Sustainable manufacturing research launched in collaboration with The Yorkshire Circular Lab

Manufacturers in West Yorkshire are invited to take part in research to help reduce their environmental impact and reuse material waste.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and The Yorkshire Circular Lab are happy to announce their collaboration on a project that explores how manufacturers can work together to give new purpose to their waste materials instead of throwing them away. This process is called industrial symbiosis.

Making manufacturing more sustainable

Manufacturing is one of the biggest industries in West Yorkshire, but it also produces a lot of waste that harms the environment. Industrial symbiosis allows manufacturers to find new ways to use this waste rather than disposing it in landfill or incinerating it.

The research project aims to understand the main sources of waste in the region and find other industries that can directly use or repurpose these materials in their own production processes.

Industrial symbiosis in action

In Denmark, Kalundborg Eco-Industrial Park shows the potential and benefits of an industrial symbiosis network for West Yorkshire. They identify and repurpose every type of waste from different industries. For example, an electric company provides excess heat to nearby factories, a biology plant turns organic waste into biogas for a refinery, and farmers use sludge from a pharmaceutical manufacturer as fertilizer. Each waste material is turned into something useful and generates revenue.

On a smaller scale, Campervan Brewery in Edinburgh found a new use for their waste grain by supplying it to The Free Company in Balerno who use it to feed their animals and make compost. Campervan Brewery reduced waste management costs and turned their waste into a new business opportunity.

The benefits of implementing industrial symbioses

  • Lower operational costs and reduced supply chain risks in managing waste and resources.
  • New business opportunities and competitive advantage.
  • A positive brand image and access to the growing market for reused materials and products.
  • A significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with resource extraction.
  • The creation of new jobs and development of new skills.

Take part in our research and turn your waste into a valuable resource

This research project supports West Yorkshire's goal of becoming net zero by 2038 and helps manufacturers in the region move away from the traditional linear approach of taking, making and disposing, towards a more sustainable circular economy.

If you work in a manufacturing business based in West Yorkshire and want to participate in this study to assess the potential reuse of your waste materials, please contact