Nav: Home

How, when, and why industrial ecology is good for business

October 16, 2014

Industrial ecology, a rapidly growing field focused on sustainable production and consumption, has contributed numerous important tools to modern environmental management -- life cycle assessment; "industrial symbiosis," or the by-product exchange between neighboring facilities; "design for environment"; and the use of material flow analysis to track resource use in supply chains, companies, and economies.

A new special feature of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology, titled "Industrial Ecology as a Source of Competitive Advantage," presents new research on how, when, and why the use of industrial ecology by business can lead to cost savings, higher profits, and other, more intangible, business benefits.

"Environmental innovations only make a difference if they are adopted" said Reid Lifset, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology. "Yet the case that these intriguing approaches actually contribute to corporate competitive advantage has not been systematically examined."

Some highlights from the issue include:

  • An examination of how the Dow Chemical Company uses replacement cost methodology and life cycle assessment (LCA) to systematically demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of a constructed wetland at a plant in Texas.

  • An article about a tool that uses data mining and machine learning to rapidly generate product carbon footprints (PCFs) for PepsiCo and combine them with business key performance indicators for strategy and business planning.

  • A study of the relationship between industrial ecology and business model innovation at British Sugar, the UK's largest sugar producer.

  • A description of the 20-year evolution of Interface's use of LCA as a tool guiding the company toward more-sustainable practices in carpet manufacturing.

  • A profile of AU Optronics Corp., a global leader in thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays, that has differentiated itself from its peers and competitors by implementing carbon footprint management and dematerialization.

  • A case study showing economic and environmental benefits of an industrial symbiosis involving a municipal waste-to-energy incinerator and the Hyosung chemical company in South Korea.

"This research goes beyond the question of what strategies and methods might be good for the environment," said Peter Crane, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "It examines how and why environmental innovations generated by industrial ecology can enhance business competitiveness."

Articles in the special feature will be freely available online for a limited time.
-end-
The Journal of Industrial Ecology is a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal, owned by Yale University, published by Wiley-Blackwell and headquartered at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Related Lead Articles:

Stroke patients take the lead in their rehabilitation
EPFL spin-off Intento has developed a patient-controlled electrical-stimulation device that helps stroke victims regain mobility in paralyzed arms.
Preventing lead spread
While lead pipes were banned decades ago, they still supply millions of American households with water each day.
Evidence lacking to support 'lead diet'
Writing in the Journal of Pediatrics, UB researcher says public health experts need to be more up front with parents in explaining that CDC dietary recommendations may not help children who have been exposed to lead.
New drug lead identified in fight against TB
Antibacterial compounds found in soil could spell the beginnings of a new, much-needed treatment for tuberculosis, new research led by the University of Sydney has found. tuberculosis (TB) causes more deaths than any other infectious disease including HIV/AIDs.
Lead dressed like gold
Princeton researchers have taken a different approach to alchemists' ancient goal to transmute elements by making one material behave that another.
Iron supplements in the fight against lead
Targeted iron supplements in biscuits can achieve a striking reduction in the level of lead in children's blood in regions with high exposure to this toxic heavy metal.
A more accurate sensor for lead paint
A new molecular gel recipe developed at the University of Michigan is at the core of a prototype for a more accurate lead paint test.
Using urban pigeons to monitor lead pollution
Tom Lehrer sang about poisoning them, but those pigeons in the park might be a good way to detect lead and other toxic compounds in cities.
Looking beyond conventional networks can lead to better predictions
New research from a team of University of Notre Dame researchers led by Nitesh Chawla, Frank M.
What can we expect next in the long history of lead poisoning in the US?
While state and federal officials continue to criticize each other for failing to guarantee safe drinking water, the question of exactly who is responsible for crises like in Flint, Michigan, lies at the root of the problem.

Related Lead Reading:

Lead . . . for God's Sake!: A Parable for Finding the Heart of Leadership
by Todd Gongwer (Author), Urban Meyer (Foreword)

If you’ve ever asked yourself why you do what you do, or wondered what your purpose is in life, this book is for you.
The lives of an intensely-driven basketball coach, an ultra-successful CEO, and an unassuming janitor all intersect in this captivating parable about leadership, relationships, and the pursuit of success. An unforgettable story packed with profound truths, LEAD . . . for God’s Sake! will challenge you to think deeply about who you are as a leader, what success means to you, and why you do what you do. Whether you’re leading a business, a team, or your... View Details


Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude
by Raymond M. Kethledge (Author), Michael S. Erwin (Author), Jim Collins (Introduction)

A guide to the role of solitude in good leadership, including profiles of historical and contemporary figures who have used solitude to lead with courage, creativity, and strength.

