The Social Embeddedness of Industrial Ecology
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The Social Embeddedness of Industrial Ecology

Edited by Frank Boons and Jennifer Howard-Grenville

Most work on industrial ecology continues to emphasize its roots in engineering and the technological sciences. This book differs in that it explores the social context of industrial ecology and presents empirical work addressing how cognitive, cultural, political and structural mechanisms condition the emergence and operation of industrial ecology. The empirical chapters are written from various social science perspectives and the editors have also invited reflective commentaries by authors with cross-disciplinary experiences.
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Chapter 5: Facilitating Regional Industrial Symbiosis: Network Growth in the UK’s National Industrial Symbiosis Programme

Raymond Paquin and Jennifer Howard-Grenville

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5. Facilitating regional industrial symbiosis: network growth in the UK’s national industrial symbiosis programme Raymond Paquin and Jennifer Howard-Grenville INTRODUCTION In the years since the discovery of Kalundborg’s long-lived network of resource exchanges, industrial symbiosis, and its potential for reducing the environmental impact of industrial activity on a local or regional scale, has been the subject of intense interest. Industrial symbiosis is defined as the enlistment of geographically proximate facilities in the ‘physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and by-products’ (Chertow 2000: 314). While some industrial symbiosis occurs between firms that are closely co-located, such as those in the same industrial park (see Chapters 4 and 6), other efforts to develop industrial symbiosis are undertaken on regional geographic scales. This chapter considers regional-scale industrial symbiosis, and, in particular, the development of a network of industrial symbiosis facilitated by a single brokering organization. It is now well documented that instances of self-emerging industrial symbiosis, similar to Kalundborg but often more modest in scale, are infrequently observed (see Chapter 6). On the other hand, efforts to create viable industrial symbiosis through the establishment of ecoindustrial parks and other activities, have largely failed (See Chapter 4). In this chapter, we explore a ‘third way’ of establishing industrial symbiosis, the facilitation of a regional-scale industrial symbiosis network. We track the development of industrial symbiosis in the West Midlands region of the UK, and its facilitation by the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP). NISP was established, in the words of its founder, to ‘work with...

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