Despite the theoretical value of industrial symbiosis (IS), this approach appears to be underdeveloped in terms of practical applications. Different attempts to stimulate IS in practice are noticed, one of them consisting in the application of adequate policy measures. This paper explores the efficacy of two specific policies (landfill tax and economic subsidy for IS exchanges) in supporting the emergence of self-organized industrial symbiosis networks (ISNs). We frame the ISNs as complex adaptive systems and we design an agent-based model to simulate their emergence. We use a real case study and, by means of the simulation model, we assess how the two policy measures are able to enhance the formation of spontaneous IS relationships, thereby forcing the emergence of the ISN. Results show that both policy measures have a positive effect in all scenarios considered, but the extent is strictly dependent on the environmental conditions in which IS relationships occur. The economic implications for the government are finally discussed.
- Agent-based simulation
- Enterprise input-output approach
- Industrial symbiosis
- Policy measures
- Self-organization and emergence
- Self-organized industrial symbiosis networks