WHAT IS INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS?
The Northwest is positioned to become a North American leader in clean manufacturing and production by adopting an innovative concept called industrial symbiosis.
Industrial symbiosis enables co-located industries to tap renewable and recycled resources, and share ‘secondary resources’ where one industry’s waste – energy, water, or materials -- becomes another’s resource. This simple yet powerful idea will not only help industry reduce waste and pollution – but also spur job creation and economic development in the clean economy. This could benefit communities of all shapes and sizes throughout the Northwest-- rural, suburban and urban on both sides of Washington and Oregon.
Successful examples from Denmark prove that industrial symbiosis can create tremendous economic value. One of the world's earliest adopters, a city of only about 17,000 residents called Kalundborg is estimated to generate $28 million in annual economic value by capturing and reusing waste resources like materials, heat, and energy. In addition they are reducing climate pollution by over 600,000 tons annually.
Although the idea is new to our region, Northwest examples of industrial symbiosis projects are already emerging. CSI has been particularly focused on a few projects under development in Washington State.
Sen. Brown produced the video below, featuring CSI Executive Director Rhys Roth, to help explain how industrial symbiosis works and why Washington State could benefit from an industrial symbiosis program.
WASHINGTON STATE RECOGNIZES IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS
A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LEGISLATORS
SUPPORT STATE PROGRAM
Since 2017, CSI has partnered with i-SUSTAIN to support sustainable infrastructure learning tours of Denmark for Washington elected officials.
Over the past few years many of these state legislators, inspired by Denmark's examples, have worked together across party lines to help advance industrial symbiosis here at home.
A WA Dept. of Commerce study was funded during the 2019 session that resulted in a 191-page report containing industrial symbiosis program recommendations.
In 2020 a bipartisan bill, SB 6430 was introduced by WA Sen. Sharon Brown to create a new Dept. of Commerce program to bring together expertise, technical assistance and best practices to support local industrial symbiosis projects. It also would establish a competitive grant program for research into waste exchange ideas.
The bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House was slated for signing by Gov. Inslee. Unfortunately, because of the unprecedented impacts that have emerged because of the COVID pandemic, newer legislative programs, including Washington State's Industrial Symbiosis program were sidelined.
CSI SUPPORTING PILOT PROJECTS IN NW COMMUNITIES
We believe the future for NW industrial symbiosis is bright. We're continuing to identify the most promising Industrial Symbiosis sites across the NW and are actively helping potential pilot communities by bringing innovative ideas and partners to the table. Already, we're exploring opportunities with Spokane, Kennewick, Port Angeles, Centralia, Raymond, Goldendale, Skamania County, Tacoma, Portland and Tenino.