NISP influences Euro Call to Exploit Industrial Symbiosis

At the launch of its ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ last week, the European Commission calls for its member states to ‘exploit industrial symbiosis’ and uses the example of International Synergies’ , National Industrial Symbiosis Programme to demonstrate how Europe could boost its economy by €3 billion if the programme model was replicated across all 27 member states.  

The Roadmap, officially launched by the European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik, outlines how Europe can generate resource efficient growth and create a sustainable economy by 2050 and suggests tools and indicators to help guide action in Europe and internationally.   It aims to develop a policy framework where innovation and resource efficiency are rewarded, creating economic opportunities and improved security of supply through product redesign, sustainable management of environmental resources, greater reuse, recycling and substitution of materials and resource savings. 

 The Roadmap states: 

Exchanging information on routes to resource efficiency between partners in value chains and across sections, including SMEs, can prevent waste, boost innovation and create new markets…. A number of schemes show the benefits of increased information flows, and the payback from providing advice or bringing firms together in National Industrial Symbiosis Platforms: Based on the performance of the UK National Industrial Symbiosis Programme, improving the re-use of raw materials through greater ‘industrial symbiosis’ across the EU could save €1.4bn a year and generate €1.6bn in sales.”

 The figures used derive from a report commissioned by DG Enterprise entitled, ‘The Economic Benefits of Resource Efficiency Policy’. The report reviewed and analysed 120 resource efficiency initiatives from 23 countries to identify policies that have most successfully optimised the use of resources and can provide a blueprint for replication across Europe.  Of the initiatives reviewed, NISP was shortlisted for more detailed assessment and was subsequently identified as providing “the highest economic benefit to the companies involved” and achieving environmental benefits at least cost.