Since the early days of industrialisation industrial economy has been following a linear model of resource consumption that follows a take-make-dispose pattern. Industrial symbiosis is an approach which closes the loop in the material and energy flows contributing to a circular economy model and represents a shift from the traditional industrial model in which wastes are considered the norm, to integrated systems in which everything has its use.

Industrial symbiosis is part of the industrial ecology concept, that uses the natural ecosystem as an analogy for human industrial activity. The principal objective of industrial ecology is to restructure the industrial system by optimising resource use, closing material loops and minimising emissions, promoting de-materialisation and reducing and eliminating the dependence on non-renewable energy sources. While industrial ecology is principally concerned with the flow of materials and energy through systems at different scales, from products to factories and up to national and global levels; industrial symbiosis focuses on these flows through industrial networks in local and regional economies.

The experts of the Interreg Europe Environment and Resource Efficiency Policy Learning Platform have prepared a Policy Brief summing up the relevant EU policy framework, and the potential actions regions and cities can take.

Download the Policy Brief.

The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform is developed to stimulate knowledge exchange among Interreg Europe projects, European regions and other interested practitioners. To fine-tune the services and products of the Platform to the user needs, we encourage you to share your ideas with Venelina Varbova, [email protected], Thematic Manager for Environment and Resource Efficiency.