The case for industrial ecology

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Christophe BLAVOT

Co-founder, Écologie Industrielle Conseil

Seminar Social life | Thursday December 9, 2010 - 9h - 11h30

In the 1980s, researchers at General Motors drew inspiration from the remarkable ability of biological systems both to transform waste from a living organism into food for another organism, and to establish synergies which ensure the development and survival of organisms. They recommended using an approach present in human activity (in industry and consumption) aiming to optimise the use of resources or energy within the same geographical area. Suren Erkman, a professor at Lausanne University, out forward this idea in Switzerland and was sponsored by the Fondation pour le Progrès de l'Homme in the 1990s. This gave rise to the concept of industrial ecology as it is now known in France. Christophe Blavot uses this concept in his work as a consultant. He works with people from the private and the public sector in a specific region to establish the flows and reserves of materials and energy, and tells them how they can use resources more economically by working together. Since the solutions he suggests often prove to be economically sound, they can be put into practice quickly.

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