Industrial Ecology: Science, the Environment and the Circular Economy

25 Apr 2016 09:00
25 Apr 2016 17:00

The circular economy is gaining increasing currency as a strategy in the pursuit of global sustainability.  China enacted a law for the promotion of the circular economy in 2008, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has played a pivotal role in engaging the business community, and the European Union is formulating a circular economy strategy as a socio-economically promising means to achieve resource efficiency. 

In contrast to the take-use-dispose paradigm in a traditional linear economy, in a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting their maximum value. Products and materials are recovered and renewed, leveraging business models designed to support this regenerative activity.

There are many conferences and discussions about business opportunities and the policy potential for the circular economy. Discussion, however, about the actual environmental dimensions of this framework has been limited. For two and half decades the field of industrial ecology has examined the cycling of materials and energy at all scales. It may hence provide a scientific foundation and many insights for understanding and quantifying the extent of the environmental benefits to be obtained and the pitfalls to be avoided.

Scientists at Vrije Universiteit Brussels (IES/VUB), Yale University, the University of Cambridge, the Norwegian University of Science & Technology and INSEAD under the auspices of the International Society for Industrial Ecology have organized a day-long event to explore environmental and resource dimensions of the circular economy. The event will present examples of research—along with commentary by stakeholders—that can illuminate what industrial ecology can contribute to the beneficial development of the circular economy. For a detailed program, please click on the following link.

Registration and Venue

Participation is free of charge and open to all but, due to space limitations, registration is required. To register, please fill in the online registration form.


Karel Van Miert Building
Conference Rooms Rome & Lisbon
Pleinlaan 5
1050 Brussels


Helen Ann Hamilton (Academic Coordinator)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Industrial Ecology Programme

Anamaria Bacsin (Communication and Logistics)
Institute for European Studies (IES/VUB))
Tel: +32 2 614 80 40

Program_Final.pdf2.61 MB