, and types of treatment differentiated. The researchers found
there to be a number of economically desirable water reuse opportunities (27a).
One book-length treatment is called Zero Pollution for Industry: Waste Mini-
mization ThroughIndustrial Complexes (28). Dating back to the 1970s, Nemerow
proposed creating an “environmentallybalanced industrialcomplex”thatincluded
colocated businesses using each other’s wastes as feedstocks. In addition, there
are several fieldbook or “how-to” approaches that synthesize much of the learn-
ing from industrial symbiosis, including a Canadian project led by Ray Cˆot´eof
Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia called “Designing and Operating Industrial
Parks as Ecosystems” (29). Around the same time, Ernie Lowe of Indigo Devel-
opment led the preparation of the Fieldbookfor the Development of Eco-Industrial
Parks prepared for the US Environmental Protection Agency under a cooperative
agreement with Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina (30). The Busi-
ness Council for Sustainable Development of the Gulf of Mexico (BCSD-GM)
issued a primer on “by-product synergy” in 1997, a term they use synonymously
with “green twinning, “industrial symbiosis, “zero waste/zero emissions/100%
product operations,” and “cradle-to-cradle eco-efficient manufacturing” (31).
The Zero Emissions Research Initiative’s Gunter Pauli has been involved with
promoting multi-industry clusters working through the U.N. University headquar-
tered in Tokyo (32). In 1997, Environment Canada issued Opportunities for Eco-
Industrial Parks in Canada, which reports on five studies they have done con-
cerning industrial ecology networks in different regions of Canada, as well as a
national report (33).
Interest in replicating the Kalundborg model as a means of US sustainable de-
velopment began in the 1990s. In 1993, a professor from New York University,
Holger Engberg, wrote a case study of Kalundborg (7). A 1994 MIT working
paper on Kalundborg by Nicholas Gertler and John Ehrenfeld (34) was completed
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
as a master’s thesis by Gertler in 1995 (35). The President’s Council on Sustain-
able Development (PCSD) began an eco-industrial park project (using industrial
symbiosis and other sustainability concepts) in 1994 and the US Environmental
ProtectionAgency(EPA)announcedthe availabilityof$300,000foreco-industrial
park design and development. According to Gertler, this represented “the first na-
tional initiative in the US to develop and foster applications of industrial ecology
to industrial parks” (36, p. 59).
In1995, theEPA-fundedFieldbookfortheDevelopmentofEco-IndustrialParks
wasdrafted(30)and fourdemonstrationprojects werenamedinChattanooga, Ten-
nessee; Baltimore, Maryland; Brownsville, Texas; and Cape Charles, Virginia.
Each site had ongoing development, and the logic was to shape these diverse
projects using the vision of industrial symbiosis in the creation of eco-industrial
parks. In October of 1996 the PCSD convened a meeting of eco-industrial park
practitioners at the groundbreaking of the Port of Cape Charles Sustainable Tech-
nologies Industrial Park. The meeting included representatives from 15 proposed
eco-industrial projects from around the United States and was organized “because
all the communities face significant challenges to move eco-industrial parks from
theory into practice” (36, p. 1). Beginning in December 1996, the Work and En-
vironment Initiative at Cornell University’s Center for the Environment has main-
tained a roundtable on eco-industrial development, which includes an excellent
website and frequent updates on planned projects (37).
In practice, the notion of eco-industrial parks is still emerging. Even the def-
inition of eco-industrial parks has proven to be elusive, given the early-stage
development of the ideas. In general, however, two definitions are often quoted.
According to the PCSD, an eco-industrial park is
“a community of businesses that cooperate with each other and with the
local community to efficiently share resources (information, materials,
water, energy, infrastructure and natural habitat), leading to economic gains,
gains in environmental quality, and equitable enhancement of human
resources for the business and local community” (36, p. 1).
According to the EPA Fieldbook,
an eco-industrial park is a community of manufacturing and service
businesses seeking enhanced environmental and economic performance
through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues
including energy, water, and materials. By working together, the community
of businesses seeks a collective benefit that is greater than the sum of the
individual benefits each company would realize if it optimized its individual
performance only” (30, p. 2).
Loweet al (30) encourage a broad view of eco-industrial parks and go on to say, in
a briefing and sourcebook on industrial ecology (38), that an eco-industrial park
should be more than:
1. A single by-product exchange pattern or network of exchanges
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
2. A recycling business cluster (resource recovery or recycling companies)
3. A collection of environmental technology companies
4. A collection of companies making green products
5. An industrial park designed around a single environmental theme
(i.e. a solar energy driven park)
6. A park with environmentally friendly infrastructure or construction
7. A mixed-use development (industrial, commercial, and residential)
Atthis early stage, theenvironment is not servedby overlyprescriptivedetermi-
nations of what is and is not an eco-industrial park. The public sector developers
of the Cape Charles Sustainable Technology Park, for example, designed com-
mon use of solar collectors into their first multi-tenant office building, as well as
a water recycling loop and a constructed wetland for storm water runoff, and al-
thoughthere is no materials exchange, it could developovertime. The notion of an
eco-industrial park has not taken one shape or form, and is unlikely to, given that
each park involves long timeframes, significant capital investment with different
risk profiles depending on the capital source, and multiple parties with numerous
objectives in diverse cultural settings.
To organize further examination of industrial projects with a materials exchange
component as suggested by industrial ecology, it is helpful to consider different
eco-industrial park models. Chertow, following detailed study of 18 potential eco-
from 1997 to 1999, proposed a taxonomy of 5 different material exchange types
(39). These are discussed here as Types 1–5, listed below:
1. Type 1: through waste exchanges
2. Type 2: within a facility, firm, or organization
3. Type 3: among firms colocated in a defined eco-industrial park
4. Type 4: among local firms that are not colocated
5. Type 5: among firms organized “virtually” across a broader region
By definition, Types 3–5 offer approaches that can readily be identified as
industrial symbiosis. Actual projects discussed below represent types 2–5 and are
identified in Table 1.
