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Discovering Industrial Ecology: an executive briefing and sourcebook by Ernest A. Lowe, John L. Warren, and Stephen R. Moran. 1997. Battelle Press, Columbus OH
ISBN 1-57477-034-9


Indigo prepared this introduction to industrial ecology (IE) addressed to  public and private sector organizations for for US-EPA's Futures Unit. (Now a thing of the past.) Our executive briefing and sourcebook focuses on the potential benefits of applying IE to management and design at different levels of industry and government (including local economic development and municipal infrastructure). It is the first industrial ecology book to project a broad vision for applying IE in all sectors of the local and global economies.

Discovering IE explores the implications of industrial ecology for sustainable development and examines a wide range of business opportunities opened by IE. It includes a survey of IE methods and tools, discusses  policy changes required, and proposes a strategy for evolution of the field.

A number of scenarios in Discovering offer visions of full-blown application of IE at company, city, and developing country levels. Lists of organizations, online information sources, and bibliographies provide access to sources of information.

In this project Indigo was under sub-contract to Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, working in collaboration with PNNL's John Warren.

Table of Contents

1. An executive briefing on industrial ecology
The challenge
The vision
Defining industrial ecology
Five things to remember about industrial ecology
A conversation after the briefing

2. Industry as living systems within living systems
Industrial ecology and sustainable development
Learning from nature
Applying some ecological principles
Learning from the dynamics of ecosystems
Guidance from nature in setting objectives

3. Industrial ecology methods and tools
Industrial metabolism
Dynamic input-output modeling
Life-cycle assessment
Design for environment (DFE)
Pollution prevention (P2)
Energy efficiency
Design of organizations
Information systems
The dialogue between IE as research and IE as context for action

Levels of applying IE in transportation: three cases
Automobile re-design within the current product concept
The RMI Hypercar
An integrated transportation system

4. Product life-extension and the service economy
Gambit Ltd. markets integrated household service systems a future scenario

5. Emerging business opportunities suggested by IE
Cost savings and new revenues in existing operations;
Entering new markets for existing goods and services;
Marketing emerging technologies, materials, and processes;
Supporting the organizational change, technical, and information needs of an IE-based economy;
Integrating technologies and methods into innovative new systems.

An insurance company assesses its portfolio - a future scenario

6. Government and industrial ecology
Policy and regulations
Research and technology policy
Local government
Green plans

Hometown uses industrial ecology to form its economic development strategy - a future scenario

7. Industrial ecosystems and eco-industrial parks
Industrial ecosystems
Examples: Kalundborg, the Houston Ship Channel, and Styria
Greening industrial ecosystems
Challenges and risks
Eco-industrial parks
The EIP -- a menu of opportunities
Building the community of companies
Benefits and risks
Eco-industrial park projects

8. Strategies for creating and implementing IE
Emphasize a decentralized process
Engage the points of social and economic control
Design policy through public/private dialogue
Link action and research
Develop industry's leadership role in changing consumer behavior

9. Developing country leapfrog - a future scenario
Strategy for applying IE in national and regional economic development
Policy and regulations
The basic guidance system

10. General resources
Electronic addresses

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