This book explores the disciplinary interfaces and practical implications of working across the two disciplines of industrial ecology (IE) and innovation studies (IS). Both disciplines have something to say about instigating environmental improvement and more sustainable futures. IE is predicated on the idea that social and economic systems mirror, or should be made to mirror, natural ecological systems. Proponents of IE devise models and techniques to trace material and energy resource flows as they move through social and economic systems. They propose policy and management improvements to increase the resource efficiency of such systems. By contrast, IS researchers work with the idea that innovation is a dynamic activity, vital to social and economic change and is shaped by a range of actors in industry, in government and in households. The authors illustrate the conceptual and practical problems and opportunities of working across this bi-disciplinary interface, with case studies presented from each and from hybrid perspectives that draw on both.
These include applied examples from IE such as an evaluation of industrial symbiosis in the UK and from working projects in industrialising countries. Cases that originate with IS cover the areas of food, construction and waste incineration. New directions for conceptual development and further research are also offered. Conceptual blindspots and research gaps are identified at the interface of the two disciplines. "Industrial Ecology and Spaces of Innovation" will appeal to a wide and interdisciplinary audience including academics and researchers of environmental innovation, management and economics, industrial ecology and schools of environmental engineering. Business environmental practitioners, consultants and managers working with techniques such as life-cycle analysis, environmental impact assessment and collaborative industrial symbiosis initiatives will also find much to engage them within this book.
Part I: Introduction; Part II: Industrial Ecology: Techniques and Cases; Part III: Innovation Systems: Perspectives on Transformations and Variety; Part IV: Consumption and Intermediation; Part V: Governance and Values; Part VI: Conclusion.
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