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Morphogenesis of Industrial Symbiotic Networks

Erika Džajić Uršič

The study deals with Industrial Symbiosis (IS), a term used to describe a network of diverse organizations that make use of different by-products to improve their facility to achieve common goals, improve environmental conditions or improve business and technical processes. Industrial symbiosis is understood as a technological material as well as a social relationship between so-called social actors, which are involved in the exchange of secondary resources.

The author proposes a model for the evaluation of the possibilities to establish such industrial symbiosis with a study benchmark of seven industrial symbiotic examples used to build a qualitative multi-criteria decision model for the evaluation of the industrial symbiotic network model. With the data obtained from the best-known industrial symbiotic cases in the world, the author examines the importance of social actors’ involvement in industrial symbiosis both in their industrial and non-industrial technological processes.

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4 Case studies


Seven industrial symbiotic case studies in this context of modelling are called options or variants. The results obtained are usually subjective and based on the responses of the individual or group’s decisions. It is the degree of realization of the decision that must be examined based on the parameters and the decision-making skills. In this study, the author is the decision maker.

From industrial symbiotic cases we will see that industrial symbiosis has grown over the years, including partners and actors from different regions-districts.

Much of the recent analysis found in literature as description has been centred on environmental costs with less attention to benefits. The environmental benefits of industrial symbiosis are quantified by measuring the changes in consumption of natural resources, and in emissions to air and water, through the increased cycling of materials and energy. The economic benefits of industrial symbiosis are quantified by determining the extent to which firms cycling by-products can capture revenue streams or avoid disposal costs; those businesses receiving by-products gain an advantage by avoiding transport fees or obtaining inputs at a discount. In some cases, less tangible benefits in terms of results are obtained from working cooperatively (Chertow and Lombardi 2018, 18).

The brief description of each industrial symbiotic case will help in the evaluation of each case and the comparison between them. The descriptions will clearly show all weaknesses, strengths, and good practices.

4.1 Kalundborg industrial area, Denmark

The industrial...

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