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Industrial Symbiosis : towards a design process for eco-industrial clusters by integrating Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology perspectives

Baldassarre, Brian; Schepers, Micky; Bocken, Nancy LU ; Cuppen, Eefje; Korevaar, Gijsbert and Calabretta, Giulia (2019) In Journal of Cleaner Production 216. p.446-460
Abstract

Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collective approach to competitive advantage in which separate industries create a cooperative network to exchange materials, energy, water and/or by-products. By addressing issues related to resource depletion, waste management and pollution, IS plays an important role in the transition towards sustainable development. In the literature, two conceptual perspectives on IS can be identified: the Industrial Ecology (IE) and the Circular Economy (CE) perspective. Despite the recognition of these two perspectives, their relationship remains unclear and explicit attempts to develop an integrated perspective have not been made yet. Consequently, the goal of this research is to highlight and start addressing this... (More)

Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collective approach to competitive advantage in which separate industries create a cooperative network to exchange materials, energy, water and/or by-products. By addressing issues related to resource depletion, waste management and pollution, IS plays an important role in the transition towards sustainable development. In the literature, two conceptual perspectives on IS can be identified: the Industrial Ecology (IE) and the Circular Economy (CE) perspective. Despite the recognition of these two perspectives, their relationship remains unclear and explicit attempts to develop an integrated perspective have not been made yet. Consequently, the goal of this research is to highlight and start addressing this critical gap of knowledge in order to support future research and practice geared towards the design of new IS clusters. We pose the following research question: How can the IE and CE perspectives on IS be combined in order to support the design of IS clusters? To this end, we first investigate the two perspectives more in depth and compare them in terms of nature, features and relevance for the study of IS. This is done by applying them as conceptual lenses for the analysis of the same case study, an existing IS cluster. The comparative analysis provides insights into how the two perspectives differ, ultimately demonstrating that they are complimentary and both necessary to fully describe an IS cluster. While the CE perspective is more suitable to explain how a cluster functions from a business standpoint in the operating phase, the IE perspective is more suitable to explain its development over time and its impacts on the environment, the economy and society. Building upon the outcomes of the comparative analysis, we leverage on the discipline of Strategic Design and integrate the two perspectives into a process for designing new IS clusters. We suggest two directions for future research. First, improving our comparative analysis of the two perspectives by looking at a wider sample of IS clusters of different sizes and in different contexts. Second, focusing with more specificity on the issue of how IS clusters can be designed, potentially by trying to apply the process we propose on a real case aimed at designing a new IS cluster.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Circular Economy, Eco-industrial clusters, Industrial Ecology, Industrial Symbiosis, Strategic Design, Sustainable Business Model
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
216
pages
15 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85060951545
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.091
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f5ea366d-0e33-439a-9cfc-ef8b8e2cd4cb
date added to LUP
2019-02-11 10:58:31
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:32:19
@article{f5ea366d-0e33-439a-9cfc-ef8b8e2cd4cb,
  abstract     = {<p>Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collective approach to competitive advantage in which separate industries create a cooperative network to exchange materials, energy, water and/or by-products. By addressing issues related to resource depletion, waste management and pollution, IS plays an important role in the transition towards sustainable development. In the literature, two conceptual perspectives on IS can be identified: the Industrial Ecology (IE) and the Circular Economy (CE) perspective. Despite the recognition of these two perspectives, their relationship remains unclear and explicit attempts to develop an integrated perspective have not been made yet. Consequently, the goal of this research is to highlight and start addressing this critical gap of knowledge in order to support future research and practice geared towards the design of new IS clusters. We pose the following research question: How can the IE and CE perspectives on IS be combined in order to support the design of IS clusters? To this end, we first investigate the two perspectives more in depth and compare them in terms of nature, features and relevance for the study of IS. This is done by applying them as conceptual lenses for the analysis of the same case study, an existing IS cluster. The comparative analysis provides insights into how the two perspectives differ, ultimately demonstrating that they are complimentary and both necessary to fully describe an IS cluster. While the CE perspective is more suitable to explain how a cluster functions from a business standpoint in the operating phase, the IE perspective is more suitable to explain its development over time and its impacts on the environment, the economy and society. Building upon the outcomes of the comparative analysis, we leverage on the discipline of Strategic Design and integrate the two perspectives into a process for designing new IS clusters. We suggest two directions for future research. First, improving our comparative analysis of the two perspectives by looking at a wider sample of IS clusters of different sizes and in different contexts. Second, focusing with more specificity on the issue of how IS clusters can be designed, potentially by trying to apply the process we propose on a real case aimed at designing a new IS cluster.</p>},
  author       = {Baldassarre, Brian and Schepers, Micky and Bocken, Nancy and Cuppen, Eefje and Korevaar, Gijsbert and Calabretta, Giulia},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Circular Economy,Eco-industrial clusters,Industrial Ecology,Industrial Symbiosis,Strategic Design,Sustainable Business Model},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {446--460},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Industrial Symbiosis : towards a design process for eco-industrial clusters by integrating Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology perspectives},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.091},
  volume       = {216},
  year         = {2019},
}