Industrial Symbiosis in Greece

Industrial Symbiosis in Greece

In this article a study was done to determine whether industrial symbiosis have spatial conditions and limits that restrict its potential. The paper analyzes studies of industrial symbioses in Greek industry. They use studies that include research in the archives of the Ministry of Economy, personal professional experience of the author in the field of environmental industrial controls, and through contacts and interviews with administrators of Industrial parks in Greece as well as executives of different businesses and companies in Greece. The total number of these case studies is said to be estimated at several thousand.

The analysis of the several thousand case studies, according to the document, “Suggests that the spatial allocation of companies at the IP scale generally prevails in the case of the reuse of industrial waste, while in the case of end-of-life-cycle products, larger spatial scales prevail”. Spacial allocation of an industry can also be effected by behavioral factors which is interesting. Some special factors include economic factors, environmental factors, and social factors. Economic factors include spacial allocation of waste sources, land acquisition cost, labor cost, and transportation cost. Environmental factors include physical characteristics of waste and waste compatibility. Social factors include conventional and behavioral factors.

The study concludes that industrial symbiosis does in fact have spatial conditions and limits that can restrict it. This study was definitely an interesting one and I wasn’t too sure what the results would be but had some ideas. Overallm I thought the study and research done was effective and can help places like Greece and other countries realize that industrial symbiosis has limitations to it based on these case studies.


Reading: eco-Innovation in Greece

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks Greece 25th overall in global ranking. According to them Greece has an average performance for air quality, fish stock, and emissions. Compared to other countries Greece shows potential in sectors of eco-innovation. However, this does not mean that the job is done or that they are developed to the full extent. In more recent years Greece has turned to finding more sustainable ways to do things. For example, power and electric was a big problem for Greece but they have shown progress in solar energy by installing solar panels in less inhabited places.

In more recent years Greece has also looked to the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency but focusing on laws and policies that deal with these issues. According to the reading, “The aim of the country is to derive 20% of final energy consumption from RES by 2020 as well as to develop new waste management techniques promoted in the New Waste Management Plan (NWMP). Greece does not have any integrated policy framework to promote circular economy”. I found this quote very interesting because now in 2023 we see Greece making major leaps towards these policies and promoting a ,ore sustainable, circular economy.

A few questions I wonder, since this article was written prior to 2020, include how Covid affected this plan, did it help or hurt? I am also interested in seeing new numbers from this source. When meeting with the ACG representative I remember she said people in Greece never paid attention to sustainability much but now there are an increasing number of sustainable efforts within ACG and other places that she hopes will carry into Greek culture as they have in American culture.

I am also curious as to how the Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Research, Technological Development, and Innovation for 2015-2021 has been successful or not because when I was in Greece they seemed to be pretty technologically advanced or at least similar to what I am used to in America. I wonder if that means that the action plan has been completed or if it has been altered to meet different wants, needs, etc. Overall, this article was very insightful and I enjoyed reading it.

Reading: Hydra Island towards Sustainability

Hydra was one of the amazing islands we were able to visit during our time in Greece. It is a small island off of Greece that does not have any cars on the island. However, the island was jam packed with tourists, restaurants, shops all after exiting the ferry. I did not think much of it because lots of places in the U.S. are also packed like this. However, Hydra as well as other islands do not have the infrastructure to provide for this. The water supply in Hydra as well as many parts of Greece is very scarce, there is not a lot of drinking water from tap as we may be used to in the United States. This reading highlights that Hydra Island may be in need of alternate sources of power and energy. Right ow the power source is fueled by power stations on the mainland but alternatives such as wind and solar would be very helpful. Solar farms could be placed into parts of the island that remain uninhabited and wind energy and generators could be also placed in these parts. The reading also mentions using and researching the possibility of wave energy. Right now Hydra Island does not have a good system for the waste management there. They bring waste to a different part of the island where it is set on fire to get rid of it. However, this puts hazardous chemicals into the air, the soil, and the water. There is also no sewage system on the island which is a very large problem.

10 years after the original article is published we see that some efforts have been made to fix these problems. The use of wind and solar power has become increasingly more popular. They have also put some restrictions on tourists coming to visit for a day in some islands, yet Hydra is not one of those yet. It may be interesting to consider that as a thought to help Hydra become more sustainable and now so over-used by tourists everyday.

