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Sustainable Approaches: Industrial Ecology and Pollution Prevention

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1 Sustainable Approaches: Industrial Ecology and Pollution Prevention
Chapter 21 Sustainable Approaches: Industrial Ecology and Pollution Prevention

2 1. Industrial Ecology Overview
Industrial ecology refers to a multidisciplinary, systems approach to the flow of energy and materials between production and the environment Main objectives To promote ways to use recycled waste from one production process as inputs in another process To optimize material flows (i.e., achieve an efficient use of materials and energy in production) Since flow of materials is integral to industrial ecology, the materials balance model should be revisited Sustainable Approaches How to achieve sustainable development?—IE and P2

3 Materials Balance Model Revisited
At issue is whether the flow of materials from nature through the economy is linear, (i.e., operating in only one direction), and open OR cyclical and closed

4 Conventional Linear (or Open) Materials Flow
This “cradle-to-grave” open flow assumes materials run in ONE direction, entering as resources and leaving as wastes or residuals. Policy focus would have to be aimed at abating contaminants ONLY at the end of the flow.

5 Linear (or Open) Materials Flow
Policy based on a linear flow assumption does not fully address the long-run implications of pollution Nature’s capacity to convert matter to energy is limited End-of-pipe policy controls take the form of abatement after the damage has been done Solution should consider a cyclical flow approach

6 Cyclical (or Closed) Materials Flow
A cyclical flow assumes that… productive activity can be altered throughout the cycle to reduce environmental effects e.g., product design, manufacturing processes, energy use residuals (i.e., wastes or pollution) can be brought back into useful production Implies that policy can be aimed anywhere in the cycle of production and consumption rather than only at “end-of-pipe”

7 A Closed System of Materials Flow
A “cradle-to-cradle” flow that assumes materials run in a circular pattern in a closed system that allows residuals (or wastes) to be brought back into the production process.

8 Using a Cyclical Flow in Practice a. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
FYI Examines the environmental impact of a product or process at all stages from resource use to disposal 4 components Goal definition and scoping: describes the product and environmental effects to be assessed Inventory analysis: analyzes resource usage and environmental releases Impact analysis: determines human & environmental effects Interpretation: evaluates results and selects product/process Addressed by ISO International Standards Voluntary standards in environmental management aimed at giving countries a common approach to environmental issues

9 b. Industrial Ecosystems A Real-World Closed System
Wastes from one production process are used as inputs in another Usually implemented through a collaborative of several firms, an eco-industrial park Real-world examples include systems in Kalundborg, Denmark Choctaw, MS


11 Industrial Ecosystem at Kalundborg, Denmark
An industrial ecosystem has been established which involves an oil refinery, a wallboard plant, a pharmaceutical plant, fish farms, and a coal-fired power plant, among others.

12 Industrial Ecosystem at Kalundborg, Denmark
Steam and various raw materials such as sulfur, fly ash and sludge are exchanged in what is the world's most elaborate industrial ecosystem. Participating firms each benefit economically from reduce costs for waste disposal, improved efficiencies of resource use and improved environmental performance. For example, gas captured from the oil refinery which had previously been flared off is now sent to the electrical power station which expects to save the equivalent of 30,000 tonnes of coal a year.

13 2. Pollution Prevention (P2) Overview
Pollution prevention is a long-term, front-end strategy aimed at reducing or eliminating the toxicity or the amount of residuals at their source Preventive objectives Source reduction: reducing pollutants at point of generation Toxic chemical use substitution: substituting less harmful chemicals for toxic ones

14 How P2 Differs from Industrial Ecology
P2 promotes risk reduction by eliminating or minimizing wastes, while industrial ecology uses wastes as inputs P2 solutions are aimed at a single firm, while industrial ecology is used by a collaborative of firms P2 does not view recycling as preventive, while industrial ecology views recycling as the solution P2 generally requires government oversight, while industrial ecology does not

15 FYI P2 Techniques Source segregation
Keep hazardous waste from mingling with nonhazardous waste Raw materials substitution Use inputs that result in little or no hazardous waste Changes in manufacturing processes Use methods that generate fewer hazardous by-products Product Substitution Use relative safe goods instead of polluting products

16 FYI P2 Legislation National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Encourages efforts to prevent environmental damage Integrates pollution prevention into U.S. environmental legislation Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 P2 is the primary objective: “pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source, whenever feasible” The secondary objective is management of residuals through recycling, treatment, and disposal – in that order Similar legislation exists in other nations: EU, Canada, Australia

17 Pollution Prevention Hierarchy

18 Selected Corporation Examples of P2 Initiatives
FYI Selected Corporation Examples of P2 Initiatives Dell, Inc. In 2008, reduced packaging by 5,440 tons; recycled and reused over 95 percent of nonhazardous wastes from manufacturing operations; recovered 116 million kilograms of discards. Offers free recycling of its products to customers worldwide. Committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 15 percent by 2012 relative to 2006. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. Between 2003 to 2007, reduced hazardous waste by 15.8 percent and solid waste by 23.8 percent, with some of the latter accomplished through “light-weighting,” i.e., changes in packaging design. Reduced GHG emissions by 4.3 percent over the same period. Eastman Kodak Between 1999 and 2005, achieved a 44 percent emissions reduction of 30 priority chemicals and a 17 percent reduction in CO2 emissions; reduced energy use by 19 percent, water usage by 36 percent, and manufacturing waste by 47 percent.

19 FYI Economics and P2 Cost-effectiveness as a criterion
Whether a firm adopts P2 will depend in part on its cost relative to other options, like treatment or abatement If P2 is chosen, cost-effectiveness can guide the selection of the appropriate strategy Efficiency as a criterion Benefit-cost analysis can be used to determine the extent to which a P2 strategy is implemented

20 FYI 3. Sustainable Initiatives and Programs (1) Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) Refers to efforts aimed at identifying and reducing life-cycle environmental effects of products Sometimes called Product Stewardship Underlying premise is that all participants in the product chain—designers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers, recyclers, remanufacturers, and disposers—are responsible for a product’s effect on the environment Involves raw materials selection, production impacts, product use, products at end-of-life (i.e., take-back programs to achieve recycling or remanufacturing)

21 (2) Design for the Environment (DfE)
FYI (2) Design for the Environment (DfE) Promotes using environmental considerations with cost and performance in product development and design Directly uses a cyclical flow of materials Used by BMW, Dell Computer, 3M, and others

22 (3) Green Chemistry Program
FYI (3) Green Chemistry Program Promotes development and use of chemical technologies that achieve pollution prevention Sometimes known as benign chemistry or sustainable chemistry programs Recognizes the importance of a product’s life cycle in pollution prevention Seeks safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals, resulting in lower risks, safer production processes, and final products that pose less of a threat at the end of their economic lives

23 4. Global Information Sharing Technology Transfer
FYI 4. Global Information Sharing Technology Transfer Refers to the advancement and application of technologies and strategies on a global scale Is considered critical to consistent progress toward sustainable development Relies on interdependent factors that include research, physical capital investment, communication, financial resources, education Who invented system? MIT played an important role.

24 Achieving Environmental Literacy
FYI Achieving Environmental Literacy Refers to an awareness of the risks of pollution and natural resource depletion Promoting environmental education worldwide has grown and was an important theme at the Earth Summit in Rio Agenda 21 specifically refers to the importance of education, public awareness, and training to implement the global agenda

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