Industrial symbiosis is the art of cooperating in smart new ways. And what cooperation means is that businesses and organisations share resources with each other or develop services together. The point about industrial symbiosis is that it strengthens the economy and reduces the environmental impact of the companies involved.
Malmö City and Copenhagen Malmö Port are currently operating just such a joint strategy project surrounding industrial symbiosis. The focus is on areas such as logistics, waste and energy, as well as companies in the port area and in Malmö Industrial Park. Regional energy and waste companies, universities and governmental authorities are also taking part in the project.
There are already several successful examples of industrial symbiosis in Scandinavia. In the Danish city of Kalundborg, residual- and by-products from manufacturing companies are being used in creative new ways. Organic waste from a company in the local industrial area is converted into animal feedstuff and synthetic fertilizer, which are used in agriculture. In another case, the by-products from a company that purifies flue-gases are being recycled. A neighbouring company is using these by-products as raw materials in its manufacture of plasterboard. A Swedish example is the Händelö industrial area outside Norrköping. Steam, a by-product from the nearby combined power and heating plant, is used in ethanol production. At the same time, the residual products from manufacturing ethanol are converted into animal feedstuffs and biogas.
Industrial symbiosis can also be about deriving benefit from a common resource or service – e.g. compressed air which is used in many industries. Instead of having individual systems, the companies join forces in a shared plant. It becomes more efficient and cheaper. Handling can be made safer and more reliable if several companies run a plant together.
Malmö Industrial Park is located directly adjacent to CMP’s port facilities. The establishment of the new industrial estate is generating unique opportunities for industrial symbiosis. For example, new energy systems can be developed in the industrial park, with companies utilising each other’s resources and common services. It enables companies to increase efficiency, improve competitiveness and contribute to a more sustainable development.