The role of online information-sharing platforms on the performance of industrial symbiosis networks

Authored by Luca Fraccascia, Devrim Murat Yazan

Date Published: 2018

DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.03.009

Sponsors: European Union

Platforms: No platforms listed

Model Documentation: Other Narrative Mathematical description

Model Code URLs: Model code not found


From technical perspective, an important condition for developing industrial symbiosis (IS) is the match between waste supply and demand. Such a match is hampered by lack of information among companies, i.e., demand (supply) for waste exists but firms producing (requiring) that waste are not aware of such a demand (supply). Despite online information-sharing platforms are proposed to support the creation of industrial symbiosis networks (ISNs), related environmental and economic benefits are not in-depth investigated. This paper firstly aims to fill this gap. Although up-to-date literature recognizes lack of information-sharing as an IS barrier, in-depth analysis about the impact of sensitive information-sharing on the operations of IS is not addressed. This paper secondly aims at filling this gap. In this paper, we design an agent-based model to simulate the emergence and operations of self-organized ISNs in three scenarios: (1) no information-sharing platform; (2) a platform where companies provide information about their geographical location and the type and quantity of produced and required wastes; (3) a platform where companies provide sensitive information about the costs of operating IS. These scenarios are simulated in a numerical case study involving two kinds of IS businesses: (1) marble residuals used in concrete production; (2) alcohol slops used in fertilizer production. Results show that online platforms increase the economic and environmental performance of ISNs. Findings help practitioners to understand the importance of information-sharing and to clarify whether the information they consider as `sensitive' is really sensitive or it is non-sensitive information that facilitates business-making.
Circular economy Industrial symbiosis Information-sharing Online platform Agent-based modeling Input-output approach Sustainable development Quantitative assessment Guitang group China Support systems Urban Parks Organization