Sustainable operations of industrial symbiosis: an enterprise input-output model integrated by agent-based simulation

Devrim Murat Yazan* (Corresponding Author), Luca Fraccascia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
172 Downloads (Pure)


Industrial symbiosis (IS) is a key for implementing circular economy. Through IS, wastes produced by one company are used as inputs by other companies. The operations of IS suffers from uncertainty barriers since wastes are not produced upon demand but emerge as secondary outputs. Such an uncertainty, triggered by waste supply-demand quantity mismatch, influences IS business dynamics. Accordingly, companies have difficulty to foresee potential costs and benefits of implementing IS. The paper adopts an enterprise input-output model providing a cost–benefit analysis of IS integrated to an agent-based model to simulate how companies share the total economic benefits stemming from IS. The proposed model allows to explore the space of cooperation, defined as the operationally favourable conditions to operate IS in an economically win-win manner. This approach, as a decision-support tool, allows the user to understand whether the IS relationship is created and how should the cost-sharing policy be. The proposed model is applied to a numerical example. Findings show that cost-sharing strategies are dramatically affected by waste supply-demand mismatch and by the relationship between saved and additional costs to run IS. Apart from methodological and theoretical contributions, the paper proposes managerial and practical implications for business strategy development in IS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-414
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of production research
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • circular economy
  • enterprise input-output
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • sustainable operations
  • agent-based simulation


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