Industrial Symbioses in Geneva, a Dense Urban Setting: Establishing partnerships to exchange and share natural resources, services, and infrastructure.

Client

Canton of Geneva

Context and objectives

How can industrial symbioses be implemented?

The canton of Geneva has been asking itself this practical question since 2005, buoyed by an awareness of possible alternatives for resource management since 1995. This line of questioning has generated a series of projects engraved in the genetic makeup and culture of Sofies.

Understanding the characteristics of an area and assessing its potential

A pioneer in the field of industrial symbiosis, Sofies began by using its knowledge to identify businesses that are major consumers of materials and energy across the greater Geneva area, organizing and leading inter-company workshops and quantifying the resource consumption of many businesses and facilities. With this field experience in hand, Sofies truly immersed itself in the issue with all the constraints and the implicit expectations and priorities of stakeholders in the Canton of Geneva.

Outcomes

Tailoring the implementation of industrial symbioses to a dense urban setting to promote connections among industrial, residential, and agricultural zones

  • Development of various tangible, targeted projects based on industrial symbiosis, such as identifying alternative recycling networks.
  • Development of new waste collection systems and innovative business models based on mutualization, especially in neighborhoods in transition in Geneva, such as Praille-Acacias-Vernets.

Taking action when stakeholders are ready to transform existing constraints into opportunities and invest in the future

Sofies has become a long-term partner of the canton’s decision-makers, and projects based on industrial symbioses are becoming reality. “When an issue arises, they call us, and we try to address the issue together as best we can using a cross-cutting, strategic, and innovative approach.”

In this way, Sofies raises awareness among decision-makers and helps to coordinate various government agencies to support innovative, cross-cutting projects.