NTU announce forthcoming PLATE Seminar 2016

Tuesday 6 December, Newton Building, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus

We are delighted to announce a forthcoming PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) seminar. This event will give you the opportunity to find out about the latest developments in policy and practice on product lifetimes, planned obsolescence, reuse, and repair.

The aim of the event is to discuss innovative and ground breaking approaches to product longevity, set within the policy and civil context of the UK and EU. Our excellent keynote speakers include an entrepreneur, a representative from the European Commission and two leading researchers:

  • Tara Button (BuyMeOnce.com)
  • Dr Carlos Montalvo (TNO, Netherlands)
  • Dr Ines Oehme (Federal Environment Agency, Germany)
  • Ferenc Pekár (DG Environment)

The seminar will build on the success of the first PLATE Conference, held at NTU in 2015, and announce plans for the second international PLATE Conference, which will take place in November 2017.

Download a copy of the programme.

This seminar is open to the public, staff and students. There is a booking fee associated with this seminar:

  • £50 (including VAT): Staff and general public.
  • £25 (including VAT): Student (Student ID will be required on arrival at event).

Visit the NTU Online Store to make your booking using either a credit or debit card.

If you have an enquiry about this event, please email us or call Dr Christine Cole on +44 (0)115 848 6011.

Kyungeun Sung attends Research on Sustainable Development Summer School

The PhD Research on Sustainable Development Summer School was held at the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland from the 18th to the 22nd of July.

It was organised by Dr. Marius Christen, Prof. Dr. Frank Krysiak, Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, and Prof. Dr. Paul Burger.

Presentations were given by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Buchholz from the University of Resensburg in economics, Prof. Dr. Konrad Steffen from Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in natural sciences, and Prof. Dr. Susan Baker from Cardiff University in social sciences.

Kyungeun Sung presented her PhD research on Sustainable production and consumption by upcycling: Understanding and scaling up niche environmentally significant behaviour and contributed to the discussions on various conceptions of sustainability and sustainable development in different disciplines.

CIE-MAP participates in Exergy Economics Workshop 2016

Over 40 economists, engineers and social scientists converged last week on the sunny University of Sussex campus for the second International Exergy Economics Workshop. Organised by the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) and the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP), the workshop was a chance for researchers to come together to share knowledge, discuss progress, and initiate future research collaborations in exergy economics.

Read Jack Miller’s full blog here.

Anne Owen attends Input-Output conference in Seoul, Korea

The 24th International Input-Output Conference was held at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea this year between the 4th and 8th of July.

Yonsei University in Seoul:


Input-output is a macro-economic technique used by CIEMAP researchers to calculate the consumption-based account of the UK and it allows us to understand the effect of demand on energy and materials use. This year, Anne presented two research papers, based on CIEMAP research. The first explored how the UK’s energy footprint differs when we use different system boundaries to describe the energy impact of industries. Assigning the energy information to the extraction industries may be a better technique for research on energy security. However, to explore energy efficiency and energy substitution policy, energy should be assigned to the industries where it is ultimately used. Anne’s second paper presented a technique to explore the food, energy water nexus by comparing product supply-chains. Anne identified the common supply chains which were large within the biomass, energy and water consumption-based accounts and also determined the value to the world economy and the number of jobs that were dependent on these chains. Both papers were received well and Anne has a number of ideas as to how to further improve the research.

Anne at the conference venue:


The input-output conference can be quite technical in nature, but these year featured a number of presentations themed around using the technique to explore societal and political research questions. For example, Prof. Geoff Hewings posed the question ‘What about the people in input-output?’ and challenged the community to further explore the role of consumption in IO calculations. He stated that households are diverse in nature and this needs to be captured in our work. For example, the spending patterns will differ vastly between older and younger households and this differing type of demand drives the need for jobs in different sectors. Keynote speaker Prof. Klaus Hubacek explored this theme further by demonstrating how expenditure profiles of differing household groups in Chicago can be used to calculate the carbon footprint of neighbourhoods. Brexit was a hot topic of conversation throughout the conference and Prof. Bart Los introduced the newest version of the World Input-Output Database (WIOD), which operates at NUTS2 level of administrative unit, by demonstrating that the regions of the UK that were most dependent on European trade were also those that voted to leave!

Chart 1 - Eurozone non performing

World Input-Output Database, University of Groningen, http://www.wiod.org/, 2010 data; Nick Vivyan and Chris Hanretty, ‘Estimating Constituency Opinion’, http://constituencyopinion.org.uk/data/, 2014 data


Seoul is a modern and exciting city and the contrast between the old and new is striking at times. Gyeongbokgung Palace gate with city in background:


Roof detail at the Gyeongbokgung Palace:


National Museum:

national museum

Next year the conference venue is Atlantic City, USA, which promises to be a very different and interesting experience!

