G7 Workshop – Advancing Industrial Symbiosis

Partners: International Synergies, Defra, Birmingham City Council


In June 2015, the G7 Leaders, under the German presidency, made a commitment to establish a G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency to act as a platform for sharing knowledge and network.  The UK and Germany jointly hosted the first event under the G7 banner in Birmingham on 29-30 October 2015 focussing on advancing Industrial Symbiosis within the context of Resource Efficiency. The workshop was attended by over 100 policy makers, industry representatives and academic pioneers from countries within the G7, G20 and emerging economies.

International Synergies played a key role in organising this pioneering event, working in partnership with Defra and Birmingham City Council to set the agenda, and convene global speakers and attendees to facilitate and drive action for the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency.


A full programme for the event is available to download: G7 Workshop on Industrial Symbiosis Programme (26-OCT-15)

Agenda: Day 1: October 29th, 2015

Leadership view: G7 German Presidency & the Alliance on Resource Efficiency 

Chair: Ms. Clare Southworth, Defra, Head of Unit, Resource Efficiency – EU and International

This session introduced the role of the Alliance, and provided representation from Germany, Japan and the UK:

The G7 Summit: Decisions on Resource Efficiency: Dr. Helge Wendenburg, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Director General, Water Management, Resource Conservation

Alliance for Resource Efficiency: Agenda setting: Mr. Nick Joicey, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Director General, European and International Affairs

Next G7 presidency: Carrying the resource efficiency agenda forward: Mr. Yoshinori Suga, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, Deputy Director Waste Management and Recycling Department Office of Sound Material-Cycle Society

Industrial Symbiosis Delivering Resource Efficiency and Green GrowthMr. Peter Laybourn, International Synergies Ltd., Chief Executive

Business view: Driving Competitiveness Through Industrial Symbiosis

Chair: Ms. Birgit Schwenk, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Head of Unit European and International Aspects of Resource Efficiency

Improved competitiveness through industrial symbiosis is often attributed to improved resource productivity. In actuality, the opportunities are much broader: reducing cost, increasing revenue, diversifying business, and managing supply chain risk. 

Process Industry AgendaMs. Loredana Ghinea, SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), Executive Director

Innovation through Industrial Symbiosis: Mr. Richard Laxton, Arla Foods Global QEHS Sustainability Manager

Michelin: Meeting Zero-waste Corporate Commitment through Industrial Symbiosis: Mr. Trevor Knipe, International Synergies Northern Ireland, Director

SME Manufacturing agenda: Benefits and Issues of Industrial Symbiosis: Ms. Susanne Baker, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, Senior Climate and Environment Policy Adviser

SME case study: BIO4BIO – Valorisation of Agro Industry Waste Biomass for Energy and Biomolecular Industrial Applications: Dr. Luciano Falqui, Plastica Alfa, R&D Project Manager


Global view: Scale-up of industrial symbiosis

Chair: Dr. Rachel Lombardi, International Synergies Ltd Director of Business Development

Global institutions are increasingly recognising the contribution of industrial symbiosis in addressing global challenges including climate change mitigation, sustainable economic development, green growth and eco-innovation. This session highlighted current global activities in each of these areas and how institutions are supporting industrial symbiosis.  

Sustainable Industrial Areas – A Supporting Framework for Scaling Up Industrial SymbiosisMs. Karina Nikov, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Advisor on Industrial Environmental Protection

Industrial Symbiosis in the Context of Resource EfficiencyMs. Petra Schwager, UNIDO Industrial Resource Efficiency Unit

Comparative Analysis in Industrial Symbiosis, Local to Global: Professor Marian Chertow, Yale University

Green Growth Knowledge Partnership Promoting Collaboration and Co-ordinated ResearchProfessor Paul Ekins OBE, University College London

Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production CentresMs. Elisa Tonda, UNEP Acting Head, Responsible Industry and Value Chain Unit

The 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns and the Sustainable Development GoalsMr. Charles Arden-Clarke, UNEP, 10YFP Secretariat, Head

Policy view: Variations in policy to support industrial symbiosis.

Chair: Professor Paul Ekins OBE, University College London

At all levels—local, regional, national, and international—industrial symbiosis is increasingly seen as a strategic tool for economic development, green growth, innovation, and resource efficiency. This session showcased policies for industrial symbiosis for various objectives at all levels:

Industrial Symbiosis is European Policy: Mr. Gwenole Cozigou, European Commission Directorate General Growth, Director Resource Efficiency

Industrial Symbiosis and Ec0-towns: Mr. Yoshinori Suga, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, Deputy Director Waste Management and Recycling Department Office of Sound Material-Cycle Society

Industrial Symbiosis and Circular Economy Policy: Ms. Zénaïde Hubert, French Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

Industrial Symbiosis for Economic Development: Mr. Nahit Bingöl, Turkish Ministry of Development, Director General, Regional Development and Structural Adjustment General Directorate

Day 2: October 30, 2015

Welcome: Professor Ian Boyd, Defra Chief Scientific Advisor

Industrial Symbiosis: Beyond Traditional Supply Chains

Chair: Ms Vicky Pryce, CEBR, Chief Economic Advisor

Competitive Advantage and Managing Risk through Industrial SymbiosisMr. Adrian Tautscher, Jaguar Land Rover, Materials Engineering, Sustainable Aluminium Strategies, Group Leader

(A recent update of the information presented by Mr. Tautscher at the G7 is now available here )

Propagating Industrial Symbiosis through Supply Chains: Mr. Paul Whitehead, Highways England Team Leader

Managing Supply Chain Risk Through Facilitated Industrial SymbiosisMr. Andy Whyle, Ricoh Environment Manager

Remanufacturing for Resource Efficiency Ms. Eman Martin-Vignerte, Bosch External Affairs

Industrial Symbiosis Supporting a Stronger Economy: Dr. Jaqueline Homan, Birmingham City Council, Sustainability Team, Head of Sustainability

SME case study: Transforming a business model through Industrial Symbiosis:  Mr. Andrew Powell, Alutrade Ltd., Business Development Manager

Working Session: Challenges, Opportunities, Next Steps

Chair: Ms Laura Sandys, Challenging Ideas, Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Zénaïde Hubert (France), Ms. Benedetta Dell’anno (Italy), Mr. Yoshinori Suga (Japan), Ms. Kathleen Salyer (US)