Special Issue "How Much Environment Do Humans Need?+20 - Reviewing Progress in Material Intensity Analysis for Transition towards Sustainable Resource Management"


A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bringezu

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Döppersberg 19 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Website: http://www.wupperinst.org/en/contact/cont/index.html?kontakt_id=26
Fax: +49 202 2492 138
Interests: socio-industrial metabolism and land use; indicators for sustainability (macro-meso-micro); resource efficient supply and infrastructure systems; analysis of drivers of resource use (biomass and minerals) and future scenarios for sustainable resource management
Guest Editor
Dr. Friedrich Hinterberger

Garnisongasse 7/17, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Website: http://seri.at/people/friedrich-hinterberger/
Fax: +43 1 969 0728 17
Interests: sustainable; ecological economics; happiness and policy; evolution
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Research Group 4: Sustainable Production and Consumption, Doeppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Website: http://wupperinst.org/kontakt/details/wi/c/s/cd/20/
Phone: +492022492130
Interests: resource efficiency; sustainability assessment along the product chain; sustainability potentials of players and need areas; governance-structures for production and consumption; transition approaches and models of change - sustainability transition of production and consumption patterns, education for sustainable development and resource efficiency

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 1994 the pilot publication of Friedrich "Bio" Schmidt-Bleek occurred in German "How much environment do humans need? MIPS - the measure for ecological economic activities". It introduced the idea of the Material Input per Service unit as a generic measure to help decoupling material resource use from economic growth and final utility for human well-being. Meanwhile the method of material intensity analysis has entered the analytical toolbox of life-cycle wide assessments of products, services, value chains and infrastructures and the categories of MIPS have become part of official statistics monitoring material productivity and consumption of whole economies and industrial sectors. Resource efficiency has reached top-level of policy agendas and the implementation of programs for resource efficiency will depend on the further use and development of the concept, indicators and derivate measures.

20 years later the special issue shall provide a review of the state-of-the-art of material intensity analysis, its integration into broader analytical frameworks, and the application and use of the MIPS concept at different scales from product, company and household level up to whole economies -, both with regard to retrospective accounting and monitoring as well as with regard to prospective design of products and the development of policies for countries and regions. Also its impact and outcome for transition and upscaling processes for a sustainable resource use and management. This includes behavioural studies and action research approaches as well as communication and education concepts that foster low resource lifestyles and SCP-systems.

Abstracts for papers are invited on the following issues:

  • The MIPS idea, FactorX, the concept of decoupling and the multi-level use of material intensity analysis
  • Application of material intensity analysis in economy-wide MFA
  • Resource extended Input-Output-Analysis and material flow analysis of regions
  • Material intensity analysis of companies, households, products and services
  • Material intensity analysis for sectors such as food, housing, waste management and recycling, energy supply systems, mobility or the finance business
  • The use of material intensity analysis in management, policy and evaluation
  • Modelling of future material flows, material and resource productivity
  • Societal trends and resource use: future design of low resource economies, sustainable lifestyles
  • Product and Service design with MIPS
  • Concepts, approaches and materials for teaching on low resource use
  • Communication and consulting – from micro to macro
  • Standardisation and statistics of material flow accounting
  • Factor what? Debating targets for sustainable resource use

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bringezu
Dr. Friedrich Hinterberger
Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2012

