In 2017 the The Kalundborg Symbiosis from Denmark won the award.
The Kalundborg Symbiosis is the world's first industrial symbiosis and is made up by partnerships between the city of Kalundborg and eight industrial companies, both public and private. It has led to new ways of production with a more circular approach. Since 1972, waste from one actor becomes a resource for another, resulting in higher sustainability and business performance, growing over time. As one of the first industry parks to collaborate in this manner, scientist followed their process and introduced the term “industrial symbiosis”.
After more than 45 years of continued collaboration, the industrial symbiosis of Kalundborg has evolved into what it is today. From sharing one resource: waste water, in the 1970s, today eight companies are sharing 25 different resources, from fresh water and biogas to gypsium. This is reducing the CO2 emissions by over 635 000 tonnes per year and creating annual savings of DKK 182 million for the enterprises cooperation and DKK 106 million in socio-economic values.
In today’s modern life a large amount of industrially produced products are taken for granted. At the same time, the resources available on our planet are limited. If we want to maintain a high material standard of living, the industrial processes need to become more resource efficient. One innovative way to accomplish this is through industrial symbiosis.
Industrial symbiosis means collaboration between different actors, where the waste or energy from one actor becomes a resource for another. In that way, not only material resources and energy but also financial resources are saved.
As a pioneer in the field, Kalundborg Symbiosis has shown the way for many other industrial clusters, inspiring businesses all around the world.