WE.3.E || Applied Digital Solutions – Connecting Green and Digital Transformations?

Akrivou, Chrysanthi; Łękawska-Andrinopoulou, Lucyna; Manousiadis, Charalampos; Tsimiklis, Georgios; Oikonomopoulou, Vasiliki; Papadaki, Sofia; Krokida, Magdalini; Amditis, Angelos

Acceleration of raw materials’ depletion and waste accumulation creates a need for private stakeholders to shift from linear to circular business models, by adopting novel strategies. Circular economy (CE) and industrial symbiosis (IS) offer a direction towards sustainable, resource efficient systems and eco-friendly waste management approaches. IS encompasses all types of interfirm cooperation based on exchange of underutilized residual resources to achieve a green, waste-free supply chain and at the same time to attain profits. However, widespread adoption of IS is limited due to the informational barrier. Digital tools have emerged as facilitators of IS since they enable real-time information sharing, identification and evaluation of symbiotic opportunities. For the utter realization of the IS digital transformation, continuous progress of those tools is necessary. The criteria determining the matching of potential stakeholders and the support of the decision-making process are instrumental for the functionality and the success of such tools. In the ongoing research that is presented, these matching criteria and benchmarks for waste valorization pathways are investigated and a digitalized marketplace concept is proposed. The objective of the marketplace is to identify the most suitable collaborators through an automated matchmaking process, revealing latent possibilities (e.g. by suggesting indirect matches) and advantages of symbiotic actions from a holistic perspective. This tailor-made compatibility assessment is aspired to predict optimal synergies based on more than a mere waste streams’ valorization match. The stakeholders’ specific requirements and incentives are incorporated in the potential partnership evaluation, thereby a multicriteria approach is proposed considering technical specifications and the potential cooperators’ relevance in terms of aspects like strategic goals, the level of circularity embracement or synergy’s environmental impact.