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2023, Advances in Cleaner Production Conference Proceedings, Pages -

A Systematic Review of the Barriers and Drivers of Implementing Industrial Symbiosis (04d Abstract in atti di convegno)

Castiglione C., Fraccascia L., Pastore E., Alfieri A.

Nowadays, enhancing the sustainability of production processes is one of the keys to supporting the transition towards the circular economy. An important issue concerns reducing the amounts of industrial wastes and byproducts disposed of in landfill and the amounts of virgin inputs used by production processes. In this regard, industrial symbiosis (IS) deals with the exploitation of wastes produced by one production process as a substitute for the primary inputs required by other production processes; these processes can belong to the same company or, conversely, to different companies. IS is recognised as a win-win strategy since it can create environmental benefits while producing economic advantages for the involved companies at the same time, in the form of lower waste disposal costs and input purchase costs. Hence, policymakers of several countries have strongly recommended the implementation of IS. Nevertheless, IS is scantly implemented compared to its theoretical potential. The case studies described by the literature so far highlight that several barriers might hamper the establishment of IS relationships among companies. However, the literature is highly fragmented in this sense, and a general and comprehensive framework about barriers and drivers to IS is lacking. This paper is aimed at developing a general framework for drivers and barriers for IS by conducting a systematic literature review. In particular, this paper involves both empirical and theoretical papers on IS in general, which mention at least one barrier or one driver for IS, by contextualising the best practices and the failures described in the literature. 760 papers were part of the final database, considering only papers published in peer-reviewed journals in Scopus and Web of Science databases until the 20th of July 2023. The investigation focused on the full text of each paper to extract information about drivers and barriers. The output of this investigation is a theoretical framework based on the classification of the drivers and the barriers identified. Barriers and drivers are classified into four macro-sectors by combining two factors: the internal or external origin of the drivers and barriers with respect to the company and whether they impact the stand-alone company or the network (or a subpart of it). This classification in four macro-sectors helps to delineate the type of IS that can be established and the companies that can be involved under a specific set of external policies. Moreover, as IS develops along four readiness levels, the classification of the drivers and barriers into the macrosectors must be focused on each level: willingness, assessment, implementation, and operation. This further classification allows decision-makers and companies to develop implementation plans and policies by also considering future drivers and barriers and the potential side effects of plans, specific for a readiness level, on the others. Beyond the development of the framework, this paper reports the advances in IS research over the last three decades, the progressive reduction of some barriers and the emergence of others, the impacts of national policies, and the fields that are progressively interested in IS establishment. This sort of history of barriers and drivers of IS can provide insights for those countries starting to introduce IS in their industrial policies right now. At the same time, new technologies, business models, industrial sectors, and development strategies arose and have been involved worldwide around the IS concept, and simultaneously visualising them helps to understand the pivotal role of the local context in IS that the framework tries to highlight. The theoretical framework can be useful for companies, policymakers, scholars, practitioners, and Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) managers. From the managerial perspective, companies can be aware in advance of which drivers they can exploit and whi
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