The pursuit of sustainable and circular solutions through industrial symbiosis is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving world. Industrial symbiosis involves industries collaborating to exchange resources, with the aim of transitioning from a linear to a circular economy. Stakeholder mobilization, involving various sectors such as industries, government bodies, and community organizations, is fundamental to the successful implementation of IS. Mobilizing stakeholders fosters dialogue, builds relationships and establishes a shared vision, facilitating the exchange of ideas and collaborative strategies. It also helps to identify and overcome barriers to implementation, generates awareness and ensures social acceptance. CORALIS deliverable 8.4 compiled by our project partner Energieinstitut an der JKU /Austria (EI-JKU) is part of Work Package 8, which aims to guide and outline IS adoption in the follower regions of the CORALIS project. The goal of this deliverable is to analyze and map out the long-term developments in these follower regions, specifically focusing on networking, cooperation building and stakeholder mobilization to enable IS implementation.

To achieve this, a socio-technical analysis was conducted that builds upon previous work on the project. Key components of the analysis included reviewing the current literature; identifying relevant stakeholders and their potential influences; conducting an environment analysis using Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political (STEEP) indicators; and conducting expert interviews. The ultimate aim of this analysis was to determine which stakeholders are crucial for IS implementation and to provide recommendations for actions to promote, maintain, or enhance their active involvement.

The deliverable includes insights gathered from the partners involved in the three follower cases: Basauri, Linz and Izmit. It has become evident that clear and transparent communication of an IS project’s status, including potential opportunities, benefits, challenges and risks, is crucial for successful stakeholder engagement. In particular:

In the Basauri follower case, the global energy crisis highlights the importance of sustainability and driving support for domestic production. However, greater involvement and clearer goals are required to advance projects. The transparent sharing of progress, experience, and knowledge is essential for success.

In the Linz follower case, the positive environmental impact of IS projects has been highlighted, but individual benefits must also be recognized to ensure commitment from all participants (clear contracts and agreements are necessary to maintain momentum).

In the Izmit follower case, cooperative exchanges led to expanded networks and potential collaborations, demonstrating the value of ongoing engagement. Although significant investments are required, initial steps have been taken towards project realization.

Overall, mobilizing stakeholders is crucial for the successful implementation of industrial symbiosis.

Here are some strategies to facilitate this, based on D8.4 work:

  1. Workshops or seminars should be organized to educate stakeholders about the benefits of industrial symbiosis.
  2. Identify and engage potential stakeholders such as industries and NGOs to develop targeted strategies.
  3. Create online spaces for stakeholders to communicate and identify opportunities.
  4. Highlight economic, environmental, and social benefits to attract stakeholder interests.
  5. Advocate policies that encourage industrial symbiosis, such as grants or regulatory adjustments.
  6. Offer training to enhance stakeholders’ skills in industrial symbiosis.
  7. Share successful examples to inspire stakeholders and showcase the benefits.
  8. Foster partnerships and dialogue through events, forums, and associations.

For specific methods, consider the following.

  1. Engage stakeholders in brainstorming sessions.
  2. Demonstrate benefits through small-scale initiatives.
  3. Allow stakeholders to view industrial symbiosis projects first.
  4. Create groups that focus on specific sectors.
  5. Provide funding incentives.
  6. Develop online spaces for resource exchange.
  7. Display project outcomes to wider audiences.
  8. Collaborate for resources and expertise.
  9. Tailor messages for different stakeholder groups.
  10. Measure impact and adjust strategies accordingly.

The findings of this deliverable, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, will inform the development of a roadmap for CORALIS Task 8.5. This roadmap outlines the next steps and provides recommendations for implementing individual projects within the industrial symbiosis framework.

Read the full report for more details here.