Matching Items (6)

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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

Description

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little overlap of the two, and to others, they are perceived as being interchangeable. This paper evaluates Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Circular Economy (CE) individually and in comparison to see how truly different these frameworks are from one another. This comparison is then extended into a theoretical walk-through of an SMM treatment of concrete pavement in contrast with a CE treatment. With concrete being a ubiquitous in the world's buildings and roads, as well as being a major constituent of Construction & Demolition waste generated, its analysis is applicable to a significant portion of the world's material flow. The ultimate test of differentiation between SMM and CE would ask: 1) If SMM principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with CE principles? and conversely 2) If CE principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with SMM principles? Using concrete pavement as an example, this paper seeks to determine whether or not Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are simply different roads leading to the same destination.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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GreenLight Solutions Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio

Description

The following Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio was created with the intention of being duplicated and utilized by Arizona State University (ASU) students to build their own Portfolio and to hel

The following Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio was created with the intention of being duplicated and utilized by Arizona State University (ASU) students to build their own Portfolio and to help prepare them for success after graduation. Student Consultants in GreenLight Solutions (GLS) are in a unique position to prepare themselves to create value for organizations while in school, and then continue to after graduation. When I enrolled in the School of Sustainability as an undergraduate transfer student I heard some constructive criticism from graduates of the school. Those students shared that while they had attained a great theoretical understanding of the science of sustainability, they lacked the ability to apply their knowledge in a practical way. They were struggling with finding work in their field because they could not communicate to employers how their knowledge was useful. They did not know how to apply their sustainability knowledge to create value for an organization. I did not want to have that same problem when I graduated. Enter GreenLight Solutions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Conversations with the Circular Consumer

Description

The circular economy is viewed as a solution to many of the environmental and social ills that the linear economy has exacerbated. Whether it is through refill solutions or redesigning

The circular economy is viewed as a solution to many of the environmental and social ills that the linear economy has exacerbated. Whether it is through refill solutions or redesigning a cardboard shipping container, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands are rethinking the way their products are delivered to consumers through business model innovations that promote circularity. The consumer plays the important, often overlooked, role of enabler within circular business models. This study aims to increase broader understanding of what motivates circular consumption of fast-moving consumer goods while analyzing the relationship between motivators and the behaviors required to participate. Semi-structured interviews provide insights from consumers who are currently purchasing household cleansers from brands that operate with a circular business model. Results from this study highlight a group of consumers that are distinguished by their common desire to reduce their personal consumption of plastics. There is clear indication that these consumers are in fact seeking out ways to consume more sustainably. A significant subset of this group expresses concern regarding ingredients used in the products. Health concerns for themselves, their family, or a pet are driving a desire to understand product ingredients. There is evidence to indicate that the concern for personal consumption of plastics is being driven by information distributed via social media and supported by targeted advertisements for brands that address this concern.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Addressing the Limitations of Life Cycle Assessments for Circular Economy Packaging Innovations with the Kaiteki Innovation Framework

Description

ABSTRACT

Historically, Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) guided companies to make better decisions to improve the environmental impacts of their products. However, as new Circular Economy (CE) tools emerge, the usefulness of

ABSTRACT

Historically, Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) guided companies to make better decisions to improve the environmental impacts of their products. However, as new Circular Economy (CE) tools emerge, the usefulness of LCA in assessing linear products grow more and more obsolete. Research Question: How do LCA-based tools account for reuse/multiple life cycles of products verses CE-based tools?

The Kaiteki Innovation Framework (KIF) was used to address the question of circularity of two packaging materials using an Environmental LCA to populate its 12 CE dimensions. Any gaps were evaluated with 2 LCA- based and 2 CE-based tools to see which could address the leftover CE dimensions.

