International Perspectives on Industrial Ecology
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International Perspectives on Industrial Ecology

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.
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Chapter 9: Varieties of industrial symbiosis

Wouter Spekkink


The concept of industrial symbiosis was first introduced into the industrial ecology literature by Lowe and Evans (1995) to depict the web of material and energy exchanges that was developed at Kalundborg in Denmark. While the exchanges among firms in Kalundborg may be interpreted as a form of economic coordination among many others, what made them appealing to advocates of industrial ecology was the combination of economic and environmental benefits that resulted from the exchanges. Since the introduction of the concept of industrial symbiosis numerous efforts have been made to identify other existing occurrences of industrial symbiosis or to plan new ones, which is illustrated by the many case studies presented in the literature on industrial symbiosis (e.g., Eilering and Vermeulen, 2004; Chertow, 2007; Deutz and Gibbs, 2008). An interesting feature of these developments that has received relatively little academic attention is that industrial symbiosis unfolds in very different ways in different places of the world. In the UK, the NISP programme emerged as a government funded programme for the brokerage of waste streams. Based on regional experiences, the programme was extended to cover the whole of the UK.

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