Industry and the environment: a new view how to fit human economy within the economy of nature
Presenter: Irina Pleva
University of Jyväskylä
Theme: A Sustainable Future for our Planet
Along with industrialization, resource demand and environmental destruction have currently reached unsustainable levels. Industrial systems require attention and improvement in order to shift our society towards a sustainable future. The challenge: to reduce the burden that industry puts onto the environment. The strategy: to shift industrial systems towards more sustainable ones. Solution: to create eco-industrial networks by establishing correlation between nature’s ecosystems and man-made industrial networks.
How is this managed? The industrial sector adapts solutions developed by the nature in the form of fully sustainable systems of interdependent organisms. Biological concepts and terms are being adapted and put into practice by the corporate world in the search of better efficiency.
Being inspired by the idea of eco-industrial networks, in this paper I analyze the parallel between natural ecosystems and their industrial counterparts, represented by industrial ecology. I examine the interaction between the two spheres from the perspective of geophysiology and industrial metabolism. Afterwards, I try to assess the possibilities for future development of the industrial ecology and its limitations.
In a scope of the conference sub-topic “e-nvironment: A Sustainable Future for our Planet”, the concept of industrial ecology is presented in this paper as one of innovative contributor towards more sustainable future.