An Introduction to Closed-Loop Concept in Industrial Ecology

  • Xiaohong LiEmail author


This introductory chapter explains the fundamental problem of a linear transformation representation used in operations management (OM) to the development of environmental sustainability. Linear transformation thinking needs to be replaced by closed-loop system thinking. Industrial Ecology can help achieve this development. This chapter explores the basic concepts in relation to IE, including biological ecosystem, industrial ecosystem, sub-ecosystems and their interactions with the ecosystem of the Earth. IE considers the development of high-level closed-loop industrial ecosystems as its ultimate goal through mimicking key principles of biological ecosystems. An industrial ecosystem needs to work towards high-level closed-loop material exchanges and high efficiency of energy cascading. The system boundary is subject to study purposes and extended system thinking should be applied.


Linear transformation Closed-loop material exchanges Biological ecosystem Industrial ecosystem Industrial Ecology Industrial Symbiosis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SheffieldUK

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