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The self-assessment module

What is industrial symbiosis?

There are many definitions for industrial symbiosis. In the 2018 Workshop Agreement, European Committee for Standardisation and the European Standards Agency have agreed on the following industry-led consensus definition , as a pre-standard:

Industrial symbiosis is the use by one company or sector of underutilised resources broadly defined (including waste, by-products, residues, energy, water, logistics, capacity, expertise, equipment and materials) from another, with the result of keeping resources in productive use for longer.”

2018 CEN Workshop Agreement 17354

The main points to remember are that industrial symbiosis:

  • Includes all resources (materials, capacity, expertise, energy etc.)
  • Creates impact through profitable transactions (inputs, outputs, processes)
    • Novel sourcing of inputs
    • Value-added destinations for non-product outputs
    • Improved business and technical processes