Industrial symbiosis is a resource efficiency approach where unused or residual resources (materials, assets, logistics and expertise) of one company are used by another in a manner that is beneficial to both parties involved.
Industrial symbiosis was identified as an opportunity by the Western Cape Government, which led to the initiation of a pilot facilitated industrial symbiosis programme: the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP).
The programme is delivered by GreenCape, the Sector Development Agency for the Green Economy, with the support of International Synergies Limited. Since its inception in 2013, WISP has developed a diverse network of businesses and under-utilised resources.
This paper discusses the positive impact that the programme has had on businesses in the Western Cape, providing both environmental and economic benefits.
Furthermore, this paper examines how WISP has contributed towards innovative waste management practices by creating new pathways for waste resources as well as creating the foundation for a national industrial symbiosis programme in South Africa.