Institutional lens upon industrial symbiosis dynamics: The case of Persian gulf mining and metal industries special economic zone

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Abstract

Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collaboration between nearby industrial plants to exchange waste material and energy and achieve economic and environmental benefits that cannot be obtained individually. IS emergence in a cluster requires both technical potentials for material and energy exchange and social readiness for collaboration. In this paper, to gain insight into IS dynamics in emerging industrial clusters; we investigate shared concepts governing actors' behavior in the form of rules and regulations, and social norms and practices. We implemented the IS dynamics framework to reveal which dynamics are supported either by the legislation or actors' preferences. The Persian Gulf Mining and Metal Industries Special Economic Zone in Iran is used as a case study. The case study revealed that previous successful collaborations in the cluster were often self-organized, but stakeholders preferred to initiate new IS collaborations if financial incentives and infrastructure are provided. Meanwhile, the institutional analysis showed that institutional arrangements (e.g., pricing and penalties) are not in favor of IS emergence. Even though stakeholders might engage in self-organized IS because of inherent problems such as resource scarcity, the lack of clear and effective institutions could hinder IS. This understanding can help both the government and stakeholders in their strategies for future collaborations under different economic and environmental policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6192
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Drivers
  • Dynamics
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Institutions

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