although conceptually has been latent in people's mind for many years, has evolved as a scientific discipline only over the last 30 years. The September 1989 special issue of the Scientific American that was on "Managing Planet Earth" featured an article, Strategies for Manufacturing, by Robert Frosch and Nicholas Gallopoulos, both then at General Motors. In this article the authors formally proposed the concept of Industrial Ecosystems that functioned as an analogue of the Biological ecosystem (plants synthesize nutrients that feed herbivores, which in turn feed a chain of carnivores whose wastes and bodies eventually feed further generations of plants).
The idea caught on and the concept has been growing rapidly. Today, Industrial Ecology is being pursued with unprecedented vigour. It is gaining recognition not only in business communities, but in academic and government circles as well. The Journal of Industrial Ecology (Wiley Interscience) was launched in 1997, and the International Society for Industrial Ecology was founded in 2000.