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Promoting industrial symbiosis: Using the concept of proximity to explore social network development

Velenturf, Anne P.M. and Jensen, PD (2015) Promoting industrial symbiosis: Using the concept of proximity to explore social network development Journal of Industrial Ecology. (In Press)

Velenturf and Jensen_Promoting industrial symbiosis_resubmission.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript

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Industrial symbiosis (IS) has been identified as a strategy for promoting industrial sustainability. IS has been defined as the development of close working agreements between industrial and other organizations that, through the innovative reuse, recycling or sharing of resources, leads to resource efficiency. Key to IS are innovation and social network development. This article critically reviews IS literature and concludes that, to inform pro-active strategies for promoting IS, the understanding of the social processes leading to resource innovation needs to be improved. Industrial ecologists generally believe that close geographic proximity and trust are essential to the development of IS. This article argues, however, that there is a need to learn more about the meaning of, need for, and specific role of geographic proximity and trust in IS and, additionally, that other potentially important social factors have remained under-explored. To move IS research forward, this article suggests to engage with research in economic geography on the concept of ‘proximity’, which draws attention to the ways in which geographic, cognitive, institutional, social and organizational distances between actors might affect innovation. Arguably the analytically distinct but flexible dimensions of proximity can be useful to explore how and why IS develops. The resulting qualitative knowledge would form a basis for researching whether general patterns for IS development exist and, more importantly, could inform public and private strategies that indicate which actions could be taken, when and in what way to promote resource synergies and sustainable industrial development.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
Velenturf, Anne
Date : 7 July 2015
Identification Number : 10.1111/jiec.12315
Projects : Evolution and Resilience of Industrial Ecosystems
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is the accepted version of the following article: Anne P.M. Velenturf* and Paul D. Jensen, 2015, which has been published in final form at
Depositing User : Antoinette Velenturf
Date Deposited : 20 Oct 2015 17:37
Last Modified : 07 Jul 2016 01:08

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