Industrial symbiosis (IS) is all about saving money and reducing consumption by working together to maximise the outputs that can be generated from resources. It is one approach to realising a circular economy and achieving green growth. Through symbiotic activities between organisations, IS promotes sustainable resource use, minimises the input of materials and simultaneously eliminates waste. This policy brief presents five IS case studies from across the Nordic Region followed by a series of policy recommendations based on good practice in Nordic countries.
Industrial symbiosis has many benefits – both economic and environmental. Firstly, it provides opportunities for existing companies to increase their profitability and competitiveness by reducing the cost of resources. Secondly, it presents substantial benefit to the environment by reducing both demand for materials and waste. Thirdly, it supports regional development by paving the way for the emergence of new and innovative businesses which take advantage of otherwise un-used industrial flows. Given all this, it is perhaps no surprise that IS has been pitched as a key driver of green growth in the Nordic Region.