Chapter 5 - Industrial Approaches to Sustainability

Part 1 - Sustainable Practices in Industry

We have adapted our environment to suit our needs through the products and processes that arise from industry. However, this accommodation comes with a cost to the environment through consumption of natural resources and pollution. This benefit/cost relationship, best described as our "ecological footprint" is currently calculated at about 1.4 times the Earth's ability to supply and accommodate our needs and our wants. The approaches of Industrial Ecology and Ecological Modernization have the potential to assist industry in developing a more symbiotic relationship with the environment, to minimize the negatives to the environment and increase the profits of the enterprise. While the historical record of industry is mixed with regard to the environment, many businesses are now finding that green means lean, and that reducing energy consumption and process or product inputs, while creating more durable and recyclable goods, can have a overall positive impact on the bottom line, especially in a greening marketplace. Waste is not good for the environment, and it is not good for business.


  • Industrial ecology
  • Ecological modernization
  • Energy audit
  • Contamination reduction
  • Contamination management
  • Clean production
  • Waste reduction
  • Waste exchange
  • Reduced rejection
  • Dematerialization

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