Through Waste Exchanges: Type 1
Manybusinesses recycle and donate or sell recoveredmaterials through third party
brokers and dealers to other organizations. Historically, scrap dealers have orga-
nized in this fashion, as have charities such as the Salvation Army. More recently,
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
TABLE 1 Asampling of twelve industrial symbiosis projects in late planning, implemen-
tation, or operational stages
Type 2 EBARA Corporation, Fujisawa, Japan Late planning stage
Flow of personal computers at Yale University Implementation stage
Type 3 Monfort Boys Town, Integrated Biosystem, Suva, Fiji Operational
Londonderry Eco-Industrial Park, New Hampshire Implementation stage
Riverside Eco-Park, Burlington, Vermont Implementation stage
Red Hills EcoPlex, Choctaw County, Mississippi Implementation stage
Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Operational
Type 4 Kalundborg, Denmark Operational
AES Corporation, Guayama, Puerto Rico Late planning stage
Type 5 Triangle J Council of Governments, North Carolina Project completed
Brownsville, Texas Late planning, inactive
By-Product Synergy, Tampico, Mexico Project completed
municipal recycling programs have become third parties for commercial and resi-
dential customers who supply recovered materials that are transported through the
municipality to manufacturers such as glass plants and paper mills. This form of
exchange is typically one-way and is generally focused at the end-of-life stage.
Waste exchanges formalize trading opportunities by creating hard-copy or on-
line lists of materials one organization would like to dispose of and another orga-
nization might need. The scale of trades can be local, regional, national, or global
and can involve highly specialized chemicals or even lists of items needed by area
charities. The exchanges accomplish various input/output savings on a trade by
trade basis, rather than continuously. They feature exchange of materials rather
than water or energy.
Type 1 exchanges are not further examined because they are farthest from the
definition of industrial symbiosis. These types of exchanges typically involve
older, more traditional aspectsof the material flow landscape. The role of brokers,
however, appears to be in flux, and to the extent that brokers get more involved in
creatingthe conditions for trading, this form ofexchangewill becomeincreasingly
Within a Facility, Firm, or Organization: Type 2
Some kinds of material exchange can occur primarily inside the boundaries of one
organization rather than with a collection of outside parties. Large organizations
often behave as if they are separate entities and may approximate a multi-firm
approach to industrial symbiosis. Significant gains can be made within one orga-
nization by considering the entire life cycle of products, processes, and services,
including upstream operations such as purchasing and product design.
Approximating this model is a project being implemented by the Ebara Cor-
poration at their Fujisawa plant complex in Fujisawa, Japan. Ebara is a leader in
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
industrialmachinery, andtheeco-industrialparkitisbuildingisbasedoncoretech-
nologiesEbarahasdevelopedinwaterpurification, sewagetreatment, incineration,
powergeneration, and heat recovery. Through a zero emissions approach, theyare
beginning to integrate these technologies with nearby activities, including those
of 700 households built around the commercial facilities (40, 41). One of the tech-
nologies Ebara is highlighting is a fluidized bed gasification, combustion, and
ash-melting system that converts various wastes and plastic into commercially
viable outputs of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen (41a).
A study undertaken at Yale of the flow of personal computers into and out of
the University illustrated tracking of a specific intra-organizational flow. Using a
materials budgeting approach, the study pointed to many opportunities for iden-
tification and recapture of computing equipment. Yale is currently reorganizing
operations to facilitate recovery and reuse (42).
Among Firms Colocated in a Defined
Eco-Industrial Park: Type 3
In this approach, businesses and other organizations located in the equivalent of
an industrial park can exchange energy, water, and materials and can go further to
share information and services such as permitting, transportation, and marketing.
Type 3 exchanges primarily occur within the defined area of the industrial park,
but it is possible to involve other partners “over the fence. The areas can be new
developments or retrofits of existing ones.
Monfort Boys Town Integrated Biosystem, Suva, Fiji (43–45) The Fiji project
was designed primarily to accommodate spent grain from breweries that would
otherwise be discharged into the sea, smothering coral reefs (40). As shown in
Figure3, thebrewerywasteis brought tothegrounds of aschoolfor boyswherethe
rest of this smaller scale industrial symbiosis is undertaken. Applying a process
designed through the U. N. University, the system uses the brewery waste as a
substrate to grow mushrooms; the mushrooms break down the waste, making it
a high-value pig feed; waste generated from the pigs is processed through an
anaerobic digester; and the treated waste is piped to fishponds where the nutrient
rich water spawns food for four trophic layers of fish. The waste also creates
fertile soil for growing vegetables. This sort of project, which mixes agriculture
and industry, is known as an integrated bio-system (46).
Londonderry Eco-Industrial Park, New Hampshire The Townof Londonderry
assembled a 100-acre parcel near the Manchester, New Hampshire airport specif-
ically to create an eco-industrial park. The project was turned over to a private
developer, Sustainable Development and Design, who agreed to purchase the land
and follow a set of performance requirements and environmental guidelines and
practices. A 720-MW combined-cycle gas power plant built by AES Corporation
has been permitted and several other tenants have moved to the eco-industrial
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Figure 3 Process flow of the Monfort Boys Town integrated biosystem in Fiji. (Source:
Robert Klee, Yale University)
park site. The power plant will use waste water from a nearby sewage treatment
plant for use in its cooling towers (47). The Londonderry Eco Industrial Park is
being financed with developerequity and conventionalbank financing (J Bielagus,
personal communication).
RiversideEco-Park,Burlington, Vermont Thewasteheatfroma60-MWwood-
fired power plant is the link to a series of agricultural activities planned for this
project. These activities include food production, greenhouse space, “living ma-
chines” for processing organic waste into fertilizer and fish food, community gar-
dens, a Gardener’s Supply outlet, and a fish farming facility. The project received
a $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration in 1998 (37).
RedHillsEcoPlex, ChoctawCounty,Mississippi Thecoreofthisproject,which
broke ground in October 1998, is the construction of a $450 million power plant
by Belgium-based Tractebel at the site of a lignite mine in rural Mississippi. Us-
ing circulating fluidized-bed technology to reduce sulfur emissions, the 440-MW
plant will burn approximately 1.5 million tons of lignite per year. The project,
supported by the Energy Division of the Mississippi Department of Economic
and Community Development, has a 30-year power purchase agreement with the
Tennessee Valley Authority (49). State officials are recruiting additional ten-
ants to participate in a large-scale industrial symbiosis using by-products of the
power facilities as feedstocks for new businesses (Energy Div., Miss. Dept. Econ.
Community Dev.; 51).
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Burnside is an example
of retrofitting an existing industrial park to improve environmental performance.
The park is spread over 2,500 acres, with more than 1,200 businesses employing
18,000 people. Researchers from Dalhousie University have designed a project to
workwithin the park “to investigate principles and strategiesthat would encourage
transformation of an existing park into an industrial ecosystem” (52). There are
currently only a few instances of materials exchange. A recent study, however,
identified scavengers, decomposers, and other third parties that support material
cycling functions within the park, raising the analogy of complex food webs and
identifying roles taken from the study of ecology (53).
