Track 5e. Circular economy, industrial ecology (resource management and sustainable regional economic development)

Track Chairs:

Andrea Cecchin. Sustainability Archives, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

Mauricio Cote. Colombian Low Carbon Development Strategy.  Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia.

Pauline Deutz. Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, University of Hull, UK.

Goals and objectives of the track

This session aims to contribute to the understanding of both the variety and sustainability impact of industrial ecology (IE) and circular economy (CE) practices, including industrial symbiosis (IS). Such practices have been incorporated at a variety of policy levels from local to international, and in a variety of forms from top-down government mandates to bottom-up independent programs; from planned eco-industrial parks to self-initiated synergies and facilitated and coordinated networks. Relatively little attention, however, has been paid to examining the environmental, social, and economic impact of these practices, and how those impacts may be context and/or scale dependent. In addition, as policy efforts to engender CE-practices reach new contexts, especially in emerging and developing economies, we would welcome studies into the nurturing of CE practices for a variety of business types and the challenges they face. Of particular interest is the initiation and resilience of CE practices in a rapidly changing context. The emerging post-conflict economic spaces in Colombia provide a pertinent example of a new field for CE development.

Contributions from the followings areas are sought-after:

  • Comparative case studies that elucidate various dimensions of IE and CE;
  • Quantifying the specific environmental, economic and social impacts of IE and CE;
  • The theoretical and practical contribution of IE and CE to enhance sustainability policies in Developing Countries;
  • Start-ups and ‘green' businesses under local adjusted IE and CE principles;
  • Governance structures as an impediment or support for the development of IE and CE;
  • The role of social embeddedness and institutional capacity in the formation and growth of IS and CE;
  • The importance (or lack thereof) of geographical proximity, scale economies, and waste types;
  • The importance of ‘short mental distance', trust and communication for successful IE and CE practices;
  • Bilateral versus network linkages.

Other contributions can also be explored.


You may submit your abstract by visiting the Ex Ordo abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first):



Mauricio Cote is a chemical engineer (M.Sc/Ph.D. in Engineering) with cross-cultural professional experience in industrial processes, environmental applied research, evaluation and modeling of socioeconomic dynamic systems. Mauricio evaluates complex systems under an industrial ecology and resource sustainability perspective to improve carbon mitigation and adaptation strategies for sustainable development; as well as the interaction of natural and anthropogenic resources and wastes to achieve circular economies and low-carbon societies. Currently, Mauricio is sectorial advisor of the Colombian Low Carbon Development Strategy (ECDBC) at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS).

Andrea Cecchin, PhD in Environmental Sciences, is Fellow at Sustainability Archives at Ca' Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and Project Researcher at Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He is committed to fostering a sustainable transformation in human-driven activities by carrying out research projects and supporting bottom-up initiatives in the field of environmental planning and local development. He has worked in several projects around the world related to industrial ecology and circular economy, sustainable resource management, environmental policy, systemic urban planning, community engagement in urban design and open government strategies.