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Business solutions for energy cooperation



Business models

“Industrial symbiosis (IS) is a collaborative approach concerning physical exchange of materials, energy, and services among different companies” ([1]). The European Commission ([2]) explicitly recommended the fostering on IS practices to boost production efficiency and resource productivity, underlying their sustainability-related advantages – i.e. environmental, economic, and social advantages ([3]; [4]).

As such, Business Models (BMs) implementing industrial symbiosis principles are considered as BMs for sustainability, and they are mainly classified under the Bocken et al. ([5])’s classification of technical grouping.

The business model’s archetypes within the technical grouping are three:

  • 1. Maximise material and energy efficiency, is defined as “do more with fewer resources, generating less waste, emission and pollution”
  • 2. Create value from waste, is defined as “turning waste stream into useful and valuable input”
  • 3. Substitute with renewables and natural resources, is defined as addressing resource constraints associated with non-renewable resources and current production systems.

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Park managers should always provide energy-related knowledge assessments and meetings before implementing changes in the BM archetype, in order to evaluate the current preparation of the companies to be involved and adequately prepare for the activities to be carried out.

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  • [1] Fraccascia, L., Magno, M., & Albino, V. (2016). Business models for industrial symbiosis: A guide for companies. Procedia Environ. Sci. Eng. Manag, 3, 83-93
  • [2] European Commission, (2011), Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Roadmap to a Resource Efficiency Europe, European Commission, Brussels
  • [3] Mirata M., (2004), Experiences from early stages of a national industrial symbiosis programme in theUK: determinants and coordination challenges, Journal of Cleaner Production, 12, 967–983
  • [4] OECD, (2012), The Future of Eco-Innovation: The Role of Business Models in Green Transformation, OECD Background Paper, Copenhagen
  • [5] Bocken, N. M., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of cleaner production, 65, 42-56.
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