International Perspectives on Industrial Ecology

International Perspectives on Industrial Ecology

Studies on the Social Dimensions of Industrial Ecology series

Edited by Pauline Deutz, Donald I. Lyons and Jun Bi

With its high-level focus on industrial ecology-related policies such as circular economy and industrial symbiosis, this book provides a timely analysis of the industrial ecology experience worldwide. Editors Pauline Deutz, Donald I. Lyons, and Jun Bi combine their diverse experiences in both research and teaching to examine the topic as a business, community, and academic endeavor in different settings worldwide.

Chapter 4: Eco-industrial development in the United States: analysing progress from 2010–2015

Peter Lowitt

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, management and sustainability, environment, corporate social responsibility, environmental management, environmental sociology

Extract

Eco-industrial development (EID) involves co-operation between firms with a goal of improving their combined environmental and economic performance. There are many different types of EID activities (e.g., energy and material efficiencies, exchange of unwanted materials/energy, co-operating over transport, utility sharing and developing markets for new materials) (Cohen-Rosenthal, 2003). A wave of optimism for EID in the US in the late 1990s produced some 30 projects (Chertow, 2007; Gibbs and Deutz, 2007). Whilst there were a similar number of active eco-industrial projects in 2010 as there were then, almost all of the original projects had disappeared. Notwithstanding the widely observed challenges faced by the first wave of EIDs in the US (Chertow, 2007; Gibbs and Deutz, 2007), in the last few years there has been an upsurge in interest. Over 33 new, self-identified, EIDs were announced by 2010. This chapter reviews the new wave of EIDs in the US from the vantage point of 2015. It aims to provide a characterisation of present activity, analyse its drivers and assess the future prospects for EID in the US. The following sections briefly outline the major characteristics of the first wave of developments (1995 to 2002), and then present an analysis of the new wave. Subsequent sections consider the drivers, funding and policy support for the new parks, before offering some thoughts for the future.

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