Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ecoindustrial parks (EIPs) are defined as communities of businesses that cooperate with each other and their local community to efficiently share resources (information, by-products, wastes, materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural habitat), leading to economic and environmental gains for the participating businesses and the surrounding community. The concept emerged in the early 1990s as a concrete manifestation of the argument that the traditional model of industrial activity, in which individual manufacturing processes take in raw materials and generate products to be sold plus waste for disposal, needs to be transformed into a “closed-loop” industrial ecosystem, in which used materials (wastes), excess energy (e.g., steam), and by-products (unwanted products resulting from the production of other products; e.g., asphalt from petroleum refining) substitute for virgin materials during production processes. The resultant new ecoindustrial system would significantly reduce the overall environmental impact of production and consumption compared with current practices. This article Much ...