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It is worthwhile to investigate the relation between Degrowth on the one hand and Industrial Ecology on the other hand in order to identify, whether and how these two concepts might support each other or whether there are potential discrepancies or conflicts. Degrowth means a kind of society and economy that want to reach both the well-being of human mankind and to sustain life’s natural basis, which needs a radical transformation in terms of economy, culture, social relations and environmental protection. The key question of this paper is, whether and how Industrial Ecology and its tools (such as life cycle assessment or material flow analysis) are able to support this transition process. Therefore, the principles of Industrial Ecology and its main tools will be reviewed against a set of criteria, which represent the essential elements of the Degrowth paradigm. With this task, potential synergies as well as possible obstacles in merging the two approaches can be identified.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Industrial Ecology and Degrowth“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.