Agricultural cooperatives and industrial & territorial ecology: the determinants of a symbiosis

Maryline Thenot, Honorine Lescieux-Katir, Christophe Bouteiller


For the last decade, Industrial and Territorial Ecology (ITE) has developed rapidly. There have been
some fifty territorial initiatives in France (CATEI, 2014), including the Bazancourt-Pomacle
biorefinery. A peculiarity of this biorefinery is that it includes two major agricultural internationalized
cooperatives and their subsidiaries. A systematic search for synergies among the various actors has
enabled the cooperative to optimize the use of the resources produced and exchanged within the
site in compliance with environmental standards. This dynamic is characteristic of industrial and
territorial ecology.Based on an analysis of this biorefinery (Schieb et al., 2014), this case study,
which is complemented by semi-structured interviews conducted with the actors, enables us to raise
questions on the role of agricultural cooperatives in the site’s success and understand the
determinants of a territorialized industrial symbiosis that includes shared values, “patient capitalism,”
and “circular financing.”

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