Industrial Ecology and Industrial Symbiosis - Definitions and Development Histories

  • Xiaohong LiEmail author


Various definitions of Industrial Ecology (IE) and Industrial Symbiosis (IS) have been provided in the literature over the past thirty years. These definitions have offered some insights but also confusion due to inconsistency. IE, as an interdisciplinary study field, develops and applies different approaches in its four interrelated areas: industrial ecosystem, IS, industrial metabolism (IM) and environmental legislation and regulations. The ultimate goal of IE is to develop nearly closed-loop industrial ecosystems to enhance environmental sustainability. IS focuses on the development of knowledge webs of novel material, energy and waste exchanges to facilitate the establishment of synergies to support the achievement of this IE goal. The difference between IE and IS lies in the focus, instead of the scale of economy.


Industrial Ecology Industrial Eymbiosis Definitions Development histories Relationships between Industrial Ecology and Industrial Symbiosis 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SheffieldUK

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