The Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) is a programme that will build networks of businesses by identifying mutually profitable links or “synergies”, so that under-utilized and under-valued resources from one business (materials, energy, water, logistics, assets and expert knowledge) are used by another. The programme is provided as a free facilitation service, using an industrial symbiosis (IS) approach to enhance business profitability and sustainability.  

WISP, which is based on the UK’s National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), uses a unique facilitation approach to rapidly match member companies’ under-utilized resources with those who can utilize them and actively supports its members to realize these business opportunities. The programme enables synergies by filling the gaps that its members, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could experience due to the lack of time or dedicated expertise needed to identify and implement resource, waste and energy efficient practices. The diversity of the industries in which WISP operates, and the variety and size of its business members, means that WISP has the potential to generate mutual economic, social and environmental benefits. 

A pilot programme has been initiated by the Western Cape Government and is being delivered by the sector development agency GreenCape. WISP is supported by International Synergies Limited (ISL), a world leader in industrial symbiosis, industrial ecology and innovation, and works hand in hand with leading trade associations, manufacturers and other organizations to add real value to business.

For more on WISP, see the official website here.

Project Components:

This project will:

  • Generate awareness and interest in IS within the Western Cape.
  • Modify the programme to the SA context and identify promising pilot regions.
  • Run several industry-targeted workshops to recruit members and identify resources.
  • Assist companies in the identification of promising synergies.
  • Provide a free facilitation service to assist companies in the development of their synergies from concept to completion (if viable).
  • Document local case studies of IS in SA.
  • Report on the potential of IS, including the barriers to be overcome, in order to assist with future policy decisions.
  • Provide evidence of the potential business development and job creation potential of IS in South Africa.
  • Provide a strategy for the further development of IS in SA.


WISP Gets a Radio Mention on RSG

Premier Zille Announces WISP Achievement in Green Economy Speech

WISP Resources

WISP Executive Summary

WISP General Flyer

Case Study: ACA Threads

Workshop 1: August 2013 - Event Summary

Workshop 2: October 2013 - Event Summary