Industrial Ecology as Regional Corporate Sustainability System
|Dr. Leo Baas,|
Erasmus University Rotterdam,
|Industrial ecology, described as: `an integrated system, in which the consumption of energy and materials is optimised and the effluents of one process serve as the raw material(s) or energy for another process,’ is a well-known concept worldwide. The industrial ecology concept was introduced to industrial leaders as a prevention-oriented paradigm for achieving cleaner industry and more sustainable communities. The Industrial Symbiosis approach in Kalundborg (|
Industrial routines are embedded in unsustainable practices that are difficult to change. The complexity and uncertainties of new concepts are often approached with ignorance and misperception.
The complex system of Eco-Industrial Parks involving different companies and actors (including their different activities and targets) that is required for the existence and development of industrial ecology in a region is an important, but time-consuming variable. The integration of economic, environmental and social dimensions in industrial activities is increasingly perceived as a necessary condition for a sustainable society. In the recent decade, global trends in environment related issues within multi-national corporations have incorporated different dimensions in the concepts of environmental management (ecology), cleaner production (ecology, economy), industrial ecology (ecology, economy) and corporate social responsibility (ecology, economy, social aspects).
Considering the practical experiences of the introduction and dissemination of industrial ecology from a systemic perspective, the concept is addressing material and energy streams as they result from human activities. The presentation will reflect to three social science dimensions:
1. These activities do not occur in a vacuum, they are embedded, that is, they are shaped by the context in which they occur, described in terms of cognitive, structural, cultural, political, spatial and temporal embeddedness (Boons, Baas, 2006).
3. The type of capabilities that are needed for changes beyond status quo solutions (Baas, Boons, 2007).
The social science dimensions will be connected to ongoing developments in the
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