Companies sharing unused resources: New world record of a different sort set in Cape Town
  Oct 6, 2016     News, GreenCape, Cape Town

The programme, which matches companies to help them exchange underutilized resources (such as waste materials, expertise equipment capacity, heat, water and logistics), worked with 44 companies at its 8th Business Opportunity Workshop on 28 September. During the workshop 1025 potential matches or ‘synergies’ were identified, a new world record for the facilitated IS community.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the WISP programme has on the 28th September 2016 in Western Cape smashed the world record for identifying business opportunities at a facilitated industrial symbiosis workshop.  With just 44 companies WISP identified over a thousand business opportunities. Congratulations to the WISP team and the participating companies … this really does set a benchmark for other industrial symbiosis programmes to aspire to.  If even a fraction of these opportunities are brought to fruition (and I’m sure they will be) the economic, social and environmental benefits will be enormous.  I am going to do everything I can to ensure that this achievement is brought to the attention of business, policy makers, industry bodies and environmentalists around the world,” says Peter Layborn, Managing Director of International Synergies Limited.

Two hundred and fifty-seven resources (such as broken pallets, plastic bottles, metal rich effluent and a spare photocopy machine) were discussed between all 44 companies at the workshop. On average, for every under-utilised resource discussed, four potential solutions were identified.

Companies receive individual reports the week after each workshop, detailing all of the potential matches that they had with the other delegates as well as contact details so that they can take these new business opportunities forward themselves. The WISP team will be at the ready to assist companies wherever possible to see these business opportunities become a reality.

The programme has helped 71 companies exchange resources successfully, resulting in 4500 tonnes diverted from landfill, R18.1 million in economic benefits (additional revenue, cost savings and private investment) and creating 23 permanent economy wide jobs and 14 temporary jobs. Some of WISP’s most successful synergies include the recycling of wood pallets, diversion of organics to composting, anaerobic digestion and fly farming as well as solvent recycling for reuse.

For more about how industrial symbiosis works, see the attached infographic.

For media queries, contact Sarah O’Carroll on 021 811 0250 or email