Mapping industrial symbiosis development

An image of a woman working on a machine at a brewery.

Yorkshire's circular regional economy

The York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Enterprise Partnership (Y/NY/ER) works with public and private sector partners to deliver economic growth across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding. This is done by providing different types of business support, investing in infrastructure and the workforce, and strategising over how the Yorkshire region can become the first circular regional economy. By moving from a linear economy (take, make, dispose) to a circular economy (where all waste and resources have value) the challenge of climate change can be faced whilst creating value in the economy. An area marked for high impact implementation of the circular economy in the Yorkshire area is industrial symbiosis.

Industrial symbiosis is the association between industrial facilities or companies in which the waste or by-products of one become raw materials for another. Industrial symbiosis can be described as a collaboration between several different, geographically proximate entities, i.e., companies and factories closely co-located in clusters or industrial parks exchanging resources (e.g., materials, energy, water and by-products) that can be used as substitutes for products or raw materials, which would otherwise be imported from elsewhere or treated as waste.

Workers wearing welding masks welding metal.

Assessing the potential for industrial symbiosis

The primary objectives of this project were to:

  • map waste streams and inputs from businesses on the Dalton and Leeming bar industrial estates
  • identify potential opportunities for symbiosis
  • devise recommendations on implementation
YCC consultants listening during a conference workshop.

Delivering tangible outcomes using research and analysis

‘‘From start to finish YCC provided an extremely impressive and professional service. It was apparent that the team had gone above and beyond with their research and subsequent findings and each opportunity presented a clear economic and environmental rationale. The LEP is currently assessing the next steps needed to implement the findings of the project.’’ – Y/NY/ER

Sustainability initiatives for the local community

The findings of this project indicated large economic gains for businesses involved and improved sustainability across the industrial sites.

Our team provided advice on several eco-friendly ventures that would be beneficial for business efficiencies. In addition to providing sustainability initiatives for the local community. For example, the team explored how commercial food manufacturing waste materials could be converted to compost which could be used by garden centres, how the recycling of office paper waste could reduce supply costs and business’ carbon footprint and what the potential impact of recycling tyre rubber could be. Each of our team’s recommendations were accompanied by justifications, cost-saving implications, and environmental benefits which were obtained through detailed market research and a number of interviews.

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How can my organisation get involved?

Please visit our ‘Contact’ page and send us a message. One of our Strategy Partners will respond as soon as possible. The first key step will involve discussing the main objectives of the project. Then we can begin working towards a Terms of Reference.