The European Resource Efficiency Platform this week published its final recommendations for developing a resource-efficient economy.
In its report, EREP urges all EU member states to ‘foster industrial symbiosis’ as one of the key strategies for doubling resource productivity by 2030.
The report affirms that: ‘Industrial Symbiosis networks have proven successful in diverting waste from landfill, but also contributing to the preservation of resources and moving waste up the value chain. They have also been an accelerator of innovation and creation of green jobs.’
It further states: ‘The EU and Member States should foster industrial symbiosis by promoting a pan-European network of industrial symbiosis initiatives, under which facilitators could be connected to allow match-making, including across borders and beyond the EU. The potential for creating new, or scaling up existing, networks should be exploited and a platform for knowledge exchange established. This would help companies to source inputs and to get value from their residues.’
Independently verified figures from International Synergies’ NISP (National Industrial Symbiosis Programme) provide clear evidence to substantiate EREP’s findings. “There is little doubt that the achievements documented by NISP over the last eight years have helped EREP reach this recommendation,” explains Peter Laybourn, NISP creator and Chief Executive of International Synergies.
“The programme’s business members have reported 45 million tonnes material being diverted away from landfill while 58 million tonnes raw material use has been avoided. Additionally, sales generated from the reuse and trading of resources adds up to an impressive €1.71 billion.”
Additionally, NISP’s results provide validation for EREP’s findings on innovation and employment; more than 70% of NISP synergies involved some level of innovation while over 10,500 jobs have been created or saved in the UK as a direct result of NISP intervention.
Peter continues: “I am delighted that EREP clearly identifies the role of a facilitated industrial symbiosis network in increasing resource productivity, preserving valuable resource streams and helping businesses benefit in financial sense through collaboration, sharing of best practice and the practical trading of reusable resources.
“I am confident that NISP’s achievements provide a clear benchmark for the potential scale of opportunity available to European Member states who act upon EREP’s recommendations to scale up existing networks and invest in new ones. And look forward to working with the Commission directly and through the recently launched European Industrial Symbiosis Association (EUR-ISA) to make this happen.”
A full copy of EREP’s recommendations can be downloaded below. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/resource_efficiency/documents/erep_manifesto_and_policy_recommendations_31-03-2014.pdf)