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Displaying article 1-17
p. 25-54
Resources 2015, 4(1), 25-54; doi:10.3390/resources4010025
Received: 9 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
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p. 575-598
by , , , , , , ,  and
Resources 2014, 3(3), 575-598; doi:10.3390/resources3030575
Received: 14 June 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 24 September 2014
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p. 544-574
by , , , , ,  and
Resources 2014, 3(3), 544-574; doi:10.3390/resources3030544
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 9 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
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p. 488-515
by ,  and
Resources 2014, 3(3), 488-515; doi:10.3390/resources3030488
Received: 10 August 2013 / Revised: 3 February 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
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p. 319-339
by , ,  and
Resources 2014, 3(1), 319-339; doi:10.3390/resources3010319
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 8 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
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p. 106-122
Resources 2014, 3(1), 106-122; doi:10.3390/resources3010106
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 7 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
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p. 1-30
by , , , ,  and
Resources 2014, 3(1), 1-30; doi:10.3390/resources3010001
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 17 January 2014
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p. 628-650
Resources 2013, 2(4), 628-650; doi:10.3390/resources2040628
Received: 13 October 2013 / Revised: 30 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
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p. 608-627
by  and
Resources 2013, 2(4), 608-627; doi:10.3390/resources2040608
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
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p. 581-607
by  and
Resources 2013, 2(4), 581-607; doi:10.3390/resources2040581
Received: 2 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
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p. 504-516
by ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(4), 504-516; doi:10.3390/resources2040504
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 September 2013 / Published: 7 October 2013
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p. 385-405
by , ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 385-405; doi:10.3390/resources2030385
Received: 5 May 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 12 August 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
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p. 358-369
by  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 358-369; doi:10.3390/resources2030358
Received: 28 June 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 3 September 2013
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p. 303-334
by ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 303-334; doi:10.3390/resources2030303
Received: 16 June 2013 / Revised: 12 August 2013 / Accepted: 14 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
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p. 270-285
by , , ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 270-285; doi:10.3390/resources2030270
Received: 9 July 2013 / Revised: 4 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
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p. 184-203
by , ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 184-203; doi:10.3390/resources2030184
Received: 9 May 2013 / Revised: 26 June 2013 / Accepted: 9 July 2013 / Published: 30 July 2013
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p. 151-166
by , ,  and
Resources 2013, 2(3), 151-166; doi:10.3390/resources2030151
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 10 June 2013 / Accepted: 25 June 2013 / Published: 8 July 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Do Current Life Cycle Assessment Methods Support a Transition towards Sustainable Resource Management? - A Critical Reflection on Current State of the art LCA Methods and their Applicability to the Building Sector
Authors: Holger Wallbaum1, Edwin Zea-Escamilla2, Alexander Passer3 and Johannes Wall3
Affiliations: 1        Chalmers, Sweden; E-Mail: holger.wallbaum@chalmers.se
2        ETHZ, Switzerland; E-Mail: edwin.zea@ibi.baug.ethz.ch
3        TU Graz, Austria; E-Mail: alexander.passer@tugraz.at (A.P.); johannes.wall@tugraz.at (J.W.)
Abstract: Life Cycle Management thinking becomes more and more state of the art in industry, politics, public authorities and science. Nevertheless the practical application and implementation is still far behind the necessities for a responsible life cycle management of resources on a global level. The construction sector, especially in the industrialised countries, demands a significant share of resources to provide construction materials for buildings and infrastructures. The construction, operation, maintenance and deconstruction of the built environment contribute to around 25-40 per cent of the overall national resource usage.
Life Cycle Assessment is often seen as a sophisticated method to provide a reliable basis for planners, decision makers, and scientist to reduce overall environmental impacts including the depletion of natural resource. The paper reviews several evaluation methods for LCA, making emphasis on how they assess the use of non-energetic resources in the built environment. Three levels of study were defined, construction material, building component, and buildings all within the European context. The software SIMApro was used to develop the LCA models and all the datasets were taken from the database EcoInvent V2.2.
The main finding of the research is that only few evaluation methods directly assess the use of non-energetic resources. Moreover, it was found that the overall results, on those evaluation methods, were not significantly influenced by the impact categories assessing the use of resources and therefore it was considered that they do not provide a reliable basis for assessment or decision making. Furthermore, the paper stressed the need for further development of evaluation methods for LCA that consider the depletion of resources at its core. Finally, the paper highlights the most important finding in from of key points for further development.

Title: VDI Framework Guideline on Resource Efficiency: An Attempt for Standardisation
Authors: Wilfried Denz 1, Jan Kosmol2, Holger Rohn3 , Mario Schmidt