Results showed that to complete the KIF template, LCA data required one of the LCA-based tools: Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) and both CE-based tools: Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) and Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) to supplement gaps in the KIF. The LCA addressed 5 of the KIF dimensions: Innovation Category Name, Description, GHG Impact, Other Environmental Impacts, and Value Chain Position. 3 analytical tools addressed 5 more:: Effect on Circularity, Social Impacts, Enabling Technologies, Tier 2 and 3 Requirements, and Value Chain Synergies. None of the tools could address the KIF Dimensions: State of Development or Scale Requirements. All in all, the KIF required both LCA-based and CE-based tools to cover social and socio-economic impacts from a cradle-to-cradle perspective with multiple circular loops in mind. These results can help in the research and development of innovative, circular products that can lead to a more environmentally preferred future.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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A framework for supporting organizational transition processes towards sustainable energy systems

Description

Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated

Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated broad income and wealth inequities are retaining over 2 billion people in poverty. Adding to this, fossil fuel combustion is impacting the environment across spatial and temporal scales and the cost of energy is outpacing all other variable costs for most industries. With 60% of world energy delivered in 2008 consumed by the commercial and industrial sector, the fragmented and disparate energy-related decision making within organizations are largely responsible for the inefficient and impacting use of energy resources. The global transition towards sustainable development will require the collective efforts of national, regional, and local governments, institutions, the private sector, and a well-informed public. The leadership role in this transition could be provided by private and public sector organizations, by way of sustainability-oriented organizations, cultures, and infrastructure. The diversity in literature exemplifies the developing nature of sustainability science, with most sustainability assessment approaches and frameworks lacking transformational characteristics, tending to focus on analytical methods. In general, some shortfalls in sustainability assessment processes include lack of: * thorough stakeholder participation in systems and stakeholder mapping, * participatory envisioning of future sustainable states, * normative aggregation of results to provide an overall measure of sustainability, and * influence within strategic decision-making processes. Specific to energy sustainability assessments, while some authors aggregate results to provide overall sustainability scores, assessments have focused solely on energy supply scenarios, while including the deficits discussed above. This paper presents a framework for supporting organizational transition processes towards sustainable energy systems, using systems and stakeholder mapping, participatory envisioning, and sustainability assessment to prepare the development of transition strategies towards realizing long-term energy sustainability. The energy system at Arizona State University's Tempe campus (ASU) in 2008 was used as a baseline to evaluate the sustainability of the current system. From interviews and participatory workshops, energy system stakeholders provided information to map the current system and measure its performance. Utilizing operationalized principles of energy sustainability, stakeholders envisioned a future sustainable state of the energy system, and then developed strategies to begin transition of the current system to its potential future sustainable state. Key findings include stakeholders recognizing that the current energy system is unsustainable as measured against principles of energy sustainability and an envisioned future sustainable state of the energy system. Also, insufficient governmental stakeholder engagement upstream within the current system could lead to added risk as regulations affect energy supply. Energy demand behavior and consumption patterns are insufficiently understood by current stakeholders, limiting participation and accountability from consumers. In conclusion, although this research study focused on the Tempe campus, ASU could apply this process to other campuses thereby improving overall ASU energy system sustainability. Expanding stakeholder engagement upstream within the energy system and better understanding energy consumption behavior can also improve long-term energy sustainability. Finally, benchmarking ASU's performance against its peer universities could expand the current climate commitment of participants to broader sustainability goals.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Quantifying the Impact of Circular Economy Applied to the Built Environment: A Study of Construction and Demolition Waste to Identify Leverage Points

Description

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs

billions of dollars. New business models that reduce

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs

billions of dollars. New business models that reduce this waste may prove to be financially

beneficial and generally more sustainable. One such model is referred to as the “Circular

Economy” (CE), which promotes the efficient use of materials to minimize waste

generation and raw material consumption. CE is achieved by maximizing the life of

materials and components and by reclaiming the typically wasted value at the end of their

life. This thesis identifies the potential opportunities for using CE in the built environment.

It first calculates the magnitude of C&D waste and its main streams, highlights the top

C&D materials based on weight and value using data from various regions, identifies the

top C&D materials’ current recycling and reuse rates, and finally estimates a potential

financial benefit of $3.7 billion from redirecting C&D waste using the CE concept in the

United States.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019