Category Archives: Material Cycle

Launching the prototype of an Industrial Ecology Data Inventory

By | 17th October 2018

Re-using data and results from other peoples’ research is crucial to consistent and cumulative research, yet it is also often a frustrating experience. Many raw data and results are not available, and those that are available are often hidden in pdfs or books and need to be manually extracted. The access to research data in… Read More »

Joint seminar with Vered Blass and Weiqian Chen

By | 30th September 2018

The August edition of the ‘Freiburg Talks on Environment and Society’ featured a combined talk & discussion on Measuring the Physical Well-Being in China by In-Use Product Stocks, by Dr. Weiqiang Chen from the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, China, and Using Market Data to Assess the Distribution of Environmental Impacts… Read More »

Seminar “Mining and Industrial Ecology” with Stephen Northey

By | 20th February 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 4-5 p.m. Herderbau, R200. The mining industry provides many of the raw materials that enable our modern society to function. The demand for mined products is expected to increase substantially. As a result, there is considerable concern that the detrimental impacts that are commonly associated with mining activities may grow into the… Read More »

The Circular Economy: Breakthrough or Distraction?

By | 15th December 2017

Our material footprint is expanding (Wiedmann et al., 2015), in-use stocks are growing (Müller et al., 2013), and so are greenhouse gas emissions from material production, like cement (Andrew, 2017). The rollout of renewable energy and efficient technology hinges on ample supply of a vast array of materials and chemical elements (Graedel et al., 2013),… Read More »

Launching of the CircularSankey web application

By | 11th December 2017

Sankey diagrams are an important visualisation tool but drawing them is a tedious job. There are a number of both freeware and payware tools out there that do the drawing for you but I found none of them convincing or worth paying for. I want a tool that is not too difficult to use saves… Read More »

Growth of in-use stocks: Central obstacle to closing material cycles

By | 13th November 2017

Recycling, re-use, and remanufacturing are central sustainable development strategies. In most cases, they save both: energy and primary resources. There are currently four main indicators to measure the performance of a recycling/re-use/re-manufacturing loop: Costs. In many cases, recycling is not economic, which mostly explains the tremendously high loss rates for many metals (Graedel et al.,… Read More »

The lifetime of materials in the technosphere

By | 29th October 2017

We often hear the claim that metals can be recycled indefinitely often, without loss of quality.*) Unfortunately, this claim is not true and the myth of perfect and indefinite recycling needs to be busted. The reasons are that a) our waste management industries cannot perfectly separate the different metal fractions from the waste streams, so… Read More »

Wanted: Lead Indicators for the Circular Economy in Organizations

By | 22nd October 2017

The circular economy now has a guiding standard for its implementation in organizations. It is called BS 8001:2017 ”Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – Guide” and was recently launched by The British Standards Institution (BSI, 2017a, 2017b). After having read it, I am amazed by the level of ambition… Read More »

Wie Nachhaltig ist die FreiburgCup?

By | 17th June 2017

Im November 2016 hat die Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung Freiburg GmbH (ASF) die FreiburgCup als Alternative zu den herkömmlichen Kaffee-To-Go Einwegbechern aus Pappe eingeführt. Ziel der FreiburgCup ist es, das Abfallaufkommen durch Einwegbecher in der Freiburger Innenstadt zu verringern. Die FreiburgCup ist ein wiederverwendbarer Plastikbecher für heiße To-Go-Getränke, für den 1,00 € Pfand verlangt wird und… Read More »

Young researcher seminar on Material Flow Analysis and sustainable material cycles

By | 13th June 2017

on June 12 and 13th, IEF hosted a 1 1/2 day workshop on Material Flow Analysis and sustainable material cycles. The target group were young researchers from the wider region who  work on or just started working on systainable material cycles. The meeting had 13 participants from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and… Read More »