• Leonie Schlüter
  • Andrea Milani
Our economic system needs to undergo an unprecedented rate of change to stop environmental degradation and to assure sustainable access to natural resources in the future. This means moving away from our current linear economy and its ‘take-make-dispose’ mantra and building an economy that is circular and waste-free by design.
The concept of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is seen as a key enabling factor for this circular economy. In these industrial networks that resemble biological symbioses, wastes of one company become a resource for another, which leads to economic and environmental benefits.
The present paper sheds light upon drivers, facilitators, and barriers to IS through analyzing its development in Aalborg, Denmark. By investigating the historical development of selected synergies in the area, it facilitates a better understanding of the local conditions that influence the IS development. Supplemented by an analysis of non-IS synergies and third parties involved in these, barriers to IS are identified. Patterns in development factors are analyzed according to the type of synergies and companies involved in them, and a holistic picture of the positions of different ecosystem actors are drawn.
The analysis found that in general the incentive for IS was based on the individual project’s commercial value. The incentive structure of Aalborg Symbiosis is thus primarily economically driven. In many cases, however, it was fully or partly motivated by certain regulatory and technological developments, and often only made possible through high organizational capabilities.
On the other hand, also economic factors were the most encountered barrier that impeded IS development. Technical difficulties have been shown to hinder the process to some extent, but regulatory and organizational obstacles played a minor role.
The most important facilitator of Aalborg Symbiosis was Aalborg Kommune, who took the position of a coordinator, particularly in the development of exchanges of heat. Overall, in the establishment of synergies of energy, a much higher presence of barriers but also facilitators could be noticed, compared to the exchanges of materials and liquids.
Publication date6 Jun 2018
External collaboratorPort of Aalborg A/S
Udviklingschef Jesper Raakjær jr@aalborghavn.dk
ID: 280464504