Industrial symbiosis is the use by one company or sector of resources (materials, energy, water, logistics, capacity) from another, thus reducing waste generation while delivering economic, environmental and social benefits. At all levels in Europe - local, regional, national, and the EU itself - industrial symbiosis is increasingly seen as a strategic tool to help deliver the circular economy. At least 20 Member States since 2009 have held awareness raising and implementation activities. Facilitated programs in 15 EU countries are engaging over 20,000 organisations in industrial symbiosis, and others have self-directing activity. Nevertheless, less than 0.1% of the 26 million active enterprises in Europe are known to be active in industrial symbiosis. Facilitator and company surveys and interviews on industrial symbiosis opportunities have identified non-technical barriers to industrial symbiosis: the lack of information is clearly identified as a barrier by companies, and addressing this is a large part of a facilitator role. Both companies and facilitators identify regulation, organisational and governance issues as potential barriers, usually addressed through facilitator support. Companies typically do not need help establishing the commercial viability of industrial symbiosis opportunities.
Keywords: Industrial symbiosis, barriers, innovation, circular economy.
Jel Code: 030, L23, L14