Hydra was a beautiful island was probably one of my favorite places we visited. I would hope that it remains that beautiful forever and many others are able to visit.

Circular Economy

Reading: Circular Economy

In the article, “What is Circular Economy & How Does It Work” it states that the concept of a circular economy is to close the loop on linear patterns and this will reduce waste. There are 3 main keys to a circular economy including designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating living systems. In circular economies things can be recycled, giving everything an ability to be transformed multiple times. According to the reading it states, “Regeneration means products and services in a circular economy contribute to systems that renew or replenish themselves throughout various lifecycles and uses”. In a liner economy things begin as raw materials and end as landfill. However, if we donate things, reuse and recycle products, and even use chemical recyclers we create a circular economy and promote the idea of regeneration.

Currently we are dominated by linear economies, with a growing support and want for more circular economies around the world. As more support for sustainability actions occurs a circular economy is able to help promote sustainability and have a more positive effect on our environment. The article states that “Circular economy is a call to evaluate the environmental impact of products and their components from the initial concept stage through to end-use.”

There are many benefits to circular economies including consumer benefits, economy benefits, business benefits and environmental benefits. Consumer benefits include increasing disposable income and improve health. Economic benefits include boost economic growth and creating more jobs. Business benefits include lowering costs and engaging in long term customer interaction as well as loyalty. Finally, environmental benefits include decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas emissions and enhances value of land.


According to the reading circular economies will be overall beneficial to businesses as they create a new shift in their business strategy. According to the reading, “Circular business no longer focus on profit maximization”. Overall saying that instead of finding cheaper alternatives they world rather find more sustainable supply chains, factories, operations, etc. to boost a circular business. This could have great effects in countries such as Greece and would increase their ability to be sustainable.


This article was really interesting to read and definitely informed me more about circular economies and what it really means to be circular.

Eco Innovation in Greece- Katie Smaldone

One thing that stood out the most to me in this article was how in 2019, Greece showed a score of 75 on the Eco-Innovation Index. The article stated Greece is slowly but surely getting closer to the EU average, where it is only seven places behind their average. Based on this information, it is easy to see that compared to other countries in the European Union, in terms of eco-innovation, Greece is falling relatively behind. It seemed to me that Greece is very vulnerable to heavily weighted issues such as climate change and pollution. With most of the land of Greece, being on an island, it has been shown to be more susceptible to more risk rather than other countries. This could be due to the fact that there is more exposure to poor weather and relatively low-tide coasts. However, despite this challenge, Greece has held a great advantage of many renewable resources in their land that help them push towards their sustainability.

In recent years, Greece has been promoting air quality, as well as promoting a strong emphasis on savoring renewable resources and remaining energy efficient, which are top priorities within Greek policies. There has also been much progress shown toward enabling solar energy throughout the country. Not only do these governmental policies help Greece to maintain its sustainability, but the research programs implemented have also contributed a significant amount, as well. These research programs are done by several university programs to help navigate how to handle these sustainability issues and help guide for ways of improvement. Fortunately, with Greece being part of the European Union, they are able to use the funds that come from the EU to contribute towards their research efforts. These research programs study vigorously the separate entities of electricity, different policies regarding environmental law, renewable resources, energy efficiency, how to make the health of the public better overall, and of course new ways and projects to implement a circular economy.

When trying to implement a circular economy and also promote eco-innovation, Greece must stay on track with its ready-set goals. Key drivers, such as the revenue and capital that comes from renewable energies, as well as the tourism growth remaining in the country, allow Greece to become more of a competitor against other countries in the European Union. With these factors and the various research, I believe Greece will be able to progressively become more eco-innovated in the years to come.


Industrial Symbiosis – Audrey Churchill

    In class we learned that Industrial Symbiosis is when two or more companies exchange materials, products, or energy, to minimize as much waste as possible and to make these things into new products that could be sold. This reuse of materials will reduce waste and create as little pollution as possible. This industrial symbiosis relationship between companies creates a cycle where things that would typically become waste are given new life and create more profit instead of hurting the environment.

