Is Britain really using far less food, fuel, metals and materials now than at the turn of the century? Have we reached “peak stuff”? Certainly the UK Office of National Statistics figures for 2000-2013 seem to suggest this is the case. The problem is that these figures don’t take into account the full range of materials that went into the products we import.
read the full article here.
CIE-MAP Director John Barrett gave evidence to the Commons Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change on 1st March on ‘Setting the fifth carbon budget’.
Professor Barrett (of the University of Leeds) joined by Richard Leese (Mineral Products Association), Lawrence Slade (EnergyUK), Philip Sellwood (Energy Saving Trust) and Nina Skorupska (Renewable Energy Association).
A video of the meeting is available here Parliamentlive.tv
Researchers from CIEMAP have been working with Arup to produce a progress update against the 2013 Green Construction Board Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment. The Routemap serves as a visual tool enabling stakeholders to understand the policies, actions and key decision points required to achieve the UK Government target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment vs 1990 levels by 2050. The Routemap sets out actions, together with key performance indicators that can be used to deliver and measure progress in meeting the 2050 target. This 2015 update includes more recently available data and significant improvements to the consideration of capital (embodied) carbon. Overall the findings indicate towards an increase in built environment emitted carbon and a widening of the gap to the 50% sector reduction ambition by 2025. A significant transformation from the ongoing ‘status quo’ trajectory is urgently needed.
Read the progress report here.
In a research visit to China, the Centre Director was invited to address senior policy makers from the Chinese Government and senior academics on the issue of “Consumption based emissions and their application to China”. The presentation is available here.
On the 20th – 21st October Anne Owen attended an OECD-UNEP Expert Workshop on demand-based measures of material flows. The meeting was held at the OECD in Paris and explored two different measurement methods for estimating raw materials embodied in international trade: a pure input-output based methodology using 3 different multi-regional input-output databases; and a hybrid methodology using the OECD Inter Country Input-Output database in combination with raw material coefficients. The purpose of the meeting was to provide expert advice on the most appropriate method for measuring demand-based material flows in an international context, to guide related work at the OECD, and to pave the way for a consensus among international organisations on the approach to use. As part of the whole systems analysis research undertaken as part of the CIEMAP work programme, we aim to develop a UK focused database that will allow calculation of the materials required to satisfy UK demand. The discussions and connections made at the workshop will help steer the data selected and development of the UK focused database.
Naomi Braithwaite, Tim Cooper, Alex Rodrigues, John Rogers and Kyungeun Sung presented at the first PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) conference.
From the 17 -19 June NTU hosted the inaugural PLATE conference. Over 3 days 66 papers and 6 workshops, drawn from an international and multi-disciplinary perspective, debated the conference’s main themes which included strategies for product lifetime optimisation and consumer influences on product lifetimes. 110 delegates from 16 countries attended PLATE. The PLATE exhibition ran alongside the conference, showcasing work from delegates, NTU staff and students, as well as designers, artists and social businesses. Here the topic of product longevity was explored in innovative ways through prototypes, objects, photographs, film and other mediums.
The conference included the presentation of ongoing CIE-MAP research from a number of centre members. Naomi Braithwaite’s paper, co-authored with Mariale Moreno and Danielle Densley-Tingley, explored the feasibility of durability labelling for washing machines and considered how this may impact industry and consumer behaviour. Drawing from initial findings from interviews with industry professionals Alex Rodrigues discussed barriers and opportunities for designing cars with longer lifespans. Cars were also the focus of John Rogers and Alex’s paper that explored product leasing as a strategy for elongating product life. The reasons why vehicles are scrapped and the implications for this on longevity were further debated during John’s workshop. Kyungeun Sung presented her work that is exploring the links between individual upcycling, product attachment and product longevity.
CIE-MAP’s research programme set the context for Tim Cooper’s workshop: ‘Policies for Longevity’. A panel of policy and academic experts debated with delegates the role that policy could have in overcoming barriers towards product lifetimes.
PLATE 2015 Proceedings
CIE-MAP’s research partner Green Alliance have published two new policy insight reports.
The first focuses on Managing resources for a resilient economy, providing a fresh view of how to tackle the economic and business challenges of managing resources in a global market.
It is aimed at those involved in managing resource risk, including business, investors, portfolio managers and government. It applies tried and tested approaches to risk used by financial analysts to resource management, providing important lessons in dealing with price volatility and uncertainties around critical resources. Crucially, it identifies the risk management advantages of resource efficient approaches, and especially circular economy models.
The second report focuses on The social benefits of a circular economy, and outlines the myriad benefits of a circular economy including increased employment, skill development, and product sustainability.
Green Alliance is a charity and independent think tank focused on ambitious leadership for the environment. We have a track record of over 35 years, working with the most influential leaders from the NGO, business, and political communities. Our work generates new thinking and dialogue, and has increased political action and support for environmental solutions in the UK.