Among Local Firms That Are Not Colocated: Type 4
This type of exchange takes as a starting point what is already in place within
an area, linking together existing businesses, with the opportunity to fill in some
new ones. Kalundborg is an example of Type 4 exchange, in that the primary
partners are not contiguous, but are within about a two-mile radius. Although
this area was not planned as an industrial park, the proximity of the companies
permitted them to take advantage of already generated material, water, and energy
Kalundborg, Denmark It is important tonotethat Kalundborg, described above,
is not static, but rather a dynamic example of nearbybusinesses continuing to seek
exchanges of different types. Recently, A/S Biotechnical Soil Cleaning became a
Kalundborg partner. The company uses municipal sewage sludge as a nutrient in
a bioremediation project to decompose pollutants in contaminated soils (54).
AES Corporation, Guayama, Puerto Rico Although not identified as an eco-
industrial development, a coal-fired power plant under construction in Guayama,
Puerto Rico is involved in several symbiotic relationships. The 454-MW facility
will provide electricity to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority as well as
steam to a petrochemical facility owned by Phillips Petroleum Company (54a).
Given that fresh water is often scarce on an island, and the plant requires about
five million gallons of water per day, three sources of waste water will be used:
treated waste water, agricultural runoff, and treated industrial water from Phillips.
The facilities are located within about a mile of each other. The waste water is
about one-tenth the cost of back-up well water.
Among Firms Organized Virtually
Across a Broader Region: Type 5
Given the high cost of moving and other critical variables that enter into decisions
about corporate location, very few businesses will relocate solely to be part of an
industrialsymbiosis. Inrecognitionofthis,themodelofType5exchangesdepends
onvirtuallinkagesrather than on colocation. Although virtualeco-industrialparks
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
are still place-based enterprises, Type 5 exchanges allow the benefits of industrial
symbiosis to be expanded to encompass a regional economic community in which
the potential for the identification of by-product exchanges is greatly increased
owing simply to the number of firms that can be engaged. An additional attractive
feature is the potential to include small outlying agricultural and other businesses,
possiblybypipeline, as in Kalundborg, or bytruckforthosefartherout. It could be
argued that self-organized groups such as the network of scrap metal dealers, ag-
glomerators, and dismantlers who feed particular mills or subsystems such as auto
recycling could be considered as Type 5 virtual exchanges (55a). The examples
selected below, however, represent a diversity of industries in each Type 5 project.
Triangle J Council of Governments, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
This prototype of the virtual eco-industrial park incorporates a 6-county region
of over 3000 square miles in North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, and
Chapel Hill. From 1997 to 1999, an inventory of business inputs and outputs was
conducted, and 182 businesses representing 108 different 4-digit standard indus-
trial classification codes responded to the inventory survey. Based on the results,
the project explored potential partnerships for about half of the 182 companies,
involving exchanges of 49 different materials. The 12 most probable exchanges
involved acetone, carbon, desiccants, hydrochloric acid, methanol, packing mate-
rials, plastic bags, sawdust, sodium hydroxide, wood ash, wood chips, and wood
fluff. The final project report includes cost saving data on many of the proposed
exchanges as well as carbon emission reductions (56). The acetone partnership,
for example, was found to save a gem manufacturer $11,000 in treatment and dis-
posal costs per year and save the buyerof the acetone—a plastics company—some
$18,000 per year. Reducing mileage for disposal of acetone as well as delivery
of new acetone to the plastics company was projected to save nine tons of carbon
annually with another five tons of carbon saved in the manufacturing process.
Brownsville, Texas One of the original grants funded by the PCSD, this project
advanced the state-of-the-art of virtual parks. Following an inventory of busi-
nesses along the Texas/Mexico border in the Brownsville/Matamoros region, the
Brownsville Economic Development Council used a proprietary computer model
developed by Bechtel Corporation to match inputs and outputs across industries.
Not only were potential matches identified, butthe project team also used the com-
puter information to develop leads for new businesses that might be attracted to
the area based on available waste streams that could become feedstocks for newly
recruited companies (57,58).
By-Product Synergy, Tampico, Mexico The Tampico by-product synergy pro-
ject refines the process used in Brownsville. The project, conducted from 1997
to 1999 and led by the Business Council for Sustainable Development–Gulf of
Mexico (BCSD–GM), gathered together 21 local industries to demonstrate a sys-
tematic approach to industrial symbiosis. By bringing together key stakeholders,
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
the input and output inventories were conducted in a timely way through mutual
agreement. The Bechtel model was used to identify matches, as were face-to-
face meetings with participants. Thirteen synergies became the focus for further
investigation chosen, in part, because they had relatively short timeframes for
implementation (59). A spin-off company of the BCSD-Gulf Coast, Applied Sus-
tainability,conductedasimilarprojectinAlberta, Canadain1998and1999with15
sponsoring companies and identified 25 possible synergistic opportunities among
Alberta’s natural resource, energy, forest products, and oil sands companies (60).
The examination of these 12 sample industrial symbiosis projects representing
four material exchange types yields a general understanding of useful tools and
approaches. These are discussed below, also drawing on other project examples
as appropriate. Three tools described are input-output matching, stakeholder pro-
cesses, and materials budgeting. Different approaches include the extent to which
a project is stream-based or business-based, and whether the eco-industrial park
begins with new or existing operations.
Input-Output Matching
The first significant tool is one that helps to match inputs and outputs of various
entities that could potentially participate in industrial symbiosis. The Triangle J,
Brownsville, and Tampico projects are notable for systematically collecting input
and output data of local companies and using the results to make links across
industries. A research project at the U. N. University through the Zero Emis-
sions Research Initiative has examined computer aided modeling, design, and
optimization of zero emissions industrial clusters (61). In addition to the Bechtel
computer model, by 1998, the US EPA had commissioned its own input/output
matchingmodels knownas FaST(FacilitySynergyTool), DIET (Designing Indus-
trial Ecosystems Tool) and REaLiTy (Regulatory, Economic, and Logistics Tool)
(62). These models are planning tools that allow a community to investigate what
mix of specific types of industries might support industrial symbiosis.
Developed for the US EPA by Industrial Economics, Inc., FaST is a database of
industry profiles describing typical inputs and outputs of specific types of facilities
such as a hospital or dairy farm. It also has a data input screen and search mech-
anism to identify possible input/output matches among facilities. DIET allows
scenario analysis of different combinations of facilities. It includes a linear pro-
gramming optimization model that allows the planner to optimize environmental,
economic, or employment objectives and to change the relative weights of each.
upon the actual materials chosen for exchange. A geographic information system
component has been used to locate businesses throughout targeted areas. A caveat
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
on these models, however, is that they can overemphasize idealized “what if
scenarios with little recognition of the time-consuming and frustrating processes
involvedinattractinganybusiness,letalonethe perfect suite ofsymbioticpartners.
