STERR, Thomas / OTT, Thomas (2004): The Industrial Region as a Promising Unit for Eco-industrial Development – Reflections, Practical Experience and the Establishment of Innovative Instruments to Support Industrial Ecology. Journal of Cleaner Production 12 (8-10), 947-965
Eco-industrial developments with a special focus on material cycles are usually concentrated on the level of the industrial estate/industrial park. However, the results of completed and ongoing research projects in Germany’s Rhine-Neckar region indicate that larger regional areas may be more suitable for closing material loops and creating sustainable industrial ecosystems. Nonetheless, this larger size also presents new challenges for industrial ecosystem development, such as establishing the necessary trust and coordination among actors, homogenizing and collecting data to enable comparisons within and between firms, and minimizing the transaction costs involved in searching for appropriate partners. Practical solutions and IT-tools suggested as a means of supporting eco-industrial development that emphasizes positive synergy effects for industrial actors.