Suggested Use? On Evidence‐Based Decision‐Making in Industrial Ecology and Beyond

8 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020

See all articles by Junming Zhu

Junming Zhu

Capital Medical University - Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

Industrial ecology (IE) research has well established expertise in accounting for the material stocks, flows, and associated impacts of industrial and consumer activities in a variety of scales and manifestations. As with many other science and social science fields, however, the pathways from IE research findings to policy and business decision‐making are often unclear and unsatisfactory. This issue creates a challenge for the application of industrial ecology to sustainable development. By reviewing several strands of literature, this article investigates alternative ways to generate and use research findings to support decision‐making and social change. It argues that advances in both the core and the emerging methods in IE complement each other to improve transparency and reliability of research evidence; extension and contextualization of current findings corresponding to different stages in policy‐making and organizational decision processes make research evidence more informative; a learning perspective makes research evidence valuable and used in more flexible ways. To better assist decision‐making for societal change, more dialogues between researchers of different methodological cultures and between researchers and other stakeholders and a paradigm shift in social systems for which industrial ecologists should be conscious and proactive are required.

Keywords: industrial ecology, life cycle assessment (LCA), policy evaluation, policy process, social learning

Suggested Citation

Zhu, Junming, Suggested Use? On Evidence‐Based Decision‐Making in Industrial Ecology and Beyond (October 2020). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 24, Issue 5, pp. 943-950, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3712409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.13009

Junming Zhu (Contact Author)

Capital Medical University - Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases

Beijing
China

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