Kate Scott wins Piers Sellers Prize for Climate Change Research

The first winners of the Piers Sellers Prizes for outstanding research in climate science have been announced.

In honour of Dr Sellers’ work as a renowned climate scientist and in raising public awareness of global warming, the Priestley Centre has created two annual prizes in his name to recognise outstanding research in the field.

The Piers Sellers Prize for ‘Exceptional PhD Research’ is designed to reward and encourage current University of Leeds PhD students for undertaking excellent research to better understand or address climate change. The second prize, for ‘World leading contribution to solution-focused climate research’, is open to all researchers world-wide at any stage of their career.

The first winner of the Piers Sellers Prize for ‘Exceptional PhD Research’ is Kate Scott from the University’s School of Earth and Environment.

In her research, Scott seeks to understand how environmental policies, consumption-side measures and industrial policies can be used to best effect in mitigating climate change. Her research has been integrated into assessments of evidence by the Committee on Climate Change (an independent body that reports to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and has been presented to various Government departments.

The Piers Sellers Prize for ‘World leading contribution to solution-focused climate research’ is awarded to Dr Joeri Rogelj, a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria. Both Prizes were awarded at the official launch of the Priestley Centre by Sir Alan Langlands.

Dr Rogelj’s research examines workable mitigation solutions and the effects of staying below different global temperature targets.  He was the only researcher before the United Nation’s climate change talks held in Paris in late 2015 – the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) conference – to be actively publishing on how to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.  His work played a central role in forming the evidence base behind the Paris Agreement.

Read more about the Piers Sellers Prizes.

CIE-MAP Stakeholder Workshop at the RSA

On Thursday 12th May CIE-MAP hosted a Stakeholder Workshop at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

This event was attended by a broad range of guests, including researchers, policy makers, government officials, and heads of industry.

The event was comprised of a series of presentations and panel discussions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Industrial Energy and Resource Consumption
  • Material Efficiency Strategies and New Business Opportunities
  • The role of the Construction Sector in delivering Material Efficiency
  • The role of the public in achieving Material Efficiency Strategies

View the presentations here:

John Barrett – Introduction to CIE-MAP

Geoff Hammond – Industrial Decarbonisation Opportunities

Kate Scott – The Contribution of Resource Consumption to the 5th Carbon Budget

Tim Cooper – How can material efficiency strategies be adopted by industry and create new business opportunities

Jannik Giesekam – What is the role of the construction sector and the National Infrastructure Plan in delivering material efficiency

Nick Pidgeon – Opportunities and Barriers to Achieving Transitions in UK Energy and Materials Use The Role of Publics, Society and Decision-Makers

You can also visit EUED’s storify site here for a full run through of the day.

Kyungeun Sung leads Upcycling Practitioners’ Workshop

Kyungeun Sung organised the upcycling practitioners’ workshop with 12 practitioners at SOAS University of London on 9th of March. Professor Rebecca Earley from the University of the Arts London and Jamie Billing from Plymouth College of Art gave keynote speeches.

See the workshop presentation and stimuli here.

Professor Tim Cooper contributes to article on product lifetimes

Professor Tim Cooper contributed to an article in the Daily Mail about product lifetimes and planned obsolescence. Read the article here:

Here’s proof today’s gadgets really are DESIGNED to go wrong

Lorraine Fisher, Daily Mail, Tuesday 19th April

Jonathan Norman publishes in Resources, Conservation & Recycling

Jonathan Norman has published a new paper in Resources, Conservation & Recycling. Read the paper here.


The steel industry is the world’s largest industrial source of CO2 emissions. Recent UK economic policies have led to reduced domestic steel production giving an apparent reduction in national emissions. However, demand for goods made from steel has not reduced. Emissions have thus been transferred not reduced and implementation of UK climate policies may in future expand this ‘carbon leakage.’ This paper explores how future UK demand for goods made from steel might be supplied while satisfying national climate policies, and how this will influence global CO2 emissions. Current flows and stocks of steel are estimated from existing databases. Evidence from other developed economies suggests that per capita stocks are tending towards a saturation level so future demand is forecast from population growth and the expected rate of replacement of a stable stock. The carbon intensities of five different steel-making routes are used to predict the allowed scale of future domestic steel production within the industrial emissions allowances set in four energy pathways defined by the UK Government. The remaining requirement for steel must be sourced offshore and the associated emissions are predicted, to give an estimate of the global emissions arising from final demand in the UK. The results show that current UK climate strategy may have a limited effect in reducing the CO2 emissions of the global steel industry, unless the UK shifts towards producing more of its own steel products with domestic secondary steel-making. This option would also increase the security of UK supply and support an expansion of UK manufacturing.