Environmental Security as a Case Study in Industrial Ecology

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5 Scopus citations


Environmental security is the integration of environmental and national security considerations at a national policy level. It is a relatively new and still somewhat contentious concept, although in some countries, such as the United States, it is increasingly being embedded in traditional security and foreign policy institutions. It is of interest to the industrial ecologist for several reasons. First, from the methodological perspective, environmental security issues are frequently complex, multidisciplinary, and multiscalar in both temporal and geographic dimensions. They are thus good opportunities to apply existing industrial ecology tools such as industrial metabolism stock and flow studies, as well as to support the development of new industrial ecology methods. Second, environmental security offers an important case study of an important fundamental industrial ecology dynamic: The movement of environment from overhead to strategic for society. This process occurs at many different scales, from implementation of design for environment methodologies within firms to integration of environmental and trade considerations in the World Trade Organization; and it is important for the industrial ecologist to begin to understand its underlying dynamics. Finally, national security is the quintessential raison d'être of the national state. Accordingly, the integration of environmental considerations into national security policies and institutions, using industrial ecology methodologies and patterns of analysis, is a significant validation of the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental security
  • Environmental strategy
  • Externalities
  • Industrial ecology
  • Policy analysis
  • Trade policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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