Associate Professor & Associate Director, Graduate

Steven B. Young Photo

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Dr. Young is an industrial ecologist supporting the circular economy. He researches sustainable materials and resources using methods including life-cycle assessment (LCA), material flow analysis (MFA), sustainable supply chain management, management systems, and carbon accounting. Current interests include sustainability standards and certification, conflict minerals, and reuse and remanufacturing of products.

Research website:


  • Responsible sourcing of minerals and metals 
  • Life cycle assessment methods for critical materials
  • Sustainability standards and certification of resource commodities
  • Product reuse and remanufacturing in a circular economy 
  • Healthcare sustainability: An industrial ecology approach

Biographical statement

Dr. Steven B. Young is an associate professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise & Development (SEED) at University of Waterloo, Canada. Prof. Young helped form SEED in 2009 and headed the design committee for the university's first LEED-platinum building.

He researches corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability standards and certification, industrial supply-chains and life cycle assessment (LCA). He sits on the International Round Table on Materials Criticality. Widely published in industrial ecology, he holds degrees from University of Alberta and University of Toronto.




Metallurgy and Materials Science, University of Toronto, 1996. Thesis: Assessment of Environmental Life-Cycle Approach for Industrial Materials and Products (PDF)

M.A.Sc. Metallurgy and Materials Science, University of Toronto, 1989
B.A.Sc. Metallurgical Engineering (Coop), University of Alberta, 1987


Boards and affiliations

Graduate students

Current graduate students and alumni are listed on the Waterloo Industrial Ecology Group pages.

Courses taught

Past courses:

Recent Publications

Asccesible via  (ResearchGate and Google Scholar)

Young SB, Fernandes S*, Wood MO. (2019). Jumping the chain: How downstream manufacturers engage with deep suppliers of conflict minerals. Resources, 8(1), 26;

Catton J, Walker S, McInnis P, Fowler M, Fraser R, Young S, Gaffney B. (2019). Design and analysis of the use of re-purposed EV batteries for stationary energy storage in Canada. Batteries. 

Kalverkamp M, Young SB (2019). In support of open-loop supply chains: Expanding the understanding of environmental sustainability in reverse supply chains. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Cimprich A*, Bach V, Helbig C, Thorenz A, Schrijvers D, Sonnemann G, Young SB, Sondregger T, Berger M. (2018). Resource criticality assessment as a complement to environmental life cycle assessment: examining methods for product-level supply risk assessment, Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Mancheri NA, Sprecher B, Deetman S, Young SB, Bleischwitz R, Dong L, Kleijn R, Tukker A. (2018). Resilience in the tantalum supply chain. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 129, 56–69.

Young SB. (2018). “Conflict minerals in Central Africa” in Africa’s Mineral Fortune: The Science and Politics of Sustainability in the Extractive Industries. Ali, Saleem H. Nina Collins and Kathryn Sturman, eds.

Kalverkamp, M., Pehlken, A., Wuest, T., & Young, S. B. (2018). Sustainability of Cascading Product Lifecycles: The Need for Adaptive Management to End-of-Life Supply Chains. In P. Chiabert, A. Bouras, F. Noël, & J. Ríos (Eds.), Product Lifecycle Management to Support Industry 4.0 (Vol. 540, pp. 159–168). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Catton J, Walker SB, McInnis P, Fowler M, Fraser R, Young SB, Gaffney B. (2017).  Comparative safety risk and the use of repurposed EV batteries for stationary energy storage. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Smart Energy Grid Engineering (SEGE).  August 2017, Oshawa, Ontario.

Cimprich A, Karim K, Young SB (2017). Extending the geopolitical supply risk method: material "substitutability" indicators applied to electric vehicles and dental x-ray equipment, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

Cimprich A, Young SB, Helbig C, Gemechu E, Thorenz A, Tuma A, Sonnemann G. (2017) Extension of geopolitical supply risk methodology: characterization model applied to conventional and electric vehicles, Journal of Cleaner Production. 162: 754-763.

Gemechu ED, Sonnemann G, Young SB (2017). Geopolitical-related supply risk assessment as a complement to environmental impact assessment: the case of electric vehicles. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

Pehlken A, Young SB, Chen M (2017). Preface to the Special Edition on “Assessing and managing life cycles of electric vehicles”. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 22:1-3. 

Dias G, Ayer N, Khosla S, Van Acker R, Young SB, Whitney S, Hendricks P. (2016). Life cycle environmental perspectives on the sustainability of Ontario greenhouse tomato production: benchmarking and improvement opportunities. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Helbig C, Gemechu ED, Pillain B, Young SB, Thorenz A, Tuma A, Sonnemann G. (2016). Extending the Geopolitical Supply Risk Indicator: Application of LCSA to the Petrochemical Supply Chain of PAN-based Carbon Fibers. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Moussa HI, Elkamel A, Young SB. (2016). Assessing energy performance of bio-based succinic acid production using LCA. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Weber S, Lynes J, Young SB. (2016). Fashion interest as a driver for consumer textile waste management: Reuse, recycle or disposal. International Journal of Consumer Studies.

Ziemann S, Ketzer D, Young SB, Weil M, Poganietz WR. (2016). Increased lifetime and resource efficiency in electric mobility – linking material flow analysis with system dynamics. Presented at: Rohstoffeffizienz und Rohstoffinnovationen, Nurnberg, Germany, 2016/2. Proceedings: U Teipel and A Reller editors, volume 4, 399 pages, ISBN 978-3-8396-0980-4. 

