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Social aspects of industrial symbiosis networks

Domenech Aparisi, T.A.; (2010) Social aspects of industrial symbiosis networks. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The field of industrial ecology aims to transform industry into cyclical systems so that the “waste of one process can be used as resource for another process” (Frosch and Galloupoulos, 1989). Within this field, Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has emerged as a set of exchange structures to advance to a more eco-efficient industrial system, by establishing inter-organisational networks of waste material and energy exchanges. Even though the area has attracted much academic attention and has been reported to lead to economic and environmental benefits (Chertow and Lombardi, 2005), initially, most of the contributions focused on the engineering and technical feasibility of the exchanges, whereas social elements remained mostly unaddressed. Although relevant literature has partly addressed this gap and recognized the role played by social aspects, there is still little understanding of how social mechanisms work; how they affect the emergence and operation of IS networks and, most importantly, there is a lack of comprehensive frameworks for the analysis of the soft elements of IS. This research has been designed to contribute to these areas, by exploring the social aspects surrounding IS networks and providing a framework for their analysis. The framework provided covers the material, social and discursive dimensions of IS networks and focus on the dynamic analysis of the interaction between them. The research design relies on the cross-comparison of a number of IS networks: Kalundborg (Denmark), Sagunto (Spain) and NISP (UK). Social Network Analysis and Discourse Analysis have been used as main methodological approaches. Findings of the research cover two key areas: 1) the formulation of a comprehensive analytical framework that addresses the social dimension of IS initiatives in a systematic and integrative way and 2) empirical learning on the main social processes affecting the operation of IS networks.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Social aspects of industrial symbiosis networks
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

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