Geostrategic Supply Risk and Economic Importance as Drivers for Implementation of Industrial Ecology Measures in a Nitrogen Fertilizer Production Company
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Among other concerns, safeguarding the supply chains of raw materials is an important task for industrial companies. Therefore, not surprisingly, the number of scientific publications concerning the evaluation of resource criticality has increased in recent years. However, it was noticed that currently published methodologies are too complex to be applied by industrial companies on a daily basis. For this reason, the need to develop a methodology that would allow not only assessing resource criticality, but could also be integrated into widely applied methodological frameworks as an additional driver to improve resource efficiency was identified. Geostrategic supply risk and economic importance were chosen as key indicators to analyze and assess relative resource criticality. The developed methodology was field tested by applying it to a resource-intensive nitrogen fertilizer production company. Five scenarios for resource efficiency improvements, consisting of cleaner production and industrial symbiosis measures, were investigated. If all the proposed measures were implemented, consumption of natural gas would decrease by 3.552 million cubic meters per year (0.3% of the total consumption). However, not all identified measures contribute to a reduction of the overall criticality of resources for the production company. Nevertheless, the integration of criticality assessments into the widely applied methodologies for development and implementation of resource efficiency innovations is a valuable addition and should be included in the analysis for sustainable innovations and development.