Young SB. (2015). Responsible sourcing of metals: Certification approaches for conflict minerals and conflict-free metals, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

van Lanen D, Cocking C, Walker SB, Fowler M, Fraser R, Young SB, Ahmadi L, Thai A, Yeung J, Yip A. (2015). Economic and environmental analysis of a green energy hub with energy storage under fixed and variable pricing structures. International Journal for Process Systems Engineering. 

Walker SB, Heymans C, Fowler M, Young SB, Fraser R, van Lanen D. (2015). Incentives for the reuse of electric vehicle batteries for load-shifting in residences. International Journal for Process Systems Engineering.

Walker SB, Young SB, Fowler M. (2015). Repurposing electric vehicle batteries for energy storage to support the smart grid. IEEE Canadian Review. Winter: 20-23.

Curran MA & Young SB. (2014), Critical review: A summary of the current state-of-practice, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

Ahmadi L, Fowler M, Young SB, Fraser RA, Gaffney B, Walker SB. (2014). Energy efficiency of Li-ion battery packs re-used in stationary power applications. Sustainable Energy and Technology and Assessments, 

Heymans C, Walker SB, Young SB, & Fowler M. (2014). Economic analysis of second use electric vehicle batteries for residential energy storage and load-levelling. Energy Policy.

Young SB, Yuan Z, & Dias G. (2014). Prospects for sustainability certification of metals. Metallurgical Research & Technology (formerly “Revue de Métallurgie”). March (6 pages),

Ahmadi L, Yip A, Fowler M, Young SB, & Fraser RA. (2014). Environmental feasibility of re-use of electric vehicle batteries. Sustainable Energy and Technology and Assessments, 6, 64-74.

Young SB, Dias G, & Zhe Y. (2013). Challenges in Sustainability Certification of Metals. Proc. International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies (ISSST), v1.

Macrae R, Cuddeford V, Young SB, & Matsubuchi-Shaw M. (2013). The Food System and Climate Change: An Exploration of Emerging Strategies to Reduce GHG Emissions in Canada. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Young SB & Abbott C. (2013). Developing Compatible Emissions Inventories and Accounting Systems. Chapter 10 in Designing Integration: Regional Cooperation on Climate Change Law & Policy in North America, eds. Neil Craik, Isabel Studer, Debora VanNijnatten. University of Toronto Press, (39 pages).

Young SB. (2013). Book Review. In Journal of Industrial Ecology 17 (2) 344-335.

  • "Minerals, Metals and Sustainability: Meeting Future Material Needs", by William J. Rankin.
  • "Sustainable Materials—with Both Eyes Open: Future Buildings, Vehicles, Products and Equipment—Made Efficiently and Made with Less New Material", by Julian Allwood and John Cullen.

Young SB, & Dias G. (2012, September). Conflict-free minerals supply-chain to electronics. In Electronics Goes Green 2012+(EGG), 2012 (pp. 1-5). Proceedings. ISBN 978-3-8396-0439-7. Available from IEEE at 

Young S, Dias G (2011). LCM of metals supply to electronics: tracking and tracing "conflict minerals". Presentation at LCM 2011 - Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Management, August 28-31, Berlin.

Young SB, Fonseca A, & Dias G (2010). Principles for responsible metals supply to electronics. Social Responsibility Journal, 6(1), 126-142.

Dubreuil A, Young SB, Atherton J, & Gloria TP (2010). Metals recycling maps and allocation procedures in life cycle assessment. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 15(6), 621-634.

Young SB (2003). Life Cycle Assessment in Canada, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 8 (6) 13A, 321-322.

Fava JA, Brady K, Young SB, Saur K (2000). Sustainable Strategies Using Life Cycle Approaches, Environmental Progress. 19(2), 61-64.

Fava JA, Young SB, Veroutis A (1999). Making sustainability accessible: use of sustainability measures, J. Strategic Environmental Management, 15 (3), 175-179.

Rowledge L, Barton R, Brady K, Figge C, Fava J, Saur K, Young SB (1999). Mapping the Journey: Case studies in strategy and action toward sustainable development, Greenleaf Publishing, UK. ISBN 1-874719-25-X.

Young SB, Brady K, Russell AJ (1999). Supply Chain Management: Responding to 'Offsite' Environmental Management. Environmental Issues in Vehicle Design and Manufacturing. SAE Technical Paper Series 2001-01-0306, March 1999.

Curran MA, Young SB (1996). Report from the EPA conference on streamlining LCA, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 1 (1) 57-60. 

Sullivan JL, Young SB (1995). Life cycle analysis/assessment, Advanced Materials & Processes, vol. 147, no. 2, 37-40.

Young SB, Vanderburg WH (1994). Applying environmental life-cycle analysis to materials, JOM, vol. 46, no. 4, 22-27.

Young SB, Vanderburg WH (1992). A materials life cycle framework for preventive engineering, IEEE Technology and Society, Fall, vol. 11, no. 3, 26-31.

Special reports and standards

CSA SPE-14040 (2014). Life cycle assessment of auto parts - Guidelines for conducting LCA of auto parts incorporating weight changes due to material composition, manufacturing technology, or part geometry (58 pages). Development Technical Group (Chair: Steven B. Young). Toronto: CSA Group. ISBN 978-1-77139-178-8.

GHGm (2008). Social and Environmental Responsibility in Metals Supply to the Electronic Industry. Guelph, Canada: Produced for the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). June 20, 2008. 116 pages.

  • Research report by S.B. Young, G. Dias, A. Fonseca, M.S. O'Keefe
  • Available at EICC.

Five Winds International (2001). Eco-efficiency and Materials: Foundation Paper. 88 pages. Toronto: International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME). ​ISBN 1-895720-34-6.

  • Research report by Steven B. Young, Kevin Brady, James Fava, Konrad Saur 
  • Available at
University of Waterloo

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