Industrial Symbiosis and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Industrial Symbiosis and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
November 29, 2019 Elaine

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were issued and adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. The Goals are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to end all forms of poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Industrial Symbiosis is where unused or residual resources of one company are used by another, resulting in reduced operating costs, collaboration and reduced environmental impact. There are 30 industrial symbiosis programmes around the world. The Invest NI IS Service is the longest running facilitated service in the world and has been delivering ongoing benefits to Northern Irish businesses since 2007.

Central to the work of the IS Service in NI is ensuring Goal 12 is achieved (responsible production and consumption) which ultimately leads to the achievement of Goal 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and Goal 13 (climate action), whilst providing the economic growth necessary to achieve Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth) and Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

As recognised by the UN International Resource Panel, this ripple effect is what makes industrial symbiosis and resource efficiency important to the achievement of all 17 Goals which are inextricably linked to one another.

Through working with all industry sectors including Social Enterprises such as the Play Resource Warehouse and CAN, the IS Service has had the opportunity to test new ventures while upskilling and investing in those in poverty or from disadvantaged backgrounds in local communities.