IS development: empirical observations from three innovative methods in France
The 9th biennial conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) and the 25th annual conference of the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), Chicago, Illinois, USA from June 25-29, 2017
Industrial Symbiosis can be developed in many ways. In this paper we focus on planned IS integrating in a territorial project. This particular way of implementation process is the most widespread in France. Many projects have been launched since one decade, but very few have been entirely completed and several have been cancelled. New methods (Act'if, INex, PNSI) have recently emerged to go further in the IS development. Act'if is a tool dedicated to by-product exchanges and shared services identification with its own methodology of deployment, that has been developed by a Chamber of Commerce and Industry. INex is a methodology developed by a private design office. It includes a tool dedicated to by-product exchanges and shared services identification and proposes a monitoring of synergies after their implementation. PNSI is an experimentation of NISP programme in France. This paper aims to discuss the paths that take those methods and compare their specificities after one and a half year of study. For each method we have collected data by participating in several meetings and workshops and through interviews with project coordinators and companies involved. In term of goals, the three innovative methods aim to produce quick dynamic exchanges and results. They all claim to facilitate the identification of synergies, their implementation and consequently the territorial dynamic. Two methods are oriented on business drivers and are using information and communication technology, the other one is oriented on a resource mapping approach but is also using ICT. The results indicate that methods oriented on business drivers have generated a time benefit estimated between 6 and 8 months to bring companies together and identify potential synergies. Then, in post-synergies identification phases, coordinators of these new methods seem to be facing same problems that they had in previous methods. In fact, in many cases the identification of an economical opportunity through business drivers seems to be a not sufficient condition to generate new cooperation, difficulties still remain in creating a climate of trust between actors for making converge divergent interests. However, to overcome this barrier, those methods intend to rely on their tools. For instance INex proposes to integrate a collaborative platform in its exchange tools to facilitate the establishment of this climate of trust. Finally, these new tools appear as an interesting complement to the accompanying methods in terms of networking and establishment of a favourable context for IS development, the issue will be to discuss this assumption.