Authors: Laura Sokka, Matti Melanen, Ari Nissinen
Addresses: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland. ' Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland. ' Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland
Abstract: In the scientific literature, there are (so far) few studies quantifying the environmental benefits or sustainability of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) networks although, at the same time, the potential tools for these kinds of assessments have been developed rapidly both in number and capacity. In this article, we first review the existing studies on the environmental performance of IS systems. We draw a conclusion that these studies usually only concentrate on one or a limited number of factors and also use a narrow approach to system boundaries considering just the impacts taking place within the symbiosis. Finally, we suggest that The Natural Step (TNS) System Conditions could constitute a basis which – through a set of sustainability criteria and a series of questions derived from them – would essentially steer the analyses made about the environmental performance and overall sustainability of the IS network at hand.
Keywords: industrial symbiosis; industrial ecology; system boundaries; sustainability principles; The Natural Step; TNS; environmental performance; environmental management; tools; Kymenlaakso; Finland; sustainable development.
Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2008 Vol.5 No.5/6, pp.518 - 535
Published online: 22 Feb 2009 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article