SIFT is a supportive campaigner of reusing as much waste or by product from industry. A reasonably new initiative has emerged. Industrial symbiosis is one example of a cooperative process, where by businesses ‘buddy up’ in an effort to reuse waste and by products that the partner company produces, but has no further means of using.
The theory is that when businesses cooperate in this way, they are exerting less energy and consuming less water and raw materials, than if they had to manufacture the by product themselves.
Although I-S appears to be motivated by limiting the usage of resources, the environmental gains were actually just an eventual by product of agreements that were based on financial efficiency – namely sharing the costs of production across industry. The particular case study in Denmark demonstrates the advantages of cooperation across 6 compatable companies.
In order for industrial symbiosis to be effectively executed, it is reliant on the compatibility of the companies – and this could only be equated by analysing the economic and environmental benefits of a cooperative scheme.
The following diagram* demonstrates the process of symbiosis, as it is taking place in Kalundborg, Denmark. This is a heavily referenced example in current waste management research.
As can be seen in the diagram below, all of the companies mutually exploit each other’s residual or by-products.
In the next blog, we will be looking to Canterbury based enterprises that are improving their bottom line through similar cooperative methods.
* The companies that are a part of this structure are: DONG Energy Asnæs Power Station, the plasterboard factory Gyproc A/S, the pharmaceutical plant Novo Nordisk A/S, the enzyme producer Novozymes A/S, the oil refinery Statoil A/S, RGS 90 A/S as well as the waste company Kara/Noveren I/S.