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Industrial Symbiosis fosters the sharing of resources (energy, water, residues and recycled materials) between different processes of a single company or between multiple companies. In the context of Circular Economy, where companies are encouraged to reuse natural capital in the most efficient way and to close resources’ loops finding value in their waste, Industrial Symbiosis is key to meet global targets on industrial energy and resource efficiency while improving firms’ competitiveness. Industrial Symbiosis is one of the four pillars of the MAESTRI Total Efficiency Framework.

The prototype of a Library of Case Studies and linked Exchanges Database has been developed within MAESTRI project to provide potential Industrial Symbiosis improvement ideas and opportunities for new symbiotic exchanges. It is a source of information on existing Industrial Symbiosis implementations worldwide, built using public documents (scientific publications, etc.). Unlike existing matchmaking repositories and tools, where the registered user can identify potential neighbouring partners for specific exchanges, the prototype Library of Case Studies and linked Exchanges Database has been designed as an open access tool, does not require registration, and provides support in identifying new ideas for alternative waste reuse as well as the process to implement them.

Production/environmental managers and engineers can use it to facilitate Industrial Symbiosis implementation, but it also provides useful information to external facilitators, researchers and other actors involved in Industrial Symbiosis implementation.

The Library of Case Studies and linked Exchanges Database are open access repositories, so you are welcome to browse and download them, but please remember to fill the feedback form you’ll find at the following link.


You can also use the form to tell us if you are looking for specific information (e.g. ideas on how to recycle a particular waste) and could not find them.

Help us to improve our work and deliver you valuable information!

Please note that the Library and Database are work-in-progress and are constantly being updated.

You are free to use, share and adapt the content of the Library and Database under the terms of the CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Aknowledgment to the original source must be given by providing the link to the following DOI:

Want to learn more about Industrial Symbiosis implementation process in different businesses?

Check out the Library of Case Studies, and browse through different examples of existing Industrial Symbiosis implementations worldwide.

Each case has a brief case description followed by five sections:

-The main business challenge that was addressed;

-The barriers encountered during the implementation;

-The approach used by individuals/organisations to overcome these barriers;

-The discovery process, triggered by the business challenge and ending with a symbiotic exchange;

-The preconditions that made the symbiotic exchange feasible.

These descriptions are summaries of cases found in published sources. Each case description has a link to its source for further consultation and information.

If you wish to have a look at those cases related to a particular industrial sector or involving a specific material, please enter the database with related NACE/EWC codes and take note of the Exchange Identifier of exchanges resulting from your queries. This will allow you to track back related case studies in the Library (see Instructions for use on the first sheet of the Exchanges Database).

Want to gather new ideas on how to reuse/recycle your waste?

The Exchanges Database contains detailed descriptions, including industrial sectors and materials involved, treatment process and final use, of each exchange.

Example applications:

Enter the database with the NACE code of your company to discover which synergies have already been implemented by companies within your own industrial sector.

Enter the database with the EWC code of your waste to find out how it has already been transformed in a profitable by-product by other companies. You can also use the CPA code of your by-products (e.g. for molasses from sugar production, or waste heat/electricity) to find out alternative reuses, or the CAS Registry Number of chemical substances/metals contained in your waste/by-product to identify individual reuse opportunities.

You’ll only need an .xslx file reader to easily find the information you’re looking for!

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