The ZeroWIN-project will examine and develop new and innovative approaches and effective strategies for the prevention of waste in industries based on industrial symbiosis.

Industrial Symbiosis is concerned with regional collaboration of companies from traditionally separated sectors which exchange by-products, energy, water and materials in such way, that the waste from one industry becomes raw material for another.

Objectives of ZeroWIN

The main idea of ZeroWin is that waste prevention has to be seen from a holistic perspective to make it work efficiently and effectively.

The plan to move society in the direction of sustainability must be based on an understanding of the constitutional principles of the functioning of the system usually referred to as the eco-sphere (e.g. thermodynamics; the biogeochemical cycles; the ecological interdependencies of species; the societal exchange with, and dependency on, the ecosphere).

Operational approaches towards e.g. dematerializations and substitutions need to comply with the complementary, non-overlapping, conditions for social and ecological sustainability. Resulting actions should be fostered through a set of strategic principles defining a future “landing place” on a systems level first, otherwise reaching sustainability is an unlikely outcome of any effort. Each investment should bring practices closer to the overall aim of complying with the system conditions.

This requires backcasting methodology, which means that the starting point of the planning process is an envisioned successful future outcome of the planning. Based on this outcome, the strategic paths are designed. This systematic approach involves close cooperation with other strategic approaches towards sustainability, the utilization of tools such as Life Cycle Assessment in order to evaluate the present situation of material flows, and the implications of various technologies, industrial designs and policy options at a micro, meso and macro-level.

Part of thinkstep in the project

  • thinkstep is an official partner of ZeroWIN and will support the methodological part of the project with its extensive know how in environmental assessment methods and tools.
  • thinkstep coordinates work package 4.
  • Beside this the practical experiences from regularly consultancy with industry and companies makes PE an essential supporter in accompanying some of the case studies including outline definition, case study progress and final assessment and its dissemination.