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Synergie Estrie

19 June 2019

Successful First Year for Synergie Estrie

PRESS RELEASE – The Les Sources RCM and Sherbrooke Innopole today unveiled the year 1 report of the Synergie Estrie project. Launched last year, this innovative initiative in keeping with the circular economy movement, has experienced a very satisfactory first year with promising results for the future. Participating companies have achieved overall economic gains reaching close to $55 000.

 Synergie Estrie aims to mobilize a network of local businesses united around innovative collaborations consisting of exchanges of residual materials and resources of all kinds (expertise, equipment, labour). Working primarily in the manufacturing sector, Synergie Estrie offers a set of strategies and tools to rethink and optimize the use of resources, thereby reducing waste. The resulting spinoffs translate into gains not only for businesses, but also for the entire territory hosting the industrial symbiosis.

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HIGHLIGHTS: LES SOURCES RCM AND SHERBROOKE

Number of participating companies: 82

Potential synergies: 21

Materialized synergies: 12

Number of materials and resources exchanged: 12 (polyester and nylon fibre, jute, polypropylene, wood pallets, chocolate residues, downgraded barley, wood shavings, HDPE plastic, 32% calcium chloride, matchmaking, lending of storage space, labour)

Economic gains: $53 588.96

Avoided emissions: 518 252 kg CO2 eq

Avoided landfill: 12 735 kg

Growth-generating projects: 8

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Synergie Estrie’s year 1 was mainly focused on the promotion and dissemination of the project. “In a single year, we mobilized 82 companies primarily from the manufacturing sector. Successfully rallying such busy people demonstrates the favourable reception of the concepts of circular economy and industrial symbiosis in this sector of activity, which must at the same time meet challenges related to the labour shortage and digital shift, among others,” said Antoni Daigle, coordinator for the Sherbrooke territory.

This favourable local dynamic, coupled with the commitment of businesses and territories, is a guarantee of success. “A major project such as Synergie Estrie is perfectly in line with the efforts we are making to support the prosperity of our local businesses, while taking concrete actions for the protection of the environment. The cross-functionality of our actions is aimed at acting on several fronts in order to create favourable conditions for the full development of the project,” said Hugues Grimard, prefect of the Les Sources RCM and mayor of the City of Asbestos.

Thus, the first year of Synergie Estrie ended with 12 synergies materialized at various levels including sales, donations, rental, and loan or sharing of resources in the form of substitution or pooling of products or services between one or several organizations. No less than 12 residual materials and other resources were thus exchanged.

“Thanks to the synergies put in place, more than 12 tons of material has been diverted from landfills, and more than 518 tons of CO2 eq have been avoided; a major achievement. And the year 2 of the project is even more promising, with 21 potential synergies already validated which could be materialized in the coming year,” said Karine Thibault, coordinator for the Les Sources RCM territory.

“This first annual report of Synergie Estrie, with its substantial impact on both the environment and the economy of our two regions, confirms the relevance of such a project. I congratulate all the companies that dared to adopt circular economy, and I encourage others to follow in their footsteps to create innovative and lucrative relations,” said Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole.

A look at one of the promising projects under development

Between the work required to promote the project and the synergies to be materialized, the two coordinators also identified promising themes for the region. A project for temporary labour-sharing between companies is being implemented. In response to the labour shortage, Synergie Estrie wants to facilitate the sharing of employees between companies to prevent some of them from being forced to turn down contracts because of staff shortage, or others from losing employees due to a lack of contracts in the short-term.

It should be highlighted that the deployment of this circular economy project was made possible thanks to a financial support of $450 000 from the Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions (FARR), as well as numerous partners in the Estrie region, including the Les Sources RCM, Sherbrooke Innopole, the City of Sherbrooke, the SADC des Sources, the Universié de Sherbrooke, and the Conseil régional de l’environnement de l’Estrie (CREE).

Source: Synergie Estrie

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