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Industrial symbiosis

Circular business models

District cooling


Industrial Symbiosis North: Sustainable use of resources

On this 360 virtual tour of Industrial Symbiosis North, discover how industrial symbioses can pave the way for a more efficient and sustainable use of our planet’s resources.
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Industrial Symbiosis North

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Video credits: State of Green

The sharing of scarce resources

The use of global resources has more than tripled since 1980. With a growing global population, the equivalent of three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles in 2050.

It is essential that industries join forces and create industrial symbioses to limit the use of natural resources and improve efficiency.

Industrial symbiosis refers to two or more companies providing, sharing and re-using resources such as materials, energy, or biproducts. But it also relates to the sharing of logistical solutions, facilities, and knowledge and expertise. One company’s trash can become another one’s treasure.

Some of the benefits of this model include reduction of waste disposal costs, less material purchasing cost and income through innovation.

Industrial Symbiosis North

An example of a large-scale industrial symbiosis is Industrial Symbiosis North, which is located in Northern Denmark. The symbiosis centers around the resources of a local limestone lake.

Since 2010, a collaboration between research, utilities companies, municipalities, private actors and the regional port authority has ensured that the limestone is being used in multiple and mutually beneficial production streams.

Today, there are more than 25 streams of resource-sharing between the partners. They cover everything from cement production to district heating and cooling and water treatment.

Both big and small local companies and public entities are benefitting environmentally and economically from their symbiotic relationships.

The symbiosis is constantly developing as the industries discover innovative ways to further their partnerships.

Industrial Symbiosis North is a great example of how a resource sharing of local companies can create new symbioses, business opportunities and reduce the use of energy, water and materials.

Ambitious climate goals of climate neutral by around the world demand collaboration. It is imperative that industries join forces and pursue circular business models and symbiotic resource use to accelerate the green transition.

You should consider reading

Circular business models
District cooling
District heating
Energy efficiency
Industrial symbiosis
Industrial water treatment
Resource efficient production
Surplus heat
The sharing economy