Dissertation: Businesses should work together to reduce waste and sustain an industrial ecosystem

Hafiz Haq
Creating a sustainable ecosystem together with the industries can help to cut down the waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money, shows a doctoral dissertation from the University of Vaasa. Waste management cost reduction is one of the benefits of participating in a symbiotic network.

– The keys to sustainable development are resource efficiency and circular economy. Businesses should be able to adapt the circular economic principles, not just within the industry, but also participating in creating an ecosystem that leads to waste reduction and sustainable environment, says Hafiz Haq, who will publicly defend his doctoral dissertation on Friday, 17 December.

Haq's doctoral study proposes a model for sustainable industrial ecosystem, which emphasises turning waste from one industry into raw material for another. This process requires a successful identification of network connections among industrial participants for material exchange along with energy optimization in the network.

Moving toward net-zero emission: A case study from Sodankylä, Finland

The new model that Haq created was tested with a case study from Sodankylä, Finland. Recently, the municipality of Sodankylä took an initiative to transform the region into emission free ecosystem. The idea was to establish new businesses to boost the local economy and engage the companies in the industrial network to reduce waste following the concept of circular economy model.

– The initiative reduces environmental impact in the region along with the cost of waste management for industrial participants. The study estimates the possibility of over 5% cost reduction in the network, says Haq.

Creating a sustainable industrial ecosystem requires modelling, an efficient industrial network and cooperation

According to Haq's dissertation, transforming a region into a sustainable ecosystem includes identifying successful network connections. This means that waste or by-products of each industry should match the raw material of another industry in order for a successful material exchange to take place.

In addition, the raw materials, products, waste and environmental impact of each industry should be quantified along with the costs to assess the value creation in the network. Furthermore, energy optimization should be taken into consideration to improve resource efficiency in the network.

The model Haq proposes in the study combines the identification of network connections, quantification of products, waste and environmental impact, and energy optimization to create a sustainable industrial ecosystem.

Doctoral dissertation

Haq, Hafiz (2021) Modelling a sustainable industrial ecosystem. Acta Wasaensia 477. Väitöskirja. Doctoral dissertation. Vaasan yliopisto. University of Vaasa.

Publication pdf: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-476-999-0

Public defence

The public examination of DI Hafiz Haq’s doctoral dissertation "Modelling a sustainable industrial ecosystem" will be held on Friday 17 December at 12 at the University of Vaasa.

The defence will be organised online: https://uwasa.zoom.us/j/68494851287?pwd=UUhPZzQrSUdjZ3ZJVFUwSzNoZFZQdz09
Password: 533437

Professor Risto Lahdelma (Aalto University) will act as an opponent and PhD Erkki Hiltunen as a custos.

Further information

Hafiz Haq, tel. +358 40 528 9958, email: hafiz.haq@uwasa.fi

Hafiz Haq was born in 1988 in Pakistan. He has a Bachelor's degree in electronic engineering from Usman Institute of Technology in Pakistan and a Master of Science degree in telecommunication engineering from the University of Vaasa, Finland.  He has worked several years as a project researcher and doctoral student at the University of Vaasa. From May 2018 to June 2019 he worked as an engineer in Wärtsilä.

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