Strategic Resource Management based on tools
Life Cycle Thinking
Applied Sustainability Science
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for the systematic evaluation of the environmental, economical and social aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle. LCA provides an adequate instrument for decision support on complex systems (UNEP
The Phases of Life Cycle Assessment
Goal and Scope Definition, the product(s) or service(s) to be assessed are defined, a functional basis for comparison is chosen and the required level of detail is defined;
Inventory Analysis of extractions and emissions, the energy and raw materials used, and emissions to the atmosphere, water and land, are quantified for each process, then combined in the process flow chart and related to the functional basis;
Impact Assessment, the effects of the resource use and emissions generated are grouped and quantified into a limited number of impact categories which may then be weighted for importance;
Interpretation, the results are reported in the most informative way possible and the need and opportunities to reduce the impact of the product(s) or service(s) on the environment are systematically evaluated.
The Phases of Material Flow Analysis
Identification of the key (material flow related) issues.
System analysis (selection of the relevant matter, processes, indicator substances (elements), and system boundaries).
Quantification of mass flows of matter and indicator substances.
Identification of weak points in the system.
Development and evaluation of scenarios and schematic representation, interpretation of the results.
Material Flow Analysis
Material Flow Analysis (MFA) is a quantitative procedure for determining the flow of materials and energy through the economy. It uses Input/Output methodologies, including both material and economic information. It is an accounting system that captures the mass balances in an economy, where inputs (extractions + imports) equal outputs (consumptions + exports + accumulation + wastes), and thus is based on the laws of Thermodynamic (Source, The Sustainable Scale Project)
Circular Economy Strategies
A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles (Source, Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
The Principles of Circular Economy
Principle 1: Preserve and enhance natural capital ...by controlling finite stocks and balancing renewable resource flows.
This starts by dematerialising utility—delivering utility virtually, whenever possible. When resources are needed, the circular system selects them wisely and chooses technologies and processes that use renewable or better-performing resources, where possible. A circular economy also enhances natural capital by encouraging flows of nutrients within the system and creating the conditions for regeneration of, for example, soil.
Principle 2: Optimise resource yields ...by circulating products, components, and materials at the highest utility at all times in both technical and biological cycles.
This means designing for remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling to keep components and materials circulating in and contributing to the economy.
Circular systems use tighter, inner loops whenever they preserve more energy and other value, such as embedded labour. These systems also keep product loop speed low by extending product life and optimising reuse. Sharing in turn increases product utilisation. Circular systems also maximise use of end-of-use bio-based materials, extracting valuable bio-chemical feedstocks and cascading them into different, increasingly low-grade applications.
Principle 3: Foster system effectiveness ...by revealing and designing out negative externalities.
This includes reducing damage to human utility, such as food, mobility, shelter, education, health, and entertainment, and managing externalities, such as land use, air, water and noise pollution, release of toxic substances, and climate change.