The role of online information-sharing platforms on the performance of industrial symbiosis networks
Authored by Luca Fraccascia, Devrim Murat Yazan
Date Published: 2018
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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
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.