Published on 10/06/2022
Dr Luciano Batista, Aston University
  • The session was chaired by Dr Alan Whitehead MP with key speakers Dr Luciano Batista (Aston University), Peter Laybourn (International Synergies Ltd), Nicky Cunningham (NICER) and Amy Peace (Innovate UK)
  • Experts say industrial symbiosis is an important part of circular economy (CE) and the race to net zero
  • The event also marked 20 years since the launch of the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP).

An expert in operations management at Aston University, Dr Luciano Batista, has taken part in a Government roundtable on manufacturing symbiosis at the UK Parliament building Portcullis House.

The event was run by the UK Manufacturing Symbiosis Network Plus (UKMSN+), of which Dr Batista is project lead, alongside the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) on 26 April 2022.

The event included representatives from the Government, manufacturing and circular economy accelerators, academics with expertise and track records in sustainable operations, the business community, as well as industry leaders from the waste management, materials production and manufacturing consultancy.

The session was chaired by Dr Alan Whitehead MP with presentations and expertise shared by the key speakers Dr Luciano Batista (Aston University), Peter Laybourn (International Synergies Ltd), Nicky Cunningham (NICER) and Amy Peace (Innovate UK).

Industrial symbiosis is an important part of circular economy (CE). Experts say as we accelerate our race to net zero, resource efficiency becomes an increasingly important mechanism by which the manufacturing sector can reduce its carbon footprint.

Dr Luciano Batista, founding director of the Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability (CEAS) at Aston Business School and project lead for UKMSN+, said:

“An industrial symbiosis approach looks beyond the traditional resource transactions and aims to create cross sectoral linkages, supporting the growth of skills and innovation in addition to keeping resources in productive use for longer.

“This roundtable explored how this is being developed across the UK and internationally.

“The roundtable was a success and we would like to keep the conversation open and are asking experts in the field to help us to continue to find solutions to problems such as policy, regulation and delivery of industrial symbiosis.”

The event also marked 20 years since the launch of the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), which was led by International Synergies Ltd.

NISP was the world’s first national industrial symbiosis initiative and has received global acknowledgements.

Dr Batista said:

“In spite of its excellent results, such as reducing carbon emissions by 42 million tonnes, generating £1 billion in new sales, diverting 47 million tonnes of industrial waste from landfill, the programme has not received the deserved attention and could have been easily replicated and continued in the UK.

“Meanwhile, motivated by the climate change problem, other countries adopted the initiatives, with a missed opportunity for the UK to keep its leading position in the field. The audience felt that UK can and should use the net zero momentum to boost the facilitation of manufacturing industrial symbiosis initiatives.”

You can find out more about UKMSN+ here.

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)74469 10063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

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    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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