IVL together with Linköping University, Rise and Hifab, has developed a roadmap that sets forth ways in which industrial symbiosis can be developed and spread in Sweden. One of the proposals is to establish a national centre which, along with 3-5 regional centres, is tasked with driving the project.
– Industrial symbiosis is a way to increase recycling and resource efficiency in energy and material flows. It is also a way of developing and achieving circularity in industry and society that is important in the transition to a circular economy, says Michael Martin project manager at IVL.
In Sweden, there are several thought-provoking examples of how neighbouring industries cleverly manage their resources by making waste from one business a resource for another. But information about how this can be done is local and specific and no structure exists to support development and communicate the message to others.
– We have investigated the potential for industrial symbiosis in Sweden – the challenges, opportunities and benefits that currently exist. This has resulted in a roadmap that highlights the need for support and indicates the need for more research to promote the uptake of industrial symbiosis, says Steve Harris, project manager at IVL.
The roadmap focuses on five areas – the core proposal is to establish a national centre which, together with 3-5 regional centres, will be responsible for driving the project. The national centre could be connected to the Swedish Network for Industrial and Urban Symbios, SNIUS, which already links several key players.
The roadmap also lists a number of support mechanisms that should be established, including ones for coordination, facilitation and market demand development, policy guidelines and joint cross-sectoral initiatives. There is also need for increased knowledge and research in certain key areas.
– The advantages of industrial symbiosis are legion. In addition to environmental benefits, this type of collaboration also delivers competitive advantages such as lower overhead costs, employee collaboration and strengthens innovation capability, says Steve Harris.
The project has been funded through the strategic innovationprogram Resource.