Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 967–985 | Cite as

A circular economy and industrial ecology toolbox for developing an eco-industrial park: perspectives from French policy

  • Jean-Pierre BelaudEmail author
  • Cyril Adoue
  • Claire Vialle
  • Antoine Chorro
  • Caroline Sablayrolles
Original Paper


The twentieth century was characterized by an increase in research studies concerning the interactions between economic system growth and environmental deterioration issues. Faced with this background, circular economy (CE) and its industrial ecology (IE) pillar seem to be an efficient way to achieve sustainable development within the industrial sector. IE consists of optimizing the networking among industries by using energy and material exchange, which are generated from by-products and waste stocks. It aims to improve the environmental potentialities of integrated clusters called eco-industrial parks (EIPs). Policy in the European Union countries and in French territories has positively influenced such EIP implementation by the establishment of a set of measures to develop the industrial symbiosis performances. The present paper reviews the key drivers to identify the methods and tools to integrate the life cycle thinking approach that defines the following five phases: design, layout, commercialization, operating and renewal phases. A toolbox for developing an EIP from scratch according to French policy is developed and discussed. This study defines a framework involving a factual eco-industrial park and network. The industrial application is a new EIP, namely “Les Portes du Tarn”. It is located in the south of France and acts as an experimental field. The paper provides current results for commercialization and operating, including a model of an organizational process, a decision-making process, information technology tools and systems to manage sustainable development. It highlights the CE and IE challenges surrounding enhancing the social acceptability of an industrial park project through adaptation of a relevant governance model and establishment of a continuing collaborative context and trust relationship between diverse actors. The first candidate companies’ achievements are discussed and demonstrate the first benefits of toolbox. The paper delivers a toolbox, feedback and some good practices to support the development of EIP project from greenfield.

Graphical abstract


Circular economy Industrial ecology Sustainable development Industrial symbiosis Urban planning Life cycle thinking 



The authors thank ADEME, the French environment and energy management agency, for the financial support of COPREI research project (Convention No. 15-81-C0031).

Supplementary material

10098_2019_1677_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1223 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génie ChimiqueUniversité de Toulouse, CNRSToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-industrielleUniversité de Toulouse, INRAToulouseFrance
  3. 3.SPLA81 Les Portes du TarnAlbiFrance
  4. 4.InddigoToulouseFrance

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