World Business Council for Sustainable Development

By-product Synergy: A Strategy for Sustainable Development

This primer provides concrete examples of how companies have increased their profitability, and reduced pollution and natural resource use through innovative cross-industry collaboration. The potential for gaining even more benefits from by-product synergy is also described. This information is aimed especially at developing economies that have a chance to begin projects from the grass roots level. At publication, companies in Asia, North America, South America, and Europe had told the BCSD-GM of their interest in the results of this project.

In this primer, you’ll learn about the principles and the problems associated with by-product synergy and see some concrete examples of how it can be used to increase profits and reduce pollution. But how do you do it yourself? To help you get started, a general process of by-product synergy is outlined
in this section. You will find general guidance for devel-oping and implementing by-product synergy projects, including identifying candidate streams, characterizing the streams, and identifying potential collaboration partners. 

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