Studies on the Social Dimensions of Industrial Ecology series
Edited by Pauline Deutz, Donald I. Lyons and Jun Bi
Chapter 4: Eco-industrial development in the United States: analysing progress from 2010–2015
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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