Facilitating business collaborations for industrial symbiosis: The pilot experience of the sustainable industrial network program in Colombia

Jooyoung Park, Juanita Duque-Hernández, Nohora Díaz-Posada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Industrial symbiosis refers to a collaborative strategy of exchanging physical resources and sharing services among industrial actors, which enhances the resource efficiency and reduces the environmental impacts of industrial operations within the network. Although it can contribute to sustainable development in emerging economies, few studies have examined the dynamics of industrial symbiosis in such regions. We initiated a capacity-building pilot program for industrial symbiosis in Colombia and formulated 20 industrial symbiosis projects with 36 companies. Based on our experience over the first year, we conducted an exploratory case study of the mechanisms that facilitate the development of industrial symbiosis. Specifically, we analyzed the nature of this facilitation and how its activities influence the key determining factors of industrial symbiosis in technical, economic, organizational, social, and institutional categories. Our facilitation approach focused on identifying opportunities and building capacity for industrial symbiosis innovation by influencing mainly the organizational and social factors. The facilitation approach requires further adjustments and experimentation to expand industrial symbiosis and to ensure the eventual implementation of these projects. This study contributes to the understanding of management perspectives of industrial symbiosis development in the context of an emerging economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3637
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Collaboration
  • Colombia
  • Determining factors
  • Emerging economy
  • Facilitation
  • industrial symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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