Stakeholder Processes
It would be difficult to underestimate the complexity of developing multi-party re-
lationshipswherethe advantagesto each party are notnecessarilywellunderstood.
Therefore, a broad array of community involvement techniques and methods of
achieving “buy-in” from participants is warranted in eco-industrial park projects.
The Londonderry project was guided by a representative advisory committee and
assembled many diverse potential stakeholders when it held a design charette,
organized to seek input on what an eco-industrial park should look like in the
local context. Cape Charles, Virginia, had a charette led by William McDonough
& Associates and came up with the “Cape Charles Principles” that guided its de-
velopment. Whether and how to pursue specific covenants and conditions as a
type of deed restriction could become the subject of stakeholder meetings, and
this topic is taken up in a handbook produced by Cornell University (63). Applied
Sustainability has gathered experience convening stakeholders from business and
government in its efforts to create by-product synergy in Tampico and Alberta.
An economic analysis of the Brownsville project performed by Research Triangle
Institute observed that because so much needs to be known about what are often
the proprietary practices of companies, “the success of the eco-industrial park re-
quires that members are open to depending on each other” (57, p. 27). Part of the
success of Kalundborg has been attributed to “the short mental distance” among
stakeholders there (64).
Materials Budgeting
Another tool that could be used more extensively is the materials budget used to
map material and energy flows through a chosen system. The example of Styria,
Austria, described above, determined the existence of an extensive network by
trackingmaterial flows.Formally, inindustrialecology, materialsbudgetsembrace
the concepts of reservoirs, where a material is stored; flux, which is the amount
of material entering or leaving a reservoir per unit time; and sources and sinks,
which are rates of input and loss of specific materials entering or leaving a system
(2). In the study of the flow of computers through the Yale industrial ecosystem, a
materialsbudgetwasdevelopedshowingthatan estimated4500computers entered
the university each year (not counting units personally owned by students), yet
only 250 were known to be exiting the system through recycling and donations
to other organizations. Because materials budgeting requires that each flow be
identified and accounted for, and because computers last for several years, most
were estimated still to be in use. Based on a user survey, however, a fifth of
outdatedcomputers (estimated as high as 1000units) were thought to have become
“closetfill”—neitherrecyclednordisposed,buttuckedawayincubbies andclosets
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
throughout the university (42). The materials budget can be a basic building block
of an industrial symbiosis analysis.
Stream-Based or Business-Based
Whether companies or material/water/energy streams come first in planning in-
dustrial symbiosis is a bit of a chicken or egg situation: on the one hand, there are
no flows without companies; on the other hand, neither does a gathering of com-
panies alone assure symbiosis. Some projects, however, are by their nature more
business-based; that is, they begin with a developer seeking tenants in the hope
that the interested companies will fit the industrialsymbiosis or eco-industrial park
model. Particularly with a private developer, as in Londonderry, New Hampshire,
the developer’s top priority is occupancy in order to begin the flowof monthly pay-
ments to finance project costs. The stream-based approach, captured in the EPA
DIET and FaST models, presents a more idealistic vision of planning an industrial
symbiosis from the beginning. Linkages are made based on the flow of specific
physical resources through an eco-industrial system. Similarly, the approach pur-
sued in the Type 5 virtual parks is to look for streams across businesses.
The preferred model would combine these two approaches, where businesses
are proposed as tenants based on streams. This is the approach being pursued by
the Red Hills EcoPlex. The master plan for the project identified primary targetin-
dustries based on flows, including intensiveaquaculture, hydroponic greenhouses,
poultry processing, and compressed kenaf fiber panel manufacturing (65).
New or Existing Operations
Another key difference in approach is whether the planned project relies on new or
existingelements. TheLondonderryprojectwasbasedonthe town’sacquisitionof
a 100-acre greenfield site. This site is adjacent to existingbusinesses, in particular,
Stonyfield Farm, Inc., but relies on new development. Another greenfield site is
the Red Hills EcoPlex. These two projects are examples of starting, more or less,
from scratch.
Industrial symbiosis, however, need not entail this level of new development.
Kalundborg, famously, did not spring from its creator fully formed, but evolved as
a series of bilateral linkages over 30 years. The Burnside Industrial Park in Nova
Scotia has been in existence for over 25 years. A proposed brownfield project in
Dallas is based around a landfill. Mixing newand existing facilities is another way
to maximize opportunities from industrial symbiosis.
The projects described here illustrate that there is enormous potential for envi-
ronmental improvement through industrial symbiosis in ways such as increasing
energyefficiency through cogeneration and by-product reuse, recycling gray water
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
to achieveoverall reduction in drawdowns, recovering solvents, and reusing many,
diverse residue streams that need not be rejected as wastes. Other nonmaterial-
based linkages such as jointly planning transportation networks, sharing office,
information, or security services, or less formal exchanges, may precede indus-
trial symbiosis, laying the groundwork for cooperation, or may follow it, in the
case in which early collaboration was based on physical flows. Given these ad-
vantages, one might ask why more companies are not engaged in these types of
The Usual Suspects
First of all, there are the usual business reasons industrial symbiosis projects might
not be attractive, based on barriers any venture faces: risk, finance, mobility of
capital, or the availability of higher pay-back options elsewhere. In general, as
Ehrenfeld & Gertler point out, the case for industrial symbiosis is unconvincing
when there are not large, continuous process waste streams (64). Reliable research
is clearly needed on the basic economics of symbiosis. If energy or water or waste
disposal are but a small percentage of operating costs, these reasons alone will
not cause the formation of eco-industrial parks. Neither can there be set heuristics
about when symbiosis makes sense because of the enormous variability in ecolog-
ical as well as economic conditions. For example, fresh water could be scarce at
one site and abundant at another. As with all environmental projects, particulars
are site-specific and the role of regulation is ubiquitous, both in promoting and ob-
structingprogress, andmust becarefullyconsideredin nontraditionaldevelopment
The Question of Scale
A first-order consideration is whether there is sufficient flow of materials to make
industrial symbiosis worthwhile. In a project designed from scratch, quantities
could be carefully designedto match the required scale. However, this could prove
moredifficultwhen working with existingfacilities. A project investigatedat Yale,
which included three steel companies and two chemical companies in reasonable
proximity, makes this clear. Together, these firms had significant amounts of metal
scrap, some18million pounds peryear, butitwasstillanorder ofmagnitudebelow
the tonnage needed to feed amini-mill. Neither did thetypes of metal scrap match
across the three participating plants. The investigating team recognized that
existing businesses are limited in the quantity of materials that they can
provide to residue processors or purchase from new suppliers. It is
questionable whether these transactions will be sufficient as to merit the
siting of a new facility ... If these barriers cannot be overcome, the viability
of eco-industrial park development may be dependent upon shrinking the
minimum efficient scale of target industries (66, p. 40).
