"We like to believe that we are the start-up of a ‘Nordic Task Force’ of symbiosis practioners and developers"

May 29, 2018 8:53:00 AM



'The Arctic Wood Building and Circular Economy Forum was held in Kemi Cultural Centre 23–24 May 2018. Among the brilliant lineup of speakers was Per Møller from Dansk SymbioCenter presenting the Kalundborg Symbiosis case forming the industrial hotspot Kalundborg.

Kalundborg Symbiosis has often served as a benchmark in industrial symbiosis for Kemi-Tornio.

“I’m delighted if Kemi-Tornio has benefitted from our learnings. However, Kemi-Tornio is a big inspiration to us too and a step ahead in engaging the national stakeholders and funding agencies. It is essential that knowledge and experiences are shared between professionals and across country borders. This is the aspect we need to develop further through improved communications and collaborations. Together we can do so much more to ensure a sustainable transition into the era of Circular Economy - and we in the Nordic Network of Industrial and Urban Symbiosis are are already realising this potention through new and innovative Green Business Models. We like to believe that we are the start-up of a ‘Nordic Task Force’ of symbiosis practioners and developers” says Møller.

Kalundborg is renowned as the model city of the industrial circular economy: it introduced its first innovations in the area as early as 1961 with a freshwater solution creating resilience to industry. The city is home of the large pharmaceutical factory Novo Nordisk, which is the world’s largest producer of insulin, and the world leading enzyme producer Novozymes. Most importantly, Denmark’s largest oil refinery is located in Kalundborg, with an annual capacity of 5.5 million tonnes of crude oil. The Statoil-Havnen is one of the largest ports in Denmark in terms of annual volume.

“Kemi-Tornio is different from Kalundborg in being rich in natural resources but similar to the Kalundborg area in size and infrastructure. Being aware of both similarities and differences and our common Nordic heritage, forms the foundation for a fruitfull collaboration”, says Møller.

“As part of the CE discussion I think it is important to stop talking about industrial waste. We should instead embrace the conception that all side-streams from one industry could potentially be resources of another. We have many good examples that this is not only good for the environment but also can generate an extra income/savings, new jobs and attract new business - we call it Smart Business”, Møller continues.

Kalundborg is a city of ca. 16,000 inhabitants, so it is even smaller than Kemi-Tornio. Møller was genuinely impressed by the achievements in Kemi-Tornio and presented an open invitation to the team at the Circular Economy Centre to Kalundborg. Like Møller, Henna Virkkunen, MEP, acknowledged in her speech the unique character and potential of the Kemi-Tornio region:

“It was great to hear about all the major projects and investment plans underway in the area. You have also succeeded in establishing circular economy amongst different stakeholders on a realistic, long-term basis. I am predicting significant and rapidly growing international demand in this business area,” Virkkunen concluded.