Industrial metabolism was first proposed by Robert Ayres as "the whole integrated collection of physical processes that convert raw materials and energy, plus labour, into finished products and wastes..." The goal is to study the flow of materials through society in order to better understand the sources and causes of emissions, along with the effects of the linkages in our socio-technological systems.
See also 
- ^ Ayres, R.U., 1994. Industrial metabolism: Theory and policy. In: Ayres, R.U., Simonis, U.K. (Eds.), Industrial Metabolism: Restructuring for Sustainable Development. United Nations University Press, Tokyo, pp. 3–20.
- ^ S. Anderberg (1998), "Industrial metabolism and linkages between economics, ethics, and the environment", Ecological Economics, 24, pp 311-320