Jannik Giesekam presents at Ecobuild 2018 and International Energy Agency Expert Dialogue

On the 8th March CIEMAP researcher Jannik Giesekam presented at the Ecobuild conference in London. His presentation was part of a main conference session entitled: Sustainability report for the UK built environment – doing well or could do better? The session was chaired by Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UKGBC. Other speakers included Adrian Gault (Chief Economist at the Committee on Climate Change), Bill Dunster (ZEDfactory), Louise Clarke (Berkeley Group) and Stephanie Wray (President of CIEEM). The session was inspired by a recent UKGBC project gathering indicators of sustainability in the UK built environment, to which CIEMAP contributed. Jannik’s conference presentation highlighted current progress in carbon reduction and the changing use of resources in the sector. His slides can be downloaded here.

On the 9th March Jannik also presented at an Expert Dialogue on Material Trends in Buildings Construction arranged by the IEA. The dialogue brought together 35 experts and key stakeholders from across the globe at the Saint Gobain headquarters in Paris. The dialogue was in support of a new IEA project studying the demand of key materials in the context of 2°C ambitions, and the potential for increased material efficiency. All presentations from the day can be downloaded here.

Industrial decarbonisation of the pulp and paper sector: A UK perspective

Read the full article here.


The potential for reducing industrial energy demand and ‘greenhouse gas’ (GHG) emissions in the Pulp and Paper sector (hereinafter denoted as the paper industry) has been evaluated within a United Kingdom (UK) context, although the lessons learned are applicable across much of the industrialised world. This sector gives rise to about 6% of UK industrial GHG emissions resulting principally from fuel use (including those indirectly emitted because of electricity use). It can be characterised as being heterogeneous with a diverse range of product outputs (including banknotes, books, magazines, newspapers and packaging, such as corrugated paper and board), and sits roughly on the boundary between energy-intensive (EI) and non-energy-intensive (NEI) industrial sectors. This novel assessment was conducted in the context of the historical development of the paper sector, as well as its contemporary industrial structure. Some 70% of recovered or recycled fibre is employed to make paper products in the UK. Fuel use in combined heat and power (CHP) plant has been modelled in terms of so-called ‘auto-generation’. Special care was taken not to ‘double count’ auto-generation and grid decarbonisation; so that the relative contributions of each have been accounted for separately. Most of the electricity generated via steam boilers or CHP is used within the sector, with only a small amount exported. Currently-available technologies will lead to further, short-term energy and GHG emissions savings in paper mills, but the prospects for the commercial exploitation of innovative technologies by mid-21st century is speculative. The possible role of bioenergy as a fuel resource going forward has also been appraised. Finally, a set of low-carbon UK ‘technology roadmaps’ for the paper sector out to 2050 have been developed and evaluated, based on various alternative scenarios. These yield transition pathways that represent forward projections which match short-term and long-term (2050) targets with specific technological solutions to help meet the key energy saving and decarbonisation goals. The content of these roadmaps were built up on the basis of the improvement potentials associated with different processes employed in the paper industry. Under a Reasonable Action scenario, the total GHG emissions from the sector are likely to fall over the period 1990-2050 by almost exactly an 80%; coincidentally matching GHG reduction targets established for the UK economy as a whole. However, the findings of this study indicate that the attainment of a significant decline in GHG emissions over the long-term will depends critically on the adoption of a small number of key technologies [e.g., energy efficiency and heat recovery techniques, bioenergy (with and without CHP), and the electrification of heat], alongside a decarbonisation of the electricity supply. The present roadmaps help identify the steps needed to be undertaken by developers, policy makers and other stakeholders in order to ensure the decarbonisation of the UK paper sector.

Jannik Giesekam presents at UK Green Building Council Masterclass

On the 28th June CIEMAP researcher Jannik Giesekam presented at a UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) Masterclass in London. The masterclass followed the launch of a new UK-GBC guidance document ‘Embodied Carbon: developing a client brief’, for which Jannik acted as a Technical Reviewer. The guidance sets out how construction clients can embed embodied carbon assessment on their projects, and includes detailed guidance on supporting tools, standards and methodologies. The masterclass focussed on helping a range of construction clients put the guidance into practice. Previous CIE-MAP research has demonstrated that reducing embodied carbon is an essential part of meeting the construction sector’s carbon reduction targets.

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

Christine Cole and Alex Gnanapragasam have written an article for The Conversation about Community Repair:


A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

The number of electrical appliances and devices in UK households tripled between 1970 and 2002 and it continues to grow – the average household now owns around 41 electrical items. Many products develop simple faults which are challenging for the amateur to repair, resulting in replacement products being purchased and equipment with small faults being disposed of. For many consumers, repair is now only an option for high cost items such as cars and personal computers, or for household fixtures such as heating systems – washing machines, kettles and toasters are easier just to throw away.

Down but not out? Shutterstock/vilax

The ability to repair goods is key to maintaining the functionality of products and delaying, or avoiding, their disposal. The government recognises the value of repair as part of a waste reduction strategy, and the Welsh and Scottish governments have also signalled strong backing for practical action that encourages a circular economy. In Sweden, there are plans to reduce the VAT on repair work from 25% to 12%, and in France there are penalties for “planned obsolescence”, intentionally producing goods with short lives. Germany and Spain have also been looking at the issue.

