Achieving Sustainable Development through Industrial Ecology

Achieving Sustainable Development through Industrial Ecology

the following article has been received by guest author Tanya Schenk.

industrial ecologyThe terms sustainable development, industrial ecology and environmental management are heard the most over the past ten years or so. The increasing use of these terms is a clear indication that people are becoming aware of their responsibility towards the environmental issues. Sustainable development integrates social, economic and environmental development. It does not aim to compromise the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. Industrial activity is highly essential to develop a sustainable society. Industrial Ecology (IE) is a rapidly growing new field which offers methods to assist corporations and organizations to carry out sustainable operations. It can be defined as the study of interactions between industries and their environment. It aims to find different strategies to conserve natural resources and reduce pollution.

Sustainable development is defined by the Brundtland Commission as “economic and social development that meets the needs of the current generation without undermining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Societies which target social, economic and industrial development achieve sustainable development. Industrial ecology gives a new perspective to businesses by which an organization sees the financial and strategic benefits of the market’s environmental dimensions.

The concept of industrial ecology builds on the biological concept of ecology and looks at the systems within which organisms live and of which they are a part. Industrial ecology tries to have industrial, economic relationships extended to ecological relationships. The natural resources we have are not infinite and we need to reform our strategies towards nature from time to time so that we will be able to live a better life with the same amount of natural resources. The rapid explosion of population and the increasing needs of humanity would fast exhaust the natural resources we have. In order to check this move the concept of industrial ecology has come into being. It tries to find means by which industrial processes would use a closed cycle of resources and it would try if recycling the resources is feasible.

Industrial ecology offers to relate individual activities of different systems to the industrial system as a whole. For this purpose industrial ecology makes use of certain strategies which would reduce the impact on environment. The aim of industrial ecology is to reduce the overall effect and impact of industrial activities on nature and natural resources. Pollution prevention is in the forefront when the objectives and strategies employed by industrial ecology are concerned. Most of the industries release their waste materials to nature which are usually toxic substances. Those industrial waste prove detrimental to mankind, we are prone to several deadly diseases since we receive those poisonous materials directly or indirectly.

Industrial processes and factories should find out ways to reduce the amount of waste they produce. The reuse and recycle of materials should be the mantra of industries. The amount of natural resources we have does not grow as days go by, but the people who use them are rapidly growing in number. Our habitations become crowded and there is always a struggle for survival. The net result is survival of the fittest. We need to learn to use the available resources in a wise manner which does not harm others. Industrial productions should involve a clean, economic process and the waste materials should be kept to the minimum.

Mankind can also design eco town or eco-park where the prime focus should be on the minimal use and maintenance of our natural resources. If we indulge in an unmindful use of the resources available today, we are directly weaning the future generations of their rights. The concept of industrial ecology is against such negligence. Industrial ecology is a potential umbrella for sustainable development.

Author Bio:

Tanya Schenck specializes in content writing and works for custom essay writing service, a writing community with a passion of helping out the students with their writing excellence and ability. Her areas of interests are very wide and in spare time she read novels and writes for different blogs.


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