Kalundborg Symbiosis : Fostering progressive innovation in environmental networks

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

24 Scopus Citations
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  • Scott Victor Valentine


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published4 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


Many environmental networks form around specific initiatives with prescribed outcome objectives. When the objectives are met, the networks frequently disband. Technological transfer halts and the social capital built up during the initiative fragments, in many cases, disappearing altogether. In an era of globally unsustainable economic activity, encouraging progressive innovation and broadening the scale and scope of knowledge transfer is one strategy for helping to attenuate ecological damage. This paper presents empirical field work which explores the Kalundborg Symbiosis in Denmark - a network of economic actors that has organically come together to implement industrial ecology principles - and documents how this network has managed to foster progressive innovation. The four drivers which emerged as central for fostering collaboration are i) a pragmatic environmental mindset, ii) the existence of opportunities to explore possibilities, iii) mutually beneficial initiatives and iv) the presence of dominant needs which stimulate a proactive search for solutions. The paper also contributes to sustainable public policy and urban planning literature by considering how municipal involvement can foster progressive and sustained development within the Kalundborg Symbiosis.

Research Area(s)

  • Environmental networks, Innovation, Sustainable development