     The article we read explores the different limitations of certain wastes and cases of industrial symbiosis within the Greek industry. This article identifies that there are certain limitations on waste’s ability to be reused due to location, cost, and physical material.  The article separates these limitations into seven categories based on physical attributes; fuels, thermal energies, metals, plastics, chemicals, minerals, and organics.  

     Waste compatibility is a distinct factor due to the fact that the physical characteristics of some things are not as easily reusable as others. In the article, they give the example that agricultural waste such as yeast residues can easily be used for other agricultural activities, however, some wastes do not recycle as easily. Another factor is the spatial allocation as it is easier to recycle materials if there is somewhere to do so nearby. The article also talks about the importance of transportation cost and how this often will affect how easy it is for industrial symbiosis to happen. 

     Overall, according to the article, there are the economic factors such as spatial allocation of waste, production capacity of waste by spatial scale, land acquisition cost, labor cost, and transport cost. Then there are the environmental or physical factors such as the characteristics of waste and its compatibility. Finally, there are the social factors including conventional behavioral factors. The article goes on to conclude that for an industrial symbiosis economy to be possible, all of these factors must be considered and have to be used to design these networks and cycles.  

     The article concludes that doing this is often impossible, and while I believe this is likely true, I think it is still important to do our best to achieve our sustainability goals even if we do not completely hit the mark.

Eco Innovation in Greece – Audrey Churchill

The eco innovation observatory is where they collect and study info on eco innovations and circular economies in different places in the EU, and provide an information resource with this analysis of findings. Greece is extremely affected by climate change, and pollution affects Greece heavily due to a fifth of the country being islands and most of Greece being coastal. This information being collected helps so that companies and creators can use this information to continue to improve and work on new ideas. Additionally, this helps the government make decisions as it is important that all the facts are known before important decisions regarding the environment and policy are made.

Environmental policy in Greece mostly promotes renewable energies as the country greatly benefits from the significant amount of renewable energy that is used via tidal, solar, and wind energy. Additionally, Greece has had growth in the amount of green tourism and innovation in the agriculture industry. As far as ranking goes, in 2018 Greece was on the lower side of the ranking with a score of 75. However, Greece is improving and is only slightly behind the EU average now and in 2020 Greece ranked 25 globally overall on the environmental index.  Greece is doing very well in terms of  use of solar energy, but there are many reforms that need to be made to improve air emissions from transport, loss of biodiversity, and other areas.

Funding of research in Greece is almost entirely from EU funds as the EU has allocated 28.8 million to promote new technology and innovation to help the environment. This money is additionally to be used for promoting efficiency of resources when it comes to waste management, soil contamination, water management, and air pollution. Greece is pretty behind when it comes to environmental information, there are very minimal patent applications from Greece, and Greek businesses are generally small. However, there are many Greek startups intending to apply for patents due to the abundance of funding that is now attainable from abroad. 

When it comes to landfills, Greece lacks the means to handle issues with illegal landfills and are overall having issues with waste management. Although to me it seemed that Greece was very thorough with recycling, they still are behind the goal of fifty percent waste recycling by 2020. I think that overall the EU is just very ahead of America when it comes to recycling, so although Greece may not be doing as good as the rest of the EU, it is clear that there is a more strict approach to recycling than in America. I believe that Greece will continue to grow in their development of environmental innovation as funding is now higher as they are coming out of their economic crisis.

Circular Economy- Audrey Churchill

     Although recycling is an important practice for us to have in trying to protect our planet and resources, recycling on its own will not help us in fixing our planet’s sustainability problems. A circular economy supports designing and creating products to be reused and minimize waste.  Most businesses in our current economy use the linear process which is when products go from being produced to waste, and although some of this waste may be recycled, this system is not as sustainable as it could be. A circular economy plans in a way so that economic activities that affect human health such as pollution are ;ess prominent. Only renewable resources are used in place of fossil fuels in a circular economy, as fossil fuels are not a maintainable energy resource. Additionally, products are designed in a way so that they are able to be recycled and circulating through the economy as long as possible.

