JOURNAL ARTICLE | Journal of Industrial Ecology | 21 | August 2017
Synergy Management Services Companies: A New Business Model for Industrial Park Operators
The concept of industrial symbiosis (IS) was introduced decades ago and its environmental and economic benefits are well established, but the broad acceptance of IS still faces significant barriers.This article provides a new approach to capture synergies within industrial parks by suggesting a new business model. Building on findings from a survey conducted by the authors and on literature, it first identifies potential barriers to low-carbon synergistic projects. Economic concerns of technically feasible synergies and financial issues turn out to be the largest barriers, because of long payback periods and fluctuating raw material and by-product market prices. Existing business models do not offer easy ways to overcome or relax these barriers.The authors therefore introduce the concept of a synergy management services company (SMSCO), a synergy contractor and third-party financing model, to overcome these barriers. This model shifts the financial risk of the synergistic project from collaborating firms to the SMSCO.The authors posit that this attribute of the SMSCO model makes it attractive for industrial park operators who seek long-term solutions to secure future viability of their park.