Industrial Symbiosis: Post Disaster/Conflict

Partners: International Synergies, Defra, DFID, Disaster Waste Recovery, Saving Lives, Business in the Community


Finding pioneering applications for industrial symbiosis is at the heart of International Synergies’ activities.  As well as addressing key global challenges such as climate change mitigation and supporting the transition to a circular economy, International Synergies examines the suitability for applying proven industrial symbiosis systems and methodology to support sustainable resources management in post conflict/post disaster situations.

Convening global experts in the field, International Synergies lead this pioneering project that explored good practices and asked whether resource management and waste recovery could be managed more sustainably.  Resilient economies built in the recovery stages of a disaster, by the adoption/adaptation of an industrial symbiosis toolkit. Which was  successfully deployed by International Synergies Ltd. across five continents.

The event brought stakeholders together who worked directly on the ground both as enablers and funders in the immediate/emergency response phase, and in the longer term recovery phase of a post disaster/post conflict environment.

The aim of the project was to to identify unmet needs and unexplored opportunities in the field to complement and improve existing good practices. It potentially identified longer term cost savings (in development aid) and sustainable, durable solutions to support the local economy, inter alia, through infrastructure development utilising industrial symbiosis networks, and improved healthcare and physical environments. Other outcomes were explored where humanitarian aid resources (such as shelters, food parcels, emergency packages, and medication) could be efficiently reused and, where necessary, managed in a safe and appropriate manner.

Debris and waste management, supporting local businesses, recovery and new entrepreneurs  by Martin Bjerregaard, Disaster Waste Recovery

Waste Management Practices of Aid Organisations by Samantha Brangeon, Groupe URD

A full report on the event, highlighting next steps is now available to download:

Sustainable Resource Management in Post Disaster/Conflict Situations: Exploring the Role of Industrial Symbiosis