Edited by Frank Boons, Professor of Innovation and Sustainability, University of Manchester and Sustainable Consumption Institute, UK and Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Assistant Professor of Management, University of Oregon, US
Most work on industrial ecology continues to emphasize its roots in engineering and the technological sciences. This book differs in that it explores the social context of industrial ecology and presents empirical work addressing how cognitive, cultural, political and structural mechanisms condition the emergence and operation of industrial ecology. The empirical chapters are written from various social science perspectives and the editors have also invited reflective commentaries by authors with cross-disciplinary experiences.
From its inception, the field of industrial ecology has taken a distinctly technological approach to understanding and improving ecological consequences of industrial activities. Increasingly however, scholars and practitioners are developing perspectives on the social embeddedness of industrial ecology: the ways in which material and energy flows in regions and product chains are shaped by the social context in which they occur. This book presents empirical work addressing how cognitive, cultural, political and structural mechanisms condition the emergence and operation of industrial ecology. Further exploring such mechanisms holds promise for understanding both the barriers to, and opportunities for, altering the ecological impacts of industrial practice.
Through contemplative chapters and ‘intermezzos’, authors with different disciplinary backgrounds reflect on the contribution of work from various social sciences to industrial ecology. Unique to the volume, the authors of the commentaries bring in their personal and professional experiences, reflecting on how they have engaged in or have seen the value in cross-disciplinary work. They also include discussion explicitly on the dialogue and its value to the evolution of the field. In these ways, the book develops the dialogue between social science contributors and researchers from other disciplines within the field of industrial ecology.
Scholars and students involved in the study of industrial ecology and related fields as well as practising managers and those involved in facilitating industrial ecology projects around the world will find this engaging and comprehensive volume indispensable.
Contributors: W.S. Ashton, H. Baumann, C.R. Binder, F. Boons, M.R. Chertow, A. Chiu, J. Ehrenfeld, D. Gibbs, J. Hall, J. Howard-Grenville, T.M. Koponen, Y. Liu, S. Matos, C. Mitchell, R. Morana, R. Paquin, S. Seuring, B. van Hoof