Industrial Symbiosis in Norwegian Industrial Clusters : A Qualitative Study of Drivers and Barriers Faced by Norwegian Industrial Clusters when Initiating and Implementing Industrial Symbiosis Practices
MetadataShow full item record
- Master Thesis 
We are currently facing a global economy in need of becoming more circular and it is necessary for the industry to be a part of this transition. To accomplish this, the industry needs to engage in cross-industrial collaboration through the exchange of excess resources, also recognized as industrial symbiosis. While international research on industrial symbiosis is extensive, limited studies have been conducted on this topic within a Norwegian context specifically. In this master’s thesis, we will therefore investigate how industrial symbiosis practices can be successfully initiated and implemented in Norwegian industrial clusters. For this thesis, we have chosen an exploratory, qualitative approach to study eleven Norwegian industrial clusters engaging in industrial symbiosis. We have conducted interviews with representatives from the cluster management organizations to gain valuable insight into the perspectives on initiating and implementing industrial symbiosis. The thesis yields several findings, primarily related to four aspects. Firstly, we have identified the main drivers for the initiation of industrial symbiosis, both internal: economic benefits and environmental responsibility, and external: stakeholder pressure on environmental production practices and upcoming international regulations. Secondly, we have identified ten barriers that Norwegian industrial clusters might face in their implementation of industrial symbiosis, related to technical, organizational, social, economic, and institutional dimensions. Subsequently, we found that these barriers might be overcome through seven suggested solutions: fostering pride and community; establishing a shared vision, strategy, and goals; having a third-party to identify and initiate industrial symbiosis; having a third-party to facilitate negotiations; learning about industrial symbiosis by engaging with other clusters; collaborating with other stakeholders; and influencing policymakers. Furthermore, we related these potential solutions to four identified overarching goals, namely: building a collaborative culture, establishing trust, cultivating knowledge of industrial symbiosis, and finding feasible solutions. Finally, we have explored the significance of the key stakeholders of industrial symbiosis activities, which we have identified as significant companies and individuals, cluster facilitators, research institutions, and governmental actors. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to filling the addressed research gap and to serve as a tool for Norwegian clusters that want to initiate or are in the process of implementing industrial symbiosis practices.