The role of online information-sharing platforms on the performance of industrial symbiosis networks

Luca Fraccascia* (Corresponding Author), Devrim Murat Yazan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)
241 Downloads (Pure)


From technical perspective, an important condition for developing industrial symbiosis (IS) is the match between waste supply and demand. Such a match is hampered by lack of information among companies, i.e., demand (supply) for waste exists but firms producing (requiring) that waste are not aware of such a demand (supply). Despite online information-sharing platforms are proposed to support the creation of industrial symbiosis networks (ISNs), related environmental and economic benefits are not in-depth investigated. This paper firstly aims to fill this gap. Although up-to-date literature recognizes lack of information-sharing as an IS barrier, in-depth analysis about the impact of sensitive information-sharing on the operations of IS is not addressed. This paper secondly aims at filling this gap. In this paper, we design an agent-based model to simulate the emergence and operations of self-organized ISNs in three scenarios: (1) no information-sharing platform; (2) a platform where companies provide information about their geographical location and the type and quantity of produced and required wastes; (3) a platform where companies provide sensitive information about the costs of operating IS. These scenarios are simulated in a numerical case study involving two kinds of IS businesses: (1) marble residuals used in concrete production; (2) alcohol slops used in fertilizer production. Results show that online platforms increase the economic and environmental performance of ISNs. Findings help practitioners to understand the importance of information-sharing and to clarify whether the information they consider as ‘sensitive’ is really sensitive or it is non-sensitive information that facilitates business-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-485
Number of pages13
JournalResources, conservation and recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Circular economy
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Information-sharing
  • Online platform
  • Agent-based modeling


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