Industrial Ecology and the Circular Economy

Course Number
ENVS 665 960
Course Code
Course Key
ENVS 667 Intro to Sustainability
Course Note
MES Concentration in Environmental Sustainability
Course Description
Industrial Ecology is the multidisciplinary study of industrial systems and economic activities and their links to natural systems. The word "industrial" represents how humans use natural resources in the production of goods and services. "Ecology" refers to the concept that our industrial systems need to operate within sustainable natural ecosystems. The application of industrial ecology requires a movement of industrial processes from open loop business processes, where resource and capital investments move through the system to create products and waste, to a closed loop system where wastes (aka by-products) become inputs for new processes. This approach will allow to move to a circular economy. The implementation of industrial ecology, which aligns business operations with the natural cycle, creates the opportunity for a circular economy and has the potential for significant benefit for industry as well as for the long term viability of the human population and the natural ecosystem. Prerequisite: Approval from the instructor if course prerequisites not met.
Subject Area Vocab