Inderscience Publishers

Towards cooperation in industrial symbiosis: considering the importance of the human dimension

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The objective of this study is to evaluate the human dimensions of improving energy and material-use efficiency of a system through increased integration and exchange between local actors. The results are based on a case study of a Swedish municipality with a developed forest industry. The actors' views are discussed together with the most important factors to enable increased integration and for exchange to take place. The greatest barriers found were the lack of knowledge and resources, attitudes, time frames, development consent, and lack of continuity and local power for some companies. One conclusion is that the municipal authority could have a role as coordinator of local integration projects. However, this role can be impeded by the weak integration of different divisions in the municipality's organisation and it is suggested that companies with integration as their business concept can be key actors when developing more integrated networks. It was also clear that intraorganisational issues may impede interorganisational integration.

Keywords: forest industry, energy exchanges, material exchanges, inter-organisational integration, cooperation, industrial ecosystems, industrial symbiosis, actors views, industrial ecology, material flow, energy use, efficiency, Sweden, municipal authorities, coordination, integrated networks

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