Delivering National Programmes

Thirdwave is recognised as a key player in the Sustainable Development Community and we believe through this relationship approach we are most effective in delivering genuine sustainability.

We work with a number of partners and for a number of agencies. In particular, we built and managed two of the UK’s largest Sustainability Networks: the Scottish Industrial Symbiosis Programme (SISP) and the Scottish Sustainability Development Forum (SSDF).

Scottish Industrial Symbiosis Programme (SISP)

On behalf of the Scottish Executive, SEPA and Scottish Enterprise, we developed and managed a new and dynamic network to enable step changes in business resource efficiency across the whole of Scotland.

SISP took a business-led approach in its work. We found unlikely trans-industry business partners and introduced them to the philosophy of Industrial Symbiosis and to each other. Whether it’s about swapping an under-utilised asset or resource or developing a new product, the key principle is about benefiting each other’s competitiveness while improving environmental and social performances. Thirdwave spotted these new opportunities, determined their commercial viability and assisted companies to make the deal happen.

Since its launch, the membership of SISP grew rapidly and as of March 2006 stood at over 1000 individual participants representing over 550 companies. Our Industrial Speed Dating events, which Thirdwave pioneered, were regularly over-subscribed.

The National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) was the first national IS programme in the world. SISP represented the Scottish element of NISP, which covers the whole of the UK and leads this highly successful business approach globally.

See more information about the SISP programme >>

Examples of Industrial Symbiosis by Thirdwave >>

Scottish Sustainable Development Forum (SSDF)

Thirdwave was a key player in the thinking behind and development of the SSDF. By serving on the first Steering Group at the invitation of the Scottish Executive, we helped to shape the mission and early agenda of the first years of activity.

Since that time Thirdwave won both of the consecutive open tenders (2003 & 2006) to provide the Secretariat service to the SSDF Steering Group and the broader membership. We helped focus thinking and guide action on sustainable development across Scotland by:

  • Facilitating debate
  • Encouraging participation
  • Raising awareness and understanding
  • Promoting good practice
  • Recommending action in the pursuit of a more sustainable Scotland.

We combined national plenaries with annual road shows, face-to-face ‘hot topic’ working sessions, input to UK and Scottish policy, and supported day-to-day activities with participation in events, monthly e-newsletters and event calendars, web-accessed discussion threads and a growing Who’s Who in the Scottish Sustainability on-line database.


Transfer of the Secretariat to the Sustainable Development Commission took place in June 2008.

To go to the SSDF website click here >>