The SHAREBOX project was launched as part of the Horizon 2020 framework programme. It promoted industrial symbiosis by developing an online platform providing information on waste resources (i.e. energy, water, residues, etc.) that could be used to replace primary resources, to plant managers and other decision-makers.
The rationale is that, when companies exploit each other's waste (replacing primary resources), they can reduce waste management costs, generate additional revenue, and significantly improve their environmental performance. The ICT tools developed under SHAREBOX can help companies identify, assess and implement synergies when selling and buying waste resources, forming symbiotic networks spanning a single industrial park or wider regions.
The ICT tools created were validated by industrial partners in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Turkey, while the project's consortium also included partners from the Netherlands and Switzerland.
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At the end of the project, a total of 26 synergies were established, generating the following impacts:
- 515 500 tonnes of waste avoided
- 635 500 000 tonnes of virgin resources saved
- 1,38 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions prevented
- EUR 53,85 million in additional sales
- EUR 14.12 million in cost savings
- 74 new jobs created.
As these synergies continue to be operational after the end of the project, the aforementioned impacts are expected to grow more in the coming years. These impacts were also verified by a life-cycle assessment conducted by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences on 17 out of 26 of the synergies with results in line with the aforementioned numbers.