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:

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
by Brené Brown (Author)

How to Lead When You're Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority
by Clay Scroggins (Author), Andy Stanley (Foreword)

12-Lead ECG: The Art of Interpretation (Garcia, Introduction to 12-Lead ECG)
by Tomas B. Garcia (Author)

12-Lead ECG for Acute and Critical Care Providers
by Bob Page (Author)

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition)
by Jocko Willink (Author), Leif Babin (Author)

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

Step Up and Lead
by Frank Viscuso (Author)

Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff
by Shelley Burgess (Author), Beth Houf (Author)

Lead Generate: 61 Days to Double Your Pay
by Scott Groves (Author)

Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?
by Baruti K. Kafele (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Circular
We're told if the economy is growing, and if we keep producing, that's a good thing. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers explore circular systems that regenerate and re-use what we already have. Guests include economist Kate Raworth, environmental activist Tristram Stuart, landscape architect Kate Orff, entrepreneur David Katz, and graphic designer Jessi Arrington.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#504 The Art of Logic
How can mathematics help us have better arguments? This week we spend the hour with "The Art of Logic in an Illogical World" author, mathematician Eugenia Cheng, as she makes her case that the logic of mathematics can combine with emotional resonance to allow us to have better debates and arguments. Along the way we learn a lot about rigorous logic using arguments you're probably having every day, while also learning a lot about our own underlying beliefs and assumptions.