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Regional food sustainability through Industrial Symbiosis - Evaluating the potentials in the Nöbbelöv region

Nicolaidis, Andreas LU (2015) MVEM12 20151
Studies in Environmental Science
Abstract
In this study I address the issue of sustainable food production through the concept of Industrial Symbiosis (IS). Food production constitutes a key driver of environmental degradation and is prospected to accelerate its impacts with a constantly growing world population. Unsustainable and inefficient resource and energy use in the production sector further intensifies these problems. Through study visits, Green Performance Mapping (GPM), literature reviews and IS modelling this study investigates the potential for IS in a cluster of five food industries in Tings Nöbbelöv , Sweden. F our models of increasing complexity are presented and discussed.

Results show substantial amounts of heat and resources that are currently underutilized by... (More)
In this study I address the issue of sustainable food production through the concept of Industrial Symbiosis (IS). Food production constitutes a key driver of environmental degradation and is prospected to accelerate its impacts with a constantly growing world population. Unsustainable and inefficient resource and energy use in the production sector further intensifies these problems. Through study visits, Green Performance Mapping (GPM), literature reviews and IS modelling this study investigates the potential for IS in a cluster of five food industries in Tings Nöbbelöv , Sweden. F our models of increasing complexity are presented and discussed.

Results show substantial amounts of heat and resources that are currently underutilized by the cluster. By applying IS to the system these flows can be used for value-adding purposes. With increasing model complexity an increased production capacity, product diversity and total net sales can be seen. Further on, waste and resource input decreases with increasing model complexity. The study demonstrates the potential of IS as a tool for sustainable food production. With strong anchor tenants supplying surplus heat and material flows synergies and novel value-adding production methods are possible. To ensure sustainability careful planning of the IS system is required and has to be coordinated with efforts targeting other equally important issues such as: change in value paradigm; development of alternative business models and; change in consumption pattern and consumer preferences. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Industrial symbiosis – making food from waste

Inefficient use of resources and reliance on linear production has made the agricultural sector a key driver of environmental degradation. However, this is not necessarily the way we have to produce our food. In the area of Nöbbelöv, southern Sweden, a theoretical model of a sustainable food system has been developed – a model based on the notion of circular resource use and symbiotic collaboration between industries. By using current waste streams in innovative ways we can produce more food, using less resources and help protecting the environment in one go.

Humanity is facing a strategic dilemma. On the one hand a growing world population pressures our food systems to produce more and... (More)
Industrial symbiosis – making food from waste

Inefficient use of resources and reliance on linear production has made the agricultural sector a key driver of environmental degradation. However, this is not necessarily the way we have to produce our food. In the area of Nöbbelöv, southern Sweden, a theoretical model of a sustainable food system has been developed – a model based on the notion of circular resource use and symbiotic collaboration between industries. By using current waste streams in innovative ways we can produce more food, using less resources and help protecting the environment in one go.

Humanity is facing a strategic dilemma. On the one hand a growing world population pressures our food systems to produce more and more food. By 2050 there will be 9 billion mouths to feed in the world and our production capacity needs to be drastically increased. On the other hand food production already is one of the key drivers behind environmental degradation. Climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, eutrophication and disrupted nitrogen and phosphorous cycles are all directly or indirectly linked to modern food production.

The question is: how do we produce more food with less environmental impact? In Nöbbelöv, Sweden, a theoretical model for a sustainable food system has been built between five established food industries. By using the concept of Industrial Symbiosis synergies between these industries have been modelled that increases the resource efficiency of the system as a whole. The waste of one industry becomes the input of a neighbouring industry, or even enables the establishment of a new production process based on previously underutilized resource flows.

Through symbiotic collaboration: the production capacity of the system increased substantially; the diversity of food products produced increased from nine to more than fourteen (including fish, vegetables, mushrooms and algae); waste flows to the environment were reduced and the import of input materials decreased. This was all coupled with an estimated increase in annual NET sales from the system by approximately 15 million SEK.

One should keep in mind that these are hypothetical figures and that the model is built on a number of assumptions on willingness for collaboration, process efficiency and resource quality. However, with a life-cycle thinking early on in the planning phase and a change in mind-set among involved actors, this type of systems could play an important role in improving food security and food sustainability world wide. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nicolaidis, Andreas LU
supervisor
organization
course
MVEM12 20151
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Industrial ecology, Industrial symbiosis, Food sustainability, Food security
language
English
id
8303060
date added to LUP
2015-12-08 11:28:42
date last changed
2015-12-08 11:28:42
@misc{8303060,
  abstract     = {In this study I address the issue of sustainable food production through the concept of Industrial Symbiosis (IS). Food production constitutes a key driver of environmental degradation and is prospected to accelerate its impacts with a constantly growing world population. Unsustainable and inefficient resource and energy use in the production sector further intensifies these problems. Through study visits, Green Performance Mapping (GPM), literature reviews and IS modelling this study investigates the potential for IS in a cluster of five food industries in Tings Nöbbelöv , Sweden. F our models of increasing complexity are presented and discussed.

Results show substantial amounts of heat and resources that are currently underutilized by the cluster. By applying IS to the system these flows can be used for value-adding purposes. With increasing model complexity an increased production capacity, product diversity and total net sales can be seen. Further on, waste and resource input decreases with increasing model complexity. The study demonstrates the potential of IS as a tool for sustainable food production. With strong anchor tenants supplying surplus heat and material flows synergies and novel value-adding production methods are possible. To ensure sustainability careful planning of the IS system is required and has to be coordinated with efforts targeting other equally important issues such as: change in value paradigm; development of alternative business models and; change in consumption pattern and consumer preferences.},
  author       = {Nicolaidis, Andreas},
  keyword      = {Industrial ecology,Industrial symbiosis,Food sustainability,Food security},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Regional food sustainability through Industrial Symbiosis - Evaluating the potentials in the Nöbbelöv region},
  year         = {2015},
}