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Pollution Prevention versus Industrial Ecology
comes at the expense of adhering to pollution prevention principles calling for the
elimination of waste at the front end of the process. The same arguments could be
applied to over-supply of water or energy, thus discouraging conservation. Also,
do eco-industrial parks favor older, dying industries and keep them going rather
thanfostering a newgeneration ofclean technology? Overall, industrial symbiosis
could potentially discourage companies from updating their systems, plant, and
equipment, substituting, instead, the veil of interdependence.
At the first level of analysis, it is reasonable to assume that companies will
do what is in their economic interest. If, through incremental improvements or
through broader scale process redesign, a company can eliminate waste in a cost-
effective manner, then it will. In this sense, pollution prevention comes first. It is
plausible, however, that the opportunity for symbiosis might make the proposed
process improvement fall lower in priority in a company’s capital outlay scheme,
in which case the company’s own economic decision-making might favor the
symbiosis over pollution prevention.
Interestingly, recent experience in Kalundborg reinforces that the needs of
the individual companies are of central concern. Over the last several years
Kalundborg’s Statoil Refinery has doubled its capacity based on North Sea claims,
theAsnaes PowerStation has switched from coal to a newfuel, orimulsion, forhalf
of its 1500 MW of capacity to comply with mandated CO
reduction, and the phar-
maceuticalplanthaseliminatedsomeproductlinesandincreasedothers. Although
eachindividualbusinesschangealtersthemake-upoftheindustrialsymbiosis, they
have not, collectively, diminished the spirit of it. In the case of the gypsum board
plant, the changes have made the benefits stronger. Because the power station now
burns more sulfur and less carbon, more calcium sulfate is recovered from the flue
gasdesulfurization system and is availablefor rawmaterialto make gypsumboard.
Like most large industrial operators, the pharmaceutical plant management must
meet annual continuous improvement goals in many areas, including established
percentages for waste reduction (J. Christensen, personal communication).
An industrial ecology perspective offers another cut at the issues raised above.
Is waste a waste or an unused raw material? Industrial ecology, by demanding
a systems approach, gives due consideration to each step and stage of process
development to optimize material and energy flows. In some, or even most cases,
reduction of a waste stream may be called for; in others, using a particular stream
to feed another business may be optimal, depending on related logistics, economic
considerations, and the state of technology. The analytic question is straightfor-
ward: which configuration leads to the lowest level of environmental damage at a
given level of economic output?
Architect/designer William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart also
question current practice by asking whether eco-efficiency is a viable strategy.
Successive 10% reductions, following Zeno’s Paradox, never get you to zero,
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
and certainly not to the goal the authors establish of regeneration rather than
depletion. McDonough & Braungart make the point that nature itself does not
seek efficiency as a goal; for example, plants may spawn thousands of seeds, but
only a few germinate. Thus, they refer to nature’s bounty not as eco-efficiency but
as eco-effectiveness—“highly industrious, astonishingly productive and creative”
(67 p. 86). By analogy, it is reasonable to conclude that industrial symbiosis may
not appear to be an eco-efficient solution in every case, but it may often be an
eco-effective one.
Industrial Symbiosis and Development
A review of the projects discussed above reinforces the critical importance of
the private sector in industrial symbiosis. Although private actors need not be
the initiators, they clearly must be committed to the implementation of industrial
symbiosis because, in most instances, the industrial symbiosis flows either belong
to private actors or will be shared with them in the case of municipal waste-
water linkages. This is where the perseverance of “business as usual” presents a
significant barrier. Many of the costs and benefits of industrial symbiosis fall
first to private actors and then to the community at large. Whether the private
actors can appropriate sufficient benefit from environmental gains is a challenge
to industrial symbiosis. As a practical matter, all significant development projects
take a long time and a lot of effort. This is compounded with eco-industrial
park projects by the need for multi-party planning and coordination and the at-
tendant transaction costs. Indeed, even explaining industrial symbiosis—the ed-
ucational component—is arduous because industrial symbiosis is not business as
usual, and requires a significant change to dominant, rugged individualist mental
Evolutionary Approaches
Two key elements of sustainability are cooperation and perseverance. Currently,
interest in eco-industrial parks is running high, from industrial clusters of brewers
and cement manufacturers in Japan (68) to government planning in the Philippines
(69), to sustained Canadian emphasis (33) and global curiosity. To date, however,
few eco-industrial parks have broken ground. The most significant conclusion of
this review of industrial symbiosis projects reinforces what was experienced in
Kalundborg: cooperation develops over time. It can possibly be sped up through
information sharing and effective stakeholder processes, but it cannot happen all
at once. Therefore, evolutionary approaches are key, and three emerged from this
research. Sometimes overlapping, they are presented here to offer ways to propel
industrial symbiosis forward.
November 2, 2000 12:44 Annual Reviews AR118-10
Approach One
Great promise lies in projects where some type of material or energy exchange
already exists. Often called “green twinning, or “by-product synergy,” it is much
easier to identify and implement one exchange, such as cogeneration in the Lon-
donderry project, and then use it to springboard other exchanges. Indeed, there
are hundreds, if not thousands, of instances of green twinning in the United States
alone, enough to convince many business leaders that this is not novel or risky,
but a proven means of maximizing productivity. Each can be viewed as the ini-
tial stage of broader industrial symbiosis. The first by-product synergy project of
the BCSD–GM was to work with Chaparral Steel and its related company, Texas
Industries, which resulted in a new patented process to add slag from the steel
plant to the raw material cement mix of Texas Industries (70). As a result, cement
production has increased 10% and energy consumption has dropped more than
10%. The value of the slag increased 20 times over the previous market price of-
fered by road contractors, and landfill costs have dropped significantly. Moreover,
the twinning has led to additional by-product reuse including baghouse dust and
automobile shredder residue.
