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www.alliance21.org > Proposal Papers > Workgroup on Humanity and the Biosphere

Industrial Ecology: Agenda for the Long-term Evolution of the Industrial System

Published in October 2001

Industrial ecology considers industrial activities as ecosystems in themselves, composed of flows of materials, energy and information. It uses knowledge on how ecosystems function, in order to formulate proposals to reorganize the industrial system, making it compatible with the biosphere and sustainable in the long term. Industrial ecology therefore aims at solving the question, "How can sustainable development be made operational and economically viable?" It provides a conceptual framework and tools to plan economic development and propose ways of optimizing the use of limited resources and protect the environment.

This document recalls the four basic steps for the "eco-reshaping" of the industrial system: optimize the use of resources, close material cycles and minimize emissions to the exterior (especially toxic materials), dematerialize activities (i.e. minimize the total quantity of resources required while achieving equivalent results), reduce dependence on non-renewable resources. It then lists a series of proposals regarding education, research and communication and policy, economic and financial decisions, in order to promote the ideas of industrial ecology.


Institute for Communication and Analysis of Science and Technology (ICAST)
PO BOX 474, CH 1211 Geneva 12, Switzerland

Coordinated by ...

- Suren Erkman

Journaliste scientifique. Responsable de l’Institut pour la communication et l’analyse des sciences et des technologies (ICAST). Animateur du groupe Ecologie Industrielle de l’Alliance.

Site - Institute for Communication and Analysis of Science and Technologie (ICAST)



Final version - 64.8 kb -

Topics Included


Workgroup Papers

Go ! Sustainable Forest Management
Go ! Agriculture and Sustainable Development
Go ! An Energy-efficiency Strategy for the Twenty-first Century
Go ! Civil society and GMOs: What Strategies Should be Applied Internationally?
Go ! Environmental Education
Go ! Food Sovereignty and International Trade Negotiations
Go ! Food, Nutrition, and Public Policies
Go ! Industrial Ecology: Agenda for the Long-term Evolution of the Industrial System
Go ! People’s Right to Feed Themselves and Achieve Food Sovereignty
Go ! Proposals on Food Security
Go ! Proposals Related to the Water Issue
Go ! Rejecting the Privatization of Life and Proposing Alternatives
Go ! Save Our Soils to Sustain Our Societies (SOS2)

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