Restarts and pop-ups

Community-based organisations are providing innovative approaches to the repair of a variety of products including clothing and electrical equipment. Access to information, spare parts and tools is available on websites like iFixit, which publishes guides that teach people “how to fix almost anything” and invites users to create new ones.

The London-based Restart Project is a community-based repair initiative that runs a forum for motivated individuals to attempt repairs that extend the working lifetime of a variety of items, concentrating primarily on electrical and electronic equipment, and promotes awareness of recycling routes for items they can’t fix.

Repair coaches. Shutterstock

Restart also arranges pop-up events, where members of the public can take along broken electrical items and attempt to repair them with some support. Restart do not charge a membership fee, and admission to the events they organise is also free. Their aim is simply to enable repair to help extend the lifetime of electrical and electronic equipment and reduce the number of these items that become waste. Restart’s volunteers act as “repair coaches”.

They are also social gatherings, so even if repairs are unsuccessful, participants are still happy to go along and have a go.

Restart also acts as an education tool: through a variety of media channels they distribute information and raise awareness about the environmental impacts of end-of-life products and signpost those with unsuccessful repairs to recycling schemes. Some local authorities have also shown support for these initiatives.

Extending the network

Despite the good work being done, the repair network is complex and fragmented – there could be more of them, more widely located, and better known to consumers. Some consumers lack the skills, knowledge or confidence to attempt repairs, even when the resources are available. In a recent study conducted in partnership with The Restart Project, we asked participants at pop-up repair events about their previous experiences of repair. We also asked them about their recycling behaviours and their experiences at the pop-ups. Over half the participants had previously attempted to repair items on their own with different levels of success.

Confidence appears to play an important role in willingness to attempt repairs. It’s often easy to learn how to repair and purchase the tools and parts online, but the compact design of electricals and electronics often makes it an unforgiving task. Pop-up repair events offer a supportive environment in which you can receive help and support completing repairs, building your confidence.

Participants also described a lack of trust in commercial repair services with nearly half of the participants unable to name a repairer they trusted. Several mentioned that the perceived cost of a repair would discourage them from using local, paid-for repair services.

Informal community-based enterprises such as The Restart Project appear ideally placed to develop local networks and respond to the gap in trust.

We also identified that participants were less likely to recycle their electrical items than other waste such as paper, glass and tins. This is a problem because electrical items contain materials which require large energy inputs to create and transport. Nevertheless, pop-up repair events may be able to encourage correct disposal of broken and unwanted household items by telling people how best to dispose of them.

Pop-up repair events, such as those organised by Restart, have the potential to reinvigorate our enthusiasm for repair.

CIE-MAP invites applications for six visiting fellowships

The Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP) invites applications for six visiting fellowships to join the centre for a period of 1 to 4 months. CIE-MAP will pay for the visitor’s travel and accommodation during this time. Recipients are expected to be in residence at one of the four university partners during the period of their award and are encouraged to participate in the activities of the centre.

Visiting fellows are expected to make an active and tangible contribution to the centre during their stay.

CIE-MAP visiting fellowships

These fellowships are designed to engage researchers interested in spending between one and four months working with CIE-MAP on topics that enhance and that are closely related to the centre’s research agenda.  The visiting fellowships can be held any time between January 2017 and March 2018. It is open to researchers at any stage of their career, from post-docs to Professors. Applicants must at the time of the visit be employed in higher education, research, or equivalent organisations.

CIE-MAP will cover travel costs to the UK and accommodation for the duration of the fellowship.  Applicants should provide detailed costs of their proposed trip, and can request funding for travel within the UK – for example to visit researchers at other universities, providing it is fully justified and related to their research.  Each visitor will be expected to spend a minimum of one month at one of the four partner universities, where office space and facilities will be provided at no cost. Visitors should indicate on their application which of the universities they would like to be based at: University of Bath, Cardiff University, University of Leeds, or Nottingham Trent University.

Note that CIE-MAP cannot cover salary costs and that applicants will have to make their own visa arrangements (if required).

As well as focusing on their own work, visitors are required to make an active and tangible contribution to the CIE-MAP centre as part of their stay.   Examples might include: organising and contributing to one or more seminars/workshops; sharing data; developing comparative, collaborative writing and/or research; writing (articles, ‘think pieces’, summaries, chapters) that help develop the CIE-MAP centre’s programme; producing materials (video, web, podcast) that explore and develop key themes and issues; developing engagement with business and policy, etc.  We will expect these contributions to be substantial and be fully realised either within the period of the fellowship, or to an agreed timetable beyond this. A peer-reviewed output would be an expected outcome of the fellowship.

To apply for a visiting fellowship

Please provide a three page proposal which describes what you would do during your visit; explain exactly how your work relates to the CIE-MAP centre’s intellectual agenda, identify links with one or more projects within CIE-MAP, and specify the intended contribution and output/writing/events etc. to be achieved during your visit.  Full details of the centre and of those involved can be found at http://ciemap.ac.uk/

Within the three pages, you need to specify the timing and duration of your proposed stay, and provide a detailed budget including travel costs to the UK. You can find costs of second class rail travel within the UK at Nation Rail Enquiries.

In addition, you should provide a current CV.

Applications should be sent to Robin Styles (r.styles@leeds.ac.uk) before the deadline of Friday 7 October 2016.

Applications will be reviewed and you should expect a response by Friday 4 November 2016.

To discuss these fellowship opportunities, or for more information, please contact Robin.