John R. Ehrenfeld and Marian R. Chertow Much of industrial ecology is concerned with where resources come from – whether natural or man-made – and where they ultimately wind up. The focus can be on a single element such as lead or nitrogen, a single resource such as energy, or on multiple resources such as energy, water and materials. This focus is applied at diﬀerent scales: from the facility level, to the inter-ﬁrm level, to a river or other regional site and, indeed, globally. The branch of industrial ecology known as industrial symbiosis involves the physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products among several organizations. Thus, as indicated in Figure 27.1, it occurs at the inter-ﬁrm level. The keys to industrial symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities oﬀered by geographical proximity. As such, industrial symbiosis is not simply a passive examination or description of resource ﬂows, but an active means of choosing the ones that are most useful in a localized economic system and arranging them accordingly. Ultimately, industrial symbiosis relies on a much diﬀerent form of organization than is typical of conventional business arrangements. Therefore this chapter has two goals: (a) to discuss industrial symbiosis as a collective approach to competitive advantage through examination of an Sustainability Industrial Ecology Facility or Firm • design for environment • pollution prevention • ‘green’ accounting Inter-Firm • industrial symbiosis (eco-industrial parks) • product life cycles • industrial sector initiatives Regional/Global • budgets and cycles • materials and energy flow studies (industrial metabolism) Figure 27.1 Industrial...
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