Industrial symbiosis, as part of the emerging field of industrial ecology, demands resolute attention to the flow of materials and energy through local and regional economies. Industrial symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products. The keys to industrial symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity.

This paper reviews the small industrial symbiosis literature and some antecedents, as well as early efforts to develop eco-industrial parks as concrete realizations of the industrial symbiosis concept. Review of the projects is organized around a taxonomy of five different material exchange types. Input-output matching, stakeholder processes, and materials budgeting appear to be useful tools in advancing eco-industrial park development. Evolutionary approaches to industrial symbosis are found to be important in creating the level of cooperation needed for multi-party exchanges.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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