My research is on management approaches necessary to build a circular economy that conserves raw materials while meeting the needs of people today and of future generations. One focus is on making commodity materials like steel, aluminum and concrete more sustainable -- and ensuring responsible access to "critical" materials like tungsten and tantalum that are crucial for a low-carbon society.
My approaches and methods draw on social science, business scholarship, and engineering methods:
- Life-cycle assessment (LCA) -- including LCIA methodologies for assessing mineral resources
- Sustainability standards and management systems -- ISO 14001, 26000, 45001, 50001 and private voluntary private standards on responsible sourcing
- Auditing, assurance and certification -- including blockchain approaches to assurance
Subjects of current focus include:
- Responsible sourcing -- with a focus on metals and minerals
- Sustainable materials and material efficiency -- steel, aluminum, copper, etc.
- Conflict minerals -- tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold
- Critical raw materials -- see https://suscritmat.eu/ and https://eitrawmaterials.eu/project/irtc/
- Circular economy -- with a focus on strategies for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling
- Healthcare sustainability -- a new and exciting area for industrial ecology