Approach Two
Alternatively, pre-existing organizational relationships and networks can be the
beginning of industrial symbiosis. In Kalundborg, companies became partners to
meet a common need to find a surface water source. From this relationship, other
symbiotic ideas emerged. The Tampicoproject relied on an existing industry asso-
ciation in the Tampico–Ciudad Madero–Altamira region that already included 18
ofthe 21 businesseschoosing to participate in thedemonstrationprojectthere. The
report notes that the project was able to take advantage of the association’s struc-
ture and relationships (59). Sustainable Boston is working to develop industrial
symbiosis concepts with well-established community agencies such as the Asian
Community Development Corporation and the Medical Academic and Scientific
Community Organization, which represents Boston’s extensive hospital/medical
Approach Three
A third evolutionary approach has been dubbed “the anchor tenant model. Just
as shopping malls are built around several large department stores that anchor the
commercial development within, one or two large industries can provide the same
critical mass for an eco-industrial park. Power plants are the anchors for many
proposed projects, including the Red Hills EcoPlex and the Londonderry project.
This concept is very important, given the restructuring in the electricity industry,
because every new power plant could become the anchor tenant of a surrounding
eco-industrial park (71). A resource recovery plant was the proposed anchor of
an inter-industry collaboration in Arecibo, Puerto Rico (55). An existing nuclear
October 17, 2000 16:58 Annual Reviews AR118-10
plant anchors the Bruce Energy Centre in Tiverton, Ontario, which incorporates
six additional companies to take advantage of waste heat and steam generation
from the plant. The companies include a hydroponic greenhouse company, a food
processor, and a manufacturer of commercial alcohols (72).
As eco-industrial parks move from planning to implementation, learning will
greatly increase. Much variety and experimentation will shed light on what works
and what doesn’t, what the largest risks are, how regulatory hurdles can be over-
come, what can be financed, and what is most environmentally beneficial. On the
one hand, theform could splinter into specific industry clusters around keymateri-
als such as plastics or around wastesand recycling as in the Cabazon Resource Re-
covery Park in southern California begun by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
(73). On the other hand, broader visions could prevail that combine eco-industrial
parks with new urbanism trends in residential development such as at Mesa del
Sol, New Mexico, or Coffee Creek, Indiana. The Japanese Central Government
and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have designated several “eco-towns” to
promote environmentally friendly practices such as zero-emissions and material
exchanges (41a).
Conceivably, the private sector could grab hold of industrial symbiosis as a
logical extension of resource productivity. Governments could latch onto eco-
industrial parks as another way to redevelop brownfields. The roles of various
public and private actors will sort themselves out over time. Of course, industrial
symbiosis could also go in directions not now discernable. Over the past 30 years
it has become unthinkable to pollute openly and aggressively in many parts of the
world. Perhaps 30 years from now it will be just as unthinkable to use a resource
only once or to overlook an opportunity for mutually beneficial symbiosis.
Thanks go to Reid Lifset, Rob Klee, Michelle Portlock, Roger Williams, and
Majorie Huang for their help in preparing this paper.
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... The relationships between these companies are often compared to "symbiosis" in biology and ecology. The concept of "symbiosis" refers to relationships in which at least two different species both gain benefits by exchanging materials, energy, or information (Chertow, 2000). Scholars from the field of Industrial Ecology -which is considered one of the cornerstones upon which the circular economy is built (Ghisellini et al., 2015) -first coined the term industrial symbiosis (IS) (Chertow, 2000). ...
... The concept of "symbiosis" refers to relationships in which at least two different species both gain benefits by exchanging materials, energy, or information (Chertow, 2000). Scholars from the field of Industrial Ecology -which is considered one of the cornerstones upon which the circular economy is built (Ghisellini et al., 2015) -first coined the term industrial symbiosis (IS) (Chertow, 2000). Industrial symbiosis is the phenomenon of cooperation between previously separate industrial agents aimed at a mutual competitive advantage through the exchange of materials, energy, and information. ...
... Industrial symbiosis is the phenomenon of cooperation between previously separate industrial agents aimed at a mutual competitive advantage through the exchange of materials, energy, and information. By doing so, industrial symbiosis generally generates environmental and social benefits (Chertow, 2000). ...
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This dissertation aims to support researchers, professionals, and students in understanding and shaping circular business models for industrial symbiosis networks (ISNs) through collaborative modelling and simulation methods. As the world's global resource consumption continues to rise due to growing populations and increasing welfare, the transition to a circular economy (CE) is increasingly gaining traction among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and educators. The circular economy is an economic and industrial system based on the reuse and recycling of products and materials and the recovery capacity of natural resources. Industries play a crucial role in the transition towards the circular economy since their core activities often involve converting materials and energy into finished products and wastes. Industrial symbiosis networks consist of companies that collaborate to create economic, environmental, and social value. The companies in these networks exchange materials, energy or information, thereby closing loops and increasing resource efficiency. Therefore, industrial symbiosis is considered an essential contributor to the circular economy on local and regional levels. Despite its promise, private stakeholders face difficulties implementing and sustaining industrial symbiosis. Circular business models allow companies to shape new symbiotic collaborations. However, in practice, novel circular business models are often not implemented. Potential partners in emerging networks drop out, or already participating stakeholders leave. The companies' hesitance may be caused by dynamic circumstances and actor behaviour, leading to unevenly distributed profits and losses. In line with the aim of this dissertation, the questions we answered were: 1. What collaborative modelling and simulation method can facilitate designing business models for viable and robust industrial symbiosis networks? 2. How do network and actor behaviour affect the robustness of ISNs during implementation? 3. How can circular business models for viable and robust industrial symbiosis networks be tested and improved before implementation through collaborative modelling and simulation methods? 4. How can collaborative modelling and simulation methods support the learning of (future) professionals for improving industrial symbiosis network designs? This research produced the following: • generic insights into the complexities and dynamics of industrial symbiosis networks, their constituent actors and technologies; • methods, models and simulation tools to enable researchers, practitioners, and educators to collaboratively design and explore business models aiming for viable and robust industrial symbiosis; • recommendations to use the contributions of this research in multi-actor learning environments that aim to improve circular business model designs. Overall, this thesis addressed challenges businesses face in the transition towards a circular economy, specifically those aiming to implement industrial symbiosis under uncertainty. We have connected these challenges with theories from design science research and collaborative modelling and simulation methods. The research equips scientists, practitioners and students(our future leaders and practitioners) with knowledge, simulation models, games and an ex ante experimentation method for circular business models. From a broader perspective, the thesis offers a source of inspiration for learning, collaborating, and discussing the future role of businesses in shaping a circular society.
