University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Enabling industrial symbiosis through regulations, policies, and property rights.

Steenmans, Katrien (2018) Enabling industrial symbiosis through regulations, policies, and property rights. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

This is the latest version of this item.

thesis.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Waste is an acute environmental, economic, and social issue in a time of multiple, interconnected resource crises and challenges. One possible strategy capable of simultaneously addressing multiple of these challenges is industrial symbiosis. Industrial symbiosis networks engage traditionally separate industries and other organisations in a collective exchange of waste and by-products. Such exchanges potentially result in multiple economic, environmental and social benefits. Critically, waste is thus re-conceptualised as a resource in industrial symbiosis networks. However, despite policy documents and academic literature recognising that industrial symbiosis both complements and supports current policy aims of, inter alia, sustainable development, green economies, and circular economies, its level of implementation across the European Union (EU) remains low. With the aim of supporting more widespread implementation of industrial symbiosis networks, the overarching research question underpinning this thesis is: how can the law enable initiation and sustainment of industrial symbiosis? This thesis focuses in particular on assessing how mechanisms of regulations, policies, and property rights can drive or prevent industrial symbiosis initiation and sustainment. Methodologically, a multi-case study approach was used to evidence and validate analysis, supported by interviews, comparative, and doctrinal approaches. The four case studies investigated are located in Kalundborg (Denmark), Linköping and Norrköping (Sweden), Peterborough (UK), and Rotterdam (Netherlands). The first part of this thesis develops and presents an Industrial Symbiosis Development Framework (ISDF) to structure the exploration and comparison of the four case studies across different socio-legal contexts. One of the key ISDF components includes property rights, so the theoretical implications for different property rights in waste are considered. For this contribution of the thesis, Common-Pool Resource (CPR) theory is used to investigate the identification of the most appropriate property regime for enabling industrial symbiosis initiation and sustainment. The second part of the thesis explores property rights, regulations, and policies in practice - first at EU level, and then at local case study levels. It is argued that it is a mix of indirect regulations and policies with complementary bottom-up and top-down approaches which create favourable contexts for enabling industrial symbiosis initiation and sustainment. It is further argued that this regulatory and policy mix needs to be underpinned by the reconceptualisation of waste as a resource. There is also no absolute support for one particular property rights regime. The thesis closes by observing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to enable industrial symbiosis initiation and sustainment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 28 February 2018
Funders : None
Contributors :
Depositing User : Katrien Steenmans
Date Deposited : 05 Mar 2018 09:22
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2018 09:22

Available Versions of this Item

  • Enabling industrial symbiosis through regulations, policies, and property rights. (deposited 05 Mar 2018 09:22) [Currently Displayed]

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800