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Industrial Ecology

  • By: Lawrence K. Duffy
  • In: Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Sustainability, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Industrial ecology is a field of study concerned with analyzing the interactions between humans and the environment that takes a broad, long-range view to the analysis of industrial systems and views them in a manner analogous to an ecosystem. It draws from both systems engineering and ecological principles, and is particularly useful in addressing concerns such as sustainability at a systems level. Industrial ecology studies the flow of materials and energy through industrial systems, and aims to develop ways to design, produce, use, recycle, and dispose of products in order to optimize the use of resources and energy while minimizing any environmental impacts. In this period of diminishing natural resources and global climate change, and industrial ecology can provide a pathway toward a sustainable society.

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