Geothermal energy has been a key part of Iceland’s economy for many years. In 1974, HS Orka began work to create a model for utilizing the geothermal byproducts in its own operations. Since then, the company has evolved into a pioneer in industrial symbiosis, with a handful of other companies clustered at HS Orka’s Resource Park and benefiting from the byproducts of geothermal energy.
The concept of industrial symbiosis is fairly simple: multiple companies form a cluster in close proximity, allowing each company to organize its resources, production, and energy generation and use them more efficiently than if each were operating alone. In the case of HS Orka’s Resource Park, the companies have created a powerful collaboration, each contributing to the other’s success. In addition to a reduction in emissions, this close collaboration saves time and money for all involved.
HS Orka is the first company in the Resource Park, as it was the first to realize the potential of an industrial symbiosis arrangement. By harnessing the byproducts of geothermal energy, HS Orka opened the door for the 10 companies currently clustered in the park and generating a powerful economic impact for the local area. From a financial perspective, each new company that co-locates brings in additional revenue for HS Orka while helping to strengthen the local economy. The symbiotic relationship is beneficial for all involved: HS Orka generates additional income from the extra companies, while the companies gain access to a reliable source of geothermal byproducts.
As we look to a greener and more sustainable global economy, stories like the one at HS Orka’s Resource Park offer real hope. Industrial symbiosis gives companies an opportunity to benefit from one another’s waste products in order to become more efficient and more financially successful. The collaboration of these companies has been a great example of how powerful partnerships can lead to shared success, and this is a great reminder of the positive impact that technology and innovation can have on our communities.