3625 From BRIQ to Industrial Symbiosis Projects: Industrial Ecology in Québec, Canada

Karine Markewitz , Centre de Transfert Technologique en Ecologie Industrielle, Sorel-Tracy, QC, Canada
Jean-Francois Vermette , Centre de Transfert Technologique en Ecologie Industrielle, Sorel-Tracy, QC, Canada
Jennifer Pinna , Centre de Transfert Technologique en Ecologie Industrielle, Sorel-Tracy, QC, Canada
Claude Maheux-Picard , Centre de Transfert Technologique en Ecologie Industrielle, Sorel-Tracy, QC, Canada
Full Papers
  • Markewitz et al From BRIQ to industrial symbiosis.pdf (189.7 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    Over the last 20 years in Quebec, the tools and methods of waste management have been improving with the development of industrial symbiosis projects and with stakeholders becoming more and more proactive.


    This paper aims to present this evolution.

    Theoretical framework:

    The ten projects presented in this paper are developped thanks to a rich litterature on industrial symbiosis projects over the world adapted with the specific quebecer context.


    In 1993, the government organization Recyc-Québec launched the Quebec Secondary Materials Exchange (BQMS in French) to promote the recycling of several materials, including paper, glass, metal, e-waste, and textiles produced by industries, municipalities, and shops. This program enabled the creation of business clusters and businesses specializing in recovery and recycling.

    In 2005, derived from the BQMS, the Quebec Industrial Waste Exchange (BRIQ in French) was created using the same basic structure of data processing. Set up to enhance visibility of the process among companies and to focus on the synergies between industries, this program featured an interactive website and a system of automatic matching. A proactive canvassing was also carried out to raise awareness of industrial ecology and to increase involvement throughout Quebec.

    In 2008, the tools used by BRIQ was improved sinificantly for the first industrial symbiosis project with the Bécancour industrial park. A website was specifically dedicated to this project and secured sections were added to the site to boost interaction and encourage participating companies to be proactive. This project was supported by a provincial government “Niches of Excellence” program called MR3, which aims to develop and adapt technology and logistic systems for recycling and marketing industrial and municipal waste within Quebec.

    Seven projects of regional and industrial symbiosis supported by local development agencies, municipalities, and the provincial government have since been set up throughout Québec, enabling the testing of different methods of choosing participating businesses, making contact, and collecting data on materials. The data collected from these projects have been compiled to be  published in a methodological guide for policy makers in 2013.

    In 2011, a method to improve the process of both defining and achieving synergies between companies was refined at the Bécancour industrial park. The functions of an individual dedicated to the animation of a given territory, including developing substitution and mutualization synergies and documenting the interactions between the stakeholders, were defined and documented. The system of generating synergies was also improved to take into consideration a larger set of criteria and to ascertain the success rate for each synergy proposed. Calculations using the Life Cycle Analysis system were also added to the synergy proposal to identify the potential environmental and economic gain of each action.


    The development of industrial symbiosis in Quebec is still maturing. This paper shows its progress from 1993 to now, focusing on the evolution of the tools used and on the contribution of the different partners in the endeavour (agents of economic development, industries, and research center).