International Synergies has been an advocate for the circular economy for almost 20 years and has extensively showcased the role industrial symbiosis plays in driving systemic change towards sustainability.

Our methodology and tools

The company attempts to inspire governments and industry to apply industrial symbiosis methodology and tools as an effective and proven means to implement the circular economy.

This is achieved using:

  • Keynote speeches around the world including the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency, Globe Series, Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), Global Green Business Summit, World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF)
  • Thought leadership interviews, articles, columns and publications (including academic journals)
  • Expert witness on industrial symbiosis for major institutions including the UN, the EU, World Economic Forum, House of Commons and House of Lords,
  • The company has also devoted time and expertise in recent times to the UKMSN+, West Midlands Circular Economy Task Force, the Commonwealth Games Sustainability Group, the National Materials Database project led by ONS and Defra’s SME Recycling Working Group.

UK Manufacturing Symbiosis Network Plus (UKMSN+)

The manufacturing industry in the UK is facing growing productivity challenges due to supply and price volatility of raw materials. Manufacturing firms are therefore welcoming the opportunities of circular economy approaches as a means to save costs, prevent disruptions in materials input and generate additional revenue from waste streams.

UKMSN+, a project led by Aston University, aims to establish and promote a research community to address challenges and develop innovative solutions in order to enable the UK shift from a linear to circular economy. The network funds manufacturing symbiosis studies and creates knowledge transfer mechanisms across the community – academics, industry and policy makers.

Our Chairman, Peter Laybourn, is the Chair of the UKMSN+ Advisory Board, and International Synergies played a key role in launching the research network.

G7 workshop – advancing industrial symbiosis

In June 2015, the G7 Leaders, under the German presidency, made a commitment to establish a G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency to act as a platform for sharing knowledge and network.

The UK and Germany jointly hosted the first event under the G7 banner in Birmingham on 29-30 October 2015 focussing on advancing industrial symbiosis within the context of resource efficiency. The workshop was attended by over 100 policy makers, industry representatives and academic pioneers from countries within the G7, G20 and emerging economies.

International Synergies played a key role in organising this pioneering event, working in partnership with Defra and Birmingham City Council to set the agenda, and convene global speakers and attendees to facilitate and drive action for the G7 alliance on resource efficiency.

How industrial symbiosis can help industrial clusters reach net-zero

Our Chairman, Peter Laybourn did a thought piece on 22nd March, 2021 which was published by World Economic Forum WEF illustrates how industrial symbiosis can support clusters in achieving net zero.

NISP report – The Pathway to a Low Carbon Sustainable Economy – National Industrial Symbiosis Programme. Published in 2009 this leading report tracks the triple bottom line achievements of the NISP® programme in the context of ‘accelerating the transition to a circular economy’.

Dr Rachel Lombardi of International Synergies chaired the 2018 CEN Workshop Agreement defining industrial symbiosis (industry-led pre-standard) said:

“Industrial symbiosis is the use by one company or sector of under-utilised resources broadly defined (including waste, by-products, residues, energy, water, logistics, capacity, expertise, equipment and materials) from another, with the result of keeping resources in productive use for longer.”

Interested in more? View the CEN Workshop Agreement article in relation to the core elements and implementation approaches for industrial symbiosis.

If you have a general query or just want to know more about us and what we do, contact us today.