This thesis focuses on one application of industrial ecology, industrial symbioses, as a strategy for improving how economic activities consume material and energy resources. Industrial symbioses seek to create new collaborations among economic players with the goal of exchanging information, raw materials, and waste directly among area businesses, and to step up the potential pooling of services and infrastructure among neighboring companies. The identification and implementation of industrial symbioses are studied from several angles. The research first examines the development of implementation procedures for government bodies, academic institutions, and environmental consulting services. The purpose of the procedures is to create a dynamic of collaboration and trust between the economic players and the public officials. Fieldwork conducted in the canton of Geneva and the Lausanne region highlights a great number of industrial symbioses that already exist. Several dozen examples are identified; however, Swiss law would permit many others. The research evaluates these opportunities from a technical, legal, economic, and environmental standpoint. By developing an assessment framework it is possible to determine which industrial symbioses are technically feasible and pertinent in Switzerland. Lastly, SymbioGIS software was developed to help identify and assess potential industrial symbioses and is coupled with an interface that provides geographic information. In conclusion, the research highlights the need to bring together public institutions charged with protecting the environment, promoting economic activity, and overseeing development in order to foster the expansion of industrial symbioses as a strategy for managing material and energy resources. Also examined were the possibilities of transposing these considerations and the study’s findings about Switzerland to the economic and social context of the Asia-Pacific region, where much production is now located.
Library of the Université de Lausanne
Université de Lausanne
Prof. Suren Erkman