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Firms save millions in cost-reducing collaboration scheme

By Heather McGarrigle

Published 12/04/2012

A Northern Ireland business collaboration has achieved £2.2m in cost savings and generated sales of more than £550,000.

Thirty companies took part in the industrial symbiosis (IS) programme, delivered by Invest Northern Ireland.

The scheme supports firms seeking to reduce costs and boost sustainability.

Many companies wanted waste disposal solutions and were introduced to companies offering alternatives to landfill.

The Belfast Telegraph reported earlier this week on Renewable Products Ltd, whose involvement with the IS service has enabled it to invest nearly £200,000 in new products.

It helped the Co Antrim firm to find new sources of wood and plastic for product development and helped it achieve over £500,000 in sales and savings.

Olive Hill, Invest NI's director of technology and process development, said: "The industrial symbiosis service is helping local companies to generate significant savings by diverting waste from costly landfill.

"At the same time, companies using the waste are reducing their raw material costs."

IS events include quick-win workshops and cross-sectoral networking, identifying potential matches between business participants.

Trevor Knipe, director at International Synergies Ltd, which runs the programme, said: "The industrial symbiosis service is continuing to attract new businesses and is helping them to achieve real cost savings.

"We now have over 1,100 organisations involved and have provided a return on investment of 17 to one since July 2011."

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