The Waterloo Industrial Ecology Group (WIEG) was founded in June 2016 with a vision to promote collaborative research and teaching in the field of industrial ecology. As defined by Robert White, then President of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, in the seminal book entitled The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems (1994), industrial ecology is
the study of the flow of materials and energy in industrial and consumer activities, of the effects of these flows on the environment, and of the influences of economic, political, regulatory, and social factors on the flow, use, and transformation of resources
As industrial ecologists, we confront the challenges of sustainable development in the systems of production and consumption that power the 21st century economy. In the Dutch and German languages, "wieg" (or "wiege") refers to "cradle" -- which reflects the systems thinking and life-cycle approaches we use in industrial ecology.