Kalundborg Symbiosis: Fostering progressive innovation in environmental networks

Scott Victor Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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