Keywords: environmental justice, industrial symbiosis, fuel poverty, Scottish forest industries, pelletised wood fuel, energy service companies, ESCOs, Scotland, sustainable development, sustainability, regional development, disadvantaged groups, quality of life, industrial ecology, wood processing clusters, wood biomass
Promoting environmental justice through industrial symbiosis: developing pelletised wood fuel to tackle Scottish rural fuel poverty
Scottish Executive policymakers are seeking to promote sustainable regional development programmes that combine economic, environmental and social objectives. A primary aim is to deliver environmental justice, offering disadvantaged groups the opportunity to improve their quality of life through measures that improve access to environmental goods and services. This paper examines the theoretical arguments for promoting wood processing clusters, based on industrial ecology principles, as a means of addressing rural fuel poverty. Drawing on a study undertaken in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, it explores the potential for using wood biomass from a rapidly growing Scottish forest industry sector to establish a commercially viable market for pelletised wood fuel. The paper identifies the logistical and policy issues that must be addressed before such an initiative can be successfully launched.