An investigation into modelling approaches for industrial symbiosis: A literature review and research agenda

Melissa Demartini*, Flavio Tonelli, Kannan Govindan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Industrial symbiosis is a promising business model that pushes companies to move from linear production to a circular path. However, this transformation is complex because it requires companies to rethink and redesign their supply chains by considering the involvement of new stakeholders, the introduction of waste and their impact on product development, economic investments, and technological resources. As a result, companies need innovative modelling tools able to capture, investigate, and quantify the results of these changes and to work on the strategic planning, design, implementation, and management of their industrial symbiosis networks. This paper presents a systematic literature review to investigate the most used modelling approaches to analyse industrial symbiosis, and to research their characteristics in terms of simulation methods, interaction mechanisms, and simulations software. Findings from our research suggest that an Agent-Based System Dynamics hybrid approach is an appropriate method for industrial symbiosis design and analysis. The paper also presents a theoretical framework that aims at supporting researchers and practitioners approaching industrial symbiosis and, in conclusion, a research agenda is suggested for scholars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100020
JournalCleaner Logistics and Supply Chain
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Hybrid modelling and simulation approach
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Literature review
  • Research agenda
  • System dynamics


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