Throughout history, leaders have used solitude as a matter of course. Eisenhower wrote memoranda to himself during World War II as a way to think through complex problems. Martin Luther King found moral courage while sitting alone at his kitchen table one night during the Montgomery bus boycott. Jane Goodall used her intuition in the jungles of Central Africa while learning how to approach chimps.... View Details


Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development
by Eric Geiger (Author), Kevin Peck (Author)

Most churches merely exist.

Many churches do not develop leaders intentionally and consistently. When leaders emerge from some churches, it is often by accident. Something is missing. Something is off.

Authors Eric Geiger (author of bestselling Simple Church and Creature of the Word) and Kevin Peck argue that churches that consistently produce leaders have a strong conviction to develop leaders, a healthy culture for leadership development, and helpful constructs to systematically and intentionally build leaders.... View Details


Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption
by Dr. Vinh Chung (Author), Tim Downs (Contributor)

Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty. Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary “boat people” and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of... View Details


How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life
by Joanna Barsh (Author), Susie Cranston (Author), Geoffrey Lewis (Author)

The Remarkable discoveries about what drives and sustains successful women leaders.

Based on five years of proprietary research, How Remarkable Women Lead speaks to you as no other book has, with its hopeful outlook and unique ideas about success. It's the new "right stuff" of leadership, raising provocative issues such as whether feminine leadership traits (for women and men) are better suited for our fast-changing, hyper-competitive, and increasingly complex world.

The authors, McKinsey & Company consultants Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston, establish the links between... View Details


Lead Like Jesus Revisited
by Ken Blanchard (Author), Phil Hodges (Author)

"The more I read the Bible, the more evident it becomes that everything I have ever taught or written about effective leadership over the past 25 years, Jesus did to perfection. He is simply the greatest leadership role model of all time." -Ken Blanchard

Effective leadership—whether on the job, in the community, at church or in the home—starts on the inside. Before you can hope to lead anyone else, you have to know who you are. Every leader must answer two critical questions:

Whose are you going to be?Who are you going to be?

One deals with... View Details


The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters
by Albert Mohler (Author)

Leadership Principles from a Renowned Agent of Change

Cultures and organizations do not change without strong leadership. While many leadership books focus on management or
administration, the central focus of The Conviction to Lead is on changing minds.

Dr. Mohler was the driving force behind the transformation of Southern Seminary from a liberal institution of waning influence to a
thriving evangelical seminary at the heart of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since then he has been one of the most prominent voices in evangelicalism, fighting for Christian... View Details


Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know
by Reggie Joiner (Author), Tom Shefchunas (Author)

If you're a small group leader, you believe in the power of community. You know that every stage and phase of life needs a unique kind of influence. But what exactly do you do? What exactly is your job? It's possible that you may feel lost at times, like your role falls somewhere between a parent and a friend, a coach and a teacher. Remember, you aren't supposed to be any of those things. You are a little of all of those things. Small groups come in many sizes. Those who wear diapers. Those who watch Disney. Those who are learning to drive. Those who are picking a college. Lead... View Details


Little Blue Truck Leads the Way board book
by Alice Schertle (Author), Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)

Zooom! Wooeeee . . . ! "Make way!"The big city sure is a speedy, noisy place for a country truck like Blue. Everywhere Blue looks, he sees buses, police cars, taxis, vans, a street sweeper, and even the mayor’s limousine. With everyone pushing to be first, soon there’s a giant traffic jam! But even a wrangle-tangle is no match for Little Blue Truck, who comes to the rescue in true Blue style.  Brimming with bright colors, sounds, and city energy, this adventure makes working together and taking turns more fun than ever. Now with a free downloadable party kit!View Details


How Successful People Lead: Taking Your Influence to the Next Level
by John C. Maxwell (Author)

In this perfectly compact read, #1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell explains how true leadership works.

It is not generated by your title. In fact, being named to a position is the lowest of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To be more than a boss people are required to follow, you must master the ability to inspire and invest in people. You need to build a team that produces not only results, but also future leaders. By combining the advice contained in these pages with skill and dedication, you can reach the pinnacle of leadership-where... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Going Undercover
Are deception and secrecy categorically wrong? Or can they be a necessary means to an end? This hour, TED speakers share stories of going undercover to explore unknown territory, and find the truth. Guests include poet and activist Theo E.J. Wilson, journalist Jamie Bartlett, counter-terrorism expert Mubin Shaikh, and educator Shabana Basij-Rasikh.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#452 Face Recognition and Identity
This week we deep dive into the science of how we recognize faces and why some of us are better -- or worse -- at this than others. We talk with Brad Duchaine, Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College, about both super recognizers and face blindness. And we speak with Matteo Martini, Psychology Lecturer at the University of East London, about a study looking at twins who have difficulty telling which one of them a photo was of. Charity Links: Union of Concerned Scientists Evidence For Democracy Sense About Science American Association for the Advancement of Science Association for Women...