... L'écologie industrielle (EI) vise à réorganiser le système industriel pour qu'il soit compatible avec la biosphère et viable à long terme dans un objectif de développement durable (Frosch & Gallopoulos 1989, Erkman 2004. Les travaux sur l'EI sont pluridisciplinaires : les recherches en ingénierie se concentrent sur l'évaluation du métabolisme industriel (identification des flux de matières) (Ayres 1989) et celles en sciences humaines et sociales s'intéressent surtout à l'initiation et la pérennisation des synergies entre acteurs qui caractérisent la symbiose industrielle (SI) (Chertow 2000). ...
... L'EI repose sur la notion de symbiose industrielle (Chertow 2000), qui met l'accent sur l'échange de flux de résidus issus d'un processus de production pouvant être de la matière, de l'eau ou de l'énergie à destination d'un autre procédé de production, de façon à ce que les déchets ou sous-produits d'une entreprise deviennent des ressources pour d'autres. La symbiose in- L'EI a très vite été considérée comme un outil de développement local et régional (Gibbs, Deutz, & Proctor 2005). ...
... Una de las estrategias por excelencia de la EC es la Simbiosis Industrial (SI), que promueve el intercambio de energía, agua, materiales y subproductos, y como consecuencia, diferentes entidades localizadas geográficamente próximas colaboran entre sí y obtienen ventajas competitivas (Chertow, 2000). La SI presenta un enfoque sistémico que identifica oportunidades empresariales que mejoran el uso de los recursos y la productividad, y así, se alcanza un desarrollo industrial más sostenible e integrado (Marinelli et al., 2021). ...
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La transición hacia una economía circular requiere de metodologías e indicadores que permitan realizar una comprehensión exhaustiva del uso de recursos en todos los sistemas. Este trabajo presenta la evaluación de los flujos materiales de una red de simbiosis industrial compuesta por cinco empresas en Mendoza, Argentina. Se realizó un Análisis de Flujo de Materiales para el año 2021 que consistió en estudiar los flujos de entrada y salida de los procesos que incluyen residuos sólidos urbanos, residuos plásticos, pellets de plástico reciclado y recursos para la elaboración de plástico virgen. La red de simbiosis industrial logró reducir en un 97% la disposición final de residuos en vertedero y recuperar 602 toneladas anuales de materiales. Con el objetivo de analizar la circularidad de este sistema, se utilizó el factor de cascada como indicador, el cual incluye información sobre flujos de materia prima virgen, residuos posconsumo y residuos industriales; además se tuvo en cuenta la eficiencia del reciclaje mediante una modificación del indicador original. Cuando se analizó el indicador para el sistema global resultó en 1,03, mientras que cuando se desagregó el resultado para el sector de empresas que reciclan residuos plásticos se obtuvo un valor de 15,07. El factor de cascada permite un análisis de los distintos flujos materiales; sin embargo, existen aspectos que pueden mejorarse para una correcta evaluación de los beneficios de la simbiosis industrial, como el reemplazo de materia prima virgen y los flujos residuales que terminan en vertedero.
... We add mutualization as the fourth level of this scale. Mutualization implies sharing of resources and by-products among firms whose production processes become closely entangled, allowing for the efficient utilization of the natural resources (Chertow, 2000;Neves et al., 2020). Finally, the scale of trust measures the different levels of confidence among the stakeholders related to the biocluster. ...
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Bioeconomy clusters, besides stimulating economic and innovative performance, are expected to promote sustainable regional development. Despite their growing popularity, there is still a lack of awareness about how these clusters contribute to sustainability. This paper aims at increasing our understanding of the processes through which bioeconomy clusters generate sustainability effects and promote the bioeconomy transition. We analyze the event-history of the French Bazancourt-Pomacle cluster and interpret its development as a continuous interplay among its geographical, institutional, and structural scales to capture how these dynamics eventually affect specific sustainability scales. The results of the scale analysis reveal that the actors of the biocluster maintain a certain mode of action by organizing their activities along scales related to the valorization of local natural resources, whereas improvements of sustainability appear as a posteriori result of these activities rather than an aim in itself. Our study contributes with novel insights to the literature on sustainability transitions and clusters as well as demonstrates the potential of the scale-perspective for identification and measurement of sustainability trade-offs in a way accessible to policy makers.
... The CE within the meso-level view from the supply side involves the development of the eco-industrial park, and the creation of industrial symbiosis at district and network levels [37,55,56]. This creates an ecosystem that allows hitherto separate organizations to converge to form complex interplays of resource exchanges such as water, raw materials, energy, and even by-products [57]. Chertow distinguished between industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis. ...
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Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require tackling both energy-related and non-energy-related GHG emissions, which can be achieved through the transition to a circular economy (CE). The focus of climate change crisis reversal has been on the energy-related continuum over the years through promoting renewable energy uptake and efficiency in energy use. Clean energy transition and efficiency gains in energy use alone will not be sufficient to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050 without paying attention to non-energy-related CO2 emissions. This study systematically reviews the CE literature across different themes, sectors, approaches, and tools to identify accelerators in transitioning to a CE. The study aims to understand and explore how technology, finance, ecosystem, and behavioral studies in the CE paradigm can be integrated as a decision-making tool for CE transition. The material analysis was carried out by identifying the main characteristics of the literature on CE implementation in the agriculture, industry, energy, water, and tourism sectors. Results of the literature survey are synthesized to engender clarity in the literature and identify research gaps to inform future research. Findings show that many studies focused on technology as an accelerator for CE transition, and more studies are needed regarding the CE ecosystem, financing, and behavioral aspects. Also, results show that CE principles are applied at the micro-, meso-, and macro- (national, regional, and global) levels across sectors with the dominance of the industrial sector. The agriculture, water, and energy sectors are at the initial stages of implementation. Additionally, the use of carbon capture and utilization or storage, conceptualized as a circular carbon economy, needs attention in tackling CE implementation in the energy sector, especially in hydrocarbon-endowed economies. The major implication of these findings is that for CE to contribute to accelerated net-zero emission by 2050, coordinated policies should be promoted to influence the amount of financing available to innovative circular businesses and technologies within an ecosystem that engenders behavioral change towards circularity.
... Although there are more than 114 definitions of the circular economy in the literature, it can be generally defined as "the restructuring the industrial systems to support ecosystems through the adoption of methods to maximise the efficient use of resources by recycling and minimizing emissions and waste" [10]. Reference is made to how resource flows can be closed [11]. ...
