Industrial Symbiosis workshops prove a valuable investment for businesses

More than 120 businesses have discovered that taking time out of their busy schedules to attend an Invest Northern Ireland Industrial Symbiosis workshop really does pay dividends.

Over the last 12 months, more than 800 potential partnerships valued at £12 million were identified by the service with over 110,000 tonnes of material that could be diverted from disposal.

McAleer & Teague, a building and civil engineering company based in Dromore, Co Tyrone, came to a workshop wanting to improve its bottom line. The company shared information on resources generated from construction projects with the other delegates at the workshop and found solutions for timber and plasterboard waste.

Dominic Teague, Partner in the firm commented: “Reducing our carbon impact, minimising and diverting waste from landfill are our primary environmental and financial drivers. Working in partnership with the industrial symbiosis service has enabled us to find more sustainable and cost effective solutions for the waste generated from construction projects.”

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technical Solutions, said: “The industrial symbiosis workshops are managed by an experienced team of resource professionals who ensure businesses can make the most of the opportunities presented.  

“By spending a modest two hours with our resource experts, businesses can gain incredible insights into  identifying profitable exchanges of materials, develop valuable connections with other businesses and find solutions for materials and resources that are being wasted or sent to landfill. Invest NI runs workshops throughout the year across Northern Ireland and I would encourage more people to explore how this service could realise savings and increase sales in their business.”

Charlie McFarlane, Team Leader from Terumo BCT in Larne attended our most recent workshop at the SustainEx exhibition in March to find solutions for materials such as packaging, solvents and ion-exchange resin. Commenting afterwards he said: “This was a very good meeting – it was informative and provided lots of good ideas – we will certainly be able to implement some of these and increase our bottom line.”

The Industrial Symbiosis service is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and part financed by European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness programme in Northern Ireland.

It offers businesses free advice and support from experienced resource managers. Introductions to other companies are facilitated with the aim of matching waste from one company with material requirements for another.

International Synergies Ltd is the service provider for Industrial Symbiosis in Northern Ireland. Further information on the service is available from Elaine Kerr, International Synergies Ltd. Email or call 028 3833 3438.