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Industrial Symbiosis: ‘’The Waste of One Business is the Gold of Another”
According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), sustainable production and consumption involve businesses, governments, communities and the public who contribute to environmental quality through the efficient production and use of natural resources, minimization of waste and optimization of products and services. Sustainable production is a production strategy that has economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. It is also an environmentally sensitive waste management approach that aims to use less raw materials and energy, increase reuse and recycling, generate less waste and reduce the amount of hazardous waste.,

Although it is very important and effective to spread cleaner production practices which can be considered as a prerequisite for sustainable production, environmental performance can be improved to a certain extent within the company boundaries. For this reason, achieving more gains requires going beyond the boundaries of the firm and mostly between firms and even between sectors.

Industrial symbiosis has been defined as the exchange of substance and energy between two independent industrial enterprises close to each other, similar to that in nature. Industrial symbiosis, which means the sharing of all kinds of assets, logistics and sources of expertise, including physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products, not only prevents industrial environmental and social problems, but also provides economic returns. In this context, industrial symbiosis represents the work of two or more industrial enterprises that is preferably physically close to each other. They are normally independent of each other but they form long-term partnerships and solidarity to enhance both environmental performance and competitiveness.

The industrial symbiosis model considers industrial enterprises and other related activities as an eco-system and demonstrates that effective solutions for resource efficiency and waste reduction can be established through the development of inter-business cooperation. The model aims to reduce costs and improve environmental performance through a collaborative approach in industrial systems.

The most common practice in industrial symbiosis is substance (waste, by-product, water) and energy exchange and reuse of it among businesses. The two most critical issues here are that co-operation is not limited to the exchange of substances and energy, and that physical proximity is not essential for cooperation. As a result of these collaborations, the emission of carbon dioxide, the amount of waste water and production costs have been decreased and an upward trend in additional sales, created jobs and employment, private sector investments, innovation and entrepreneurship have been observed.

Considering all these issues, it is predicted that industrial symbiosis indicates an important potential for Turkey and a program has been started. This program will provide significant benefits and gains in many axes, especially the development of resource efficiency and cooperation culture in the regions and Organized Industrial Zones. The main objective of industrial symbiosis program is to increase awareness about the dissemination of industrial symbiosis practices in the region, to determine the existing potential and strategy by making regional and sectoral analyses, to conduct feasibility studies, to carry out communication activities and to establish the infrastructure for the sustainability and dissemination of industrial symbiosis practices.