Blue Economy and ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Initiative) was launched by the United Nations University lnstitute of Advanced Studies in 1994. ZERI promoted the concept that all industrial inputs can be completely converted into a final product and that waste products can be converted into value-added inputs for another chain of production. In this context, the manufacturing line can be viewed as a series of production cycles and recycling systems.

C2C Cradle to cradle articulates a set of principles that seek to transform manufacturing design from being purely opportunistic to focusing on the service that products provide. One key principle is the total elimination of waste in manufacturing: all components of manufactured goods would be recycled or reused, thus reversing the “cradle-to-grave” model that governs existing industry.

Biomimicry studies nature’s models and imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to create products and human processes. Based on research from multiple disciplines, biomimicry provides a framework for valuing not what we can extract from the natural world but what we can learn from it.

LCA Life-cycle analysis enables a manufacturer to quantify how much energy and raw materials are used and how much solid, liquid and gaseous waste is generated at each stage of a product’s life from creation up to and including the end of its period of use.

ISO 14001 standard was first published in 1996 and specifies the operational requirements for an environmental management system, providing generalizable objectives and goals with measurable metrics that can guide the environmental activities of organizations in most industries

Landscape Ecology is the study of spatial variation in landscapes at a variety of scales. It includes the biophysical and societal causes and consequences of landscape heterogeneity. Above all, it is broadly interdisciplinary. The conceptual and theoretical core of landscape ecology links natural sciences with related human disciplines. 

Landscape ecology can be portrayed by several of its core themes:

  • the spatial pattern or structure of landscapes, ranging from wilderness to cities,
  • the relationship between pattern and process in landscapes,
  • the relationship of human activity to landscape pattern, process and change,
  • the effect of scale and disturbance on the landscape.

Close-to-nature forestry is forest use and management which follows natural processes. Management and utilization in this way can assist in regenerating and conserving the forest. It can be integrated into criteria of forest certification schemes.

Eco-innovation is the introduction of any new or significantly improved product (good or service), process, organisational change or marketing solution that reduces the use of natural resources (including materials, energy, water and land) and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle.

The Natural Step Kart-Henrik Robert in 1989 developed the following scientifically based consensus definition of sustainability: In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing

  1.  concentrations of substances extracted from the earths crust,
  2. concentrations of substances produced by society,
  3. degradation by physical means: and in that society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs.

Natural Capitalism  is a strategic framework based on four precepts:

  1. radically increase the productivity of resource use,
  2. shift to biologically inspired production (for example, biomimicry) with closed loops, no waste and no toxicity,
  3. shift business models away from the making and selling of things to providing the service that the “thing” delivers (thereby retaining ownership of products for recycling and remanufacturing),
  4. reinvest in natural and human capital.

Ecological Footprint was coined in 1992 by the Canadian ecologist William Rees and is used to manage the use of resources throughout the economy by measuring the total environmental impact of business.

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modeled on the base of relationships found in nature, based on the systems ecology. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs; it’s a system of design where each element supports and feeds other elements, ultimately aiming at systems that are virtually self-sustaining and into which humans fit as an integral part.