In the Danish town of Kalundborg, one can find the world’s first large-scale industrial symbiosis scheme, where various manufacturing facilities exchange by-products.
In the Danish town of Kalundborg, the world’s first large-scale industrial symbiosis system is still going strong, with more than 30 exchanges of energy, water and materials between 11 company and municipal facilities. Companies buy and use the residual products from nearby facilities and, in turn, sell on the by-products of their own processes, creating a ‘web’ of resource exchange. Established as early as 1961 but officially named in 1989, Kalundborg Symbiosis has continued to grow and has developed into an on-going collaboration between Kalundborg Municipality and nine companies: Argo, Avista Green, Biopro, Equinor, Gyproc Saint-Gobain, Kalundborg Utility, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Ørsted. A recent addition to the scheme is Kalundborg Utility’s heat pump that recaptures heat from industrial wastewater for use in district heating. The Kalundborg Symbiosis ecosystem is constantly evolving over time, to meet new opportunities and demands. New symbiosis projects are currently underway, to further strengthen the value realisation from resources. The companies participating in this scheme emit less, are more resilient and improve their bottom-lines through cost reductions.