BOX 1 Questions for the Industrial Ecologist

  • How are production and consumption patterns changing, and how are these changes altering materials and energy flows within and among economic units?

  • What are the impacts of the flows on natural systems and human health and how will these impacts change as new technologies are deployed?

  • What data need to be collected to allow companies and governments to change the flows of potentially problematic materials through industries and economies?

  • What are industry "best practices" to alter production systems and product designs to minimize environmental impact?

  • How do new and existing technologies, economics, information, organizations, rules, and laws explain, control, or modify industrial operations and their impacts on human health and the environment?

  • How will changes in technology, economics, information, organizations, rules, and laws meet environmental quality and economic goals?

  • What are new and different approaches to meeting those goals, and where are the opportunities to try them first?

  • What are effective means of communicating complex risk and environmental impact information that is critical to everything from public policy to individual choices about products and services that may have different economic and environmental implications?

  • What are usable and meaningful performance measures and indices for gauging progress toward meeting environmental quality and economic goals?

  • What are the economics, time frames, and technologies associated with different scenarios of the future?

consumer attitudes toward the environment. This allows identified concerns to be managed, improves the reporting on a firm's environmental record, and is key for any environmental marketing a firm may do. Further, better knowledge of public understanding can be useful in communicating and managing environmental risks, and in responding to unanticipated environmental consequences of technology an economic growth, which are inevitable in the green game.

Finally, the overview examines tools that can provide clues for improving the way firms play the industrial green game. In this regard, there is an important government role in collecting and providing information that is unlikely to be gathered by private industry but which, if available, could have a large impact on improving the green game.

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