Engr. Guillaume Massard from Lausanne, Switzerland, visited AdU during an IE seminar dubbed Cleaner Production to Industrial Ecology and Industrial Symbiosis last March 12, 2009. Massard is a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant of the Industrial Ecology Group of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a founding partner and project manager of the Solutions for Industrial Ecosystems (SOFIES)—a consulting firm in environmental and development issues with expertise in industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis in Geneva, Switzerland.
During the seminar, he introduced industrial symbiosis—a concept in which companies or industrial actors share information, services, utility, and by-product resources to be able to reduce cost, add value to their processes, and preserve the environment involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products. It is a subset of industrial ecology that focuses more on material and energy exchange to increase efficiency and engages traditionally separate but geographically proximate industries to collectively gain a competitive advantage by reducing costs and at the same time being environment-friendly.
Industrial symbiosis closes the loop of the usual production cycle that results to by-product or waste. Instead, this converts or transports the waste or by-product of the process as the raw material of the processes of another neighbouring company. This way, waste is reduced or eliminated through continuous recycling.
Massard also discussed the application of this concept to his recently coordinated project in the State and Republic of Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva is a small state where manufacturing plants are geographically near each other—making it possible to apply the concept of industrial symbiosis through installation of pipelines where by-product of one plant is transported to another as raw material. This area is called an eco-industrial park.
The seminar has been very informative and essential to IE education since IE’s main concern is to reduce cost and maximize profit. Angeline Joy Santos