Keywords: industrial symbiosis, techno-economic factors, social factors, neo-institutional theory, Kalundborg, industrial ecology, Denmark, corporate behaviour
Do social factors really matter when companies engage in industrial symbiosis?
This article asks if social factors really matter when companies engage spontaneously in industrial symbiosis. The question is investigated by evaluating the incubation and implementation process of one single industrial symbiosis synergy in a Danish industrial district. The techno-economic and social factors of this synergy are weighted against one another and it is concluded that social factors play an important role in realising industrial symbiosis synergies. The social aspects of industrial symbiosis are understood in terms of the neo-institutional theory. It is argued that this theoretical framework could be the basis of future research into industrial symbiosis as it provides some important insights gained from the social sciences concerning corporate behaviour.