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The challenges of sustainable development are mainly concentrated in the cities. Therefore, they represent a key place for implementing strategies and actions to achieve (or not achieve) sustainable development objectives. In this perspective, the circular city model represents a new way of organizing the city. As demonstrated by a variety of best practices, the entry points for triggering circular processes at the urban scale are various. In this paper, cultural heritage is presented as the entry point for the implementation of this new urban development model. The focus here is on the implementation tools, with a particular emphasis on the evaluation tools for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of this model, that is, the multidimensional benefits that it can produce. The Level(s) tool, proposed by the European Commission in 2017, is the only officially recognised assessment tool related to the circular economy at the European level. It aims to evaluate the performance of new buildings from a circular economy perspective. This paper intends to expand the field of action of the aforementioned tool to projects related to cultural heritage. Nevertheless, the Level(s) tool has some weaknesses in relation to values and attributes that need to be considered when dealing with cultural heritage. This paper proposes an evaluation framework for assessing cultural heritage renovation and reuse projects, considering all its values and the multidimensional impacts that they are able to produce (economic, social, environmental impacts) in the city. The starting point for the development of the proposed evaluation framework is the Level(s) tool by the European Commission. On the basis of critical considerations, this tool is integrated with criteria and indicators deduced from other previous studies and other official tools on this issue (Green Building Council and Heritage Impact Assessment tools). The evaluation framework is here tested to evaluate the renovation/reuse project of Villa Vannucchi, a historic building located in the city of San Giorgio a Cremano in the metropolitan city of Naples (Italy).
... Other options for waste reduction include supply chain optimization and engaging third-party logistics (renting of space for recycling) to facilitate win-win storage, processing and transportation solutions (Dias & Braga Junior, 2016;Beheshti et al., 2022). There are often unused opportunities for industrial symbiosis despite geographic proximity (Chertow, 2000). ...
Technical Report
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As urbanization increases, meeting the challenges of urban food supply and food security requires coherent and holistic strategies. Attention too often focuses solely on best practices without addressing the required behavior change. This policy brief highlights the importance of minimizing food loss and waste, which accounts for some 30% of current global production, in order to link and achieve SDGs 2, 11 and 12. The strategy comprises four interrelated elements, namely adopting holistic and circular planning perspectives; facilitating urban and peri-urban farming; integrating innovative behavioral interventions; and providing enabling environments. The G20 has the capacity to act rapidly, without the need for major capital investment, thereby also providing leadership to the entire international community.
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Collective management of industrial solid waste (ISW) is an alternative that aims to reduce costs and centralize compliance with legal requirements. To unite efforts in the management of ISW, industrial conglomerates have been installed in districts where they develop their activities and manage their waste collectively, in a kind of symbiosis that brings environmental and economic benefits. This article aimed to carry out a systematic review on some Brazilian industrial clusters and the collective management of their waste, using as a case study an Industrial Waste Center located in southern Brazil. Publications and reference authors were searched using two combinations of key expressions: “Life Cycle Assessment + Industrial Symbiosis” and “Waste Management + Tobacco Industry”. The first theme was more current, with a greater number of publications from the European continent. The latter is more constant, without major variations in the number of publications, highlighting the United States as the origin of the reference authors. Conclusions point to a trend toward expansion of studies on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the consolidation of the concept of industrial symbiosis. Regarding the management of waste from the tobacco industry, the approach focuses on the harmful effects of cigarettes on health and the problem of post-consumption waste (butts). Keywords: systematic review; waste management; life cycle assessment; industrial symbiosis; tobacco industry
Aim of this paper is to present the state of the art of the Industrial Symbiosis in Sicily, a region of southern Italy. The strengths, the limits and the obstacles to its spread of the initiatives carried out by public institutions and private companies are studied. In order to overcome the issues of the previous initiatives, the research proposed in this paper will pivot on a first phase of investigation based on the collection of data and feedback from the main stakeholders (interviews and questionnaires). Such knowledge will be preparatory to understand the main needs of the industries of this territory and will orient to the development of the most valuable and effective tools that can concretely help operators to achieve the goals of the Industrial Symbiosis. KeywordsSymbiosisCircular economySupply chainDatabaseCO2 reductionSustainable manufacturing
This paper reviews a Fiji agricultural experiment in integrated farming which is linking five different micro-industries, using the waste of one as fertilizer or fuel for another, in a loop that dumps little or no pollution into the environment. It traces the key stages of the experiment, demonstrating how sludge, discarded by a large Fijian brewery and normally representing a troublesome pollutant, is being used to grow mushrooms, feed chickens, produce methane gas, feed fish, and support hydroponic gardening, in an integrated cycle which results in little or no pollution. The paper concludes that integrated farming offers a way of bringing efficient, sustainable agriculture to low-income developing countries without introducing the problems of heavy pollution, vulnerability to pests, loss of jobs, and heavy export dependence that accompany large scale conventional agriculture.
Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, and in response to the call for sustainable production and consumption, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) coined the phrase 'eco-efficiency', which they define as producing goods and services within the limits of the earth's carrying capacity. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to conceive of the types of restrictions that industry would impose on itself to ensure that its products and services do not exceed the carrying capacity of the planet. Simply on the basis of the continuing increase in numbers and quantities of products in the marketplace, it would appear that many industries still view that carrying capacity to be infinite. In practice, there have been substantial improvements in the efficiency of many processes and products - computers, batteries, tires, telephones, washers, dryers and automobiles to name a few. However, with growth in the economy, in population and in product sales, chemical use, energy consumption and waste generation, there is considerable doubt that efficiency improvements will be enough to sustain the earth's life support systems. For instance, while the energy intensity of many household products has decreased markedly since 1970, global energy use has increased 80 times since 1980. The question, then, is whether there is any common ground between industrial systems, with their capacity to produce a seemingly limitless supply of goods, and the natural ecosystems that both supply materials to, and must handle the waste from, those industrial systems. Arguably, that common ground can be created by getting industry to recognize that all human activities operate within the realm of natural systems, and that the functions performed by these natural systems provide the wherewithal for human economic activity.
The techniques of water distribution modeling, a well-developed subject, have been applied to water management in an industrial park - the Bayport chemical manufacturing complex in Houston, Texas in the United States. Linear and other mathematical programming approaches were used to evaluate water reuse opportunities for a variety of scenarios, including redesigning the industrial water use network, adding a facility to the network, limiting the total water available to the network, and varying the price of water. The results of the modeling demonstrate that a number of economical water reuse opportunities may exist for this network of facilities. More generally, the types of mathematical models developed for water reuse may find application in reuse modeling for other materials.