     The goal of the circular economy is to align the economy with nature and try to imitate nature’s natural cycle.  McDonough and Bradfort use the analogy of a cherry tree where as fruit falls to the ground, the decomposing fruit puts nutrients into the ground and nourishes plants, insects, etc and supports regrowth and new life. This is how we should be trying to build our economy, so that waste is not harmful but instead serves a purpose, and things move back through the cycle as many times as possible.

     I appreciate the concept of a circular economy that nothing should be thrown away, as I myself try to waste as little as possible. The figure in the article that says one third of food produced for human consumption goes to waste is crazy to me as the world food program estimates 10% of the world is hungry and there is no reason for that much to go to waste. The same concept goes for clothes, our generation is constantly repurchasing clothes and keeping them for half the time that clothes were worn for before. This does not make sense because we have better technology now and clothes should be lasting longer, but fast fashion is taking over and this needs to be minimized as our world is dying around us. 

Overall, I have never heard of the idea of a circular economy before this class, but I believe it is what makes the most sense and I can’t believe I have never heard of it before. It is interesting to me as it seems the general public in Europe is so much more educated on sustainability, and I really do not know much although I have even taken a sustainability class before.

US Embassy Visit – Audrey Churchill

     In class today we met US diplomat Yuri Arthur. I found her to be very nice and approachable, which while I was not necessarily expecting her to be mean, I did not expect her to be so welcoming. She talked to us a lot about what her job actually was and how absurd some of the things she covers in her day to day schedule are, but all these tasks are important although they may seem trivial. She told us about all the places she has lived for work which I found interesting, because I am not sure I would be able to uproot myself and resettle somewhere completely foreign every four years. I was glad to hear that the government provides her with the things she would need to live in foreign places. 

     She also gave us a lot of advice when it came to our future careers and what we should be doing now to prepare ourselves. Although I am not necessarily interested in the career path of a diplomat, she gave a lot of good career advice that applies to every field. I found it interesting when she said that we should take advantage of being students now as most people are more willing to speak to students and tell us about what we do and give us advice. Additionally, when she was talking about interviews she told us how we should always just apply to a job even though we may be told we aren’t qualified, it is always worth a try as that is what she did when she got her job as a diplomat with little experience. 

     I found it interesting to listen to someone who is so well traveled, especially when she talked about the cultural differences between countries, and how she always stresses how important it is to make sure that the country a business is looking to bring their product into makes sense. For example, she spoke about how certain higher end products would not be sold into a lower income country because there is not a large market as no one could necessarily afford it. 

       I am grateful for the opportunity to hear from her and her colleagues as they all were extremely intelligent and seemed to have passion for their jobs which is something that I hope I will be able to achieve one day.

Hydra – Audrey Churchill

     Visiting Hydra was by far my favorite thing I did on this entire trip. I have always been fond of smaller islands and nothing prepared me for how beautiful and charming Hydra would be. I had so much fun swimming in the ocean and enjoying the beauty of the island, we even went on a donkey ride that was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I had thought initially that Mykonos would be my favorite place that I had visited but I enjoyed that Hydra felt less touristy and the beautiful beaches exceeded Mykonos in my opinion. The water was the prettiest green blue and swimming in Hydra was the most serene experience.  I think that there being no cars on the island and the only means of transport being donkeys is interesting and there is likely much less pollution and harm to the environment because of it. But, the article talks about how although tourism is the islands main source of income, Hydra cannot really support it. The article talks about the issues with trash and water.

     Hydra does not necessarily have any sort of  their own governing body and this makes it difficult as there are many decisions that need to be made in regard to their sustainability issues. Although there are no cars on the island there are two garbage trucks that pick up trash every morning and bring it to a location in the middle of the island to light it on fire. As is said in the article, the trash from last summer was burning into the winter. This is not necessarily a long term solution and if Hydra was to grow as a tourist destination there would need to be a new solution. Additionally, Hydra pumps its wastewater into the sea nightly including sewage. There are clearly some issues with sanitation in Hydra that need to be solved, which is sad because the island is the prettiest place I have ever visited. I hope that in the future Greece is able to fix these issues as there seems to be issues with trash in many places in Greece according to the article on circular economies. Although the rest of Greece seems to be improving and they are heavily promoting recycling, it seems that Hydra has been left behind due to how small and old school the island is.