Keywords: industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, regional industrial ecosystems, drivers and barriers, sustainability, regional development, organisational learning
Industrial Ecology as a learning process in business strategy
For Industrial Ecology to be successful, it will need to be adopted by many practitioners in industrial society, at different system levels (e.g. company, region, national). This paper adapts the technology transfer model developed by Seaton and Cordey-Hayes by combining it with the idea of industrial ecology as a learning process. The resulting model is applied at the company, network and government level. Its use is illustrated with case studies from research on regional industrial symbiosis in Scotland, the recently formed National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (UK) and the Scottish Industrial Symbiosis Programme. The model helps to understand how differing practitioners, at different levels, can be influenced by a range of factors and how IE can become part of their strategy. Industrial Symbiosis is seen as a way to induce a cultural shift by fostering inter-company co-operation within a region, building on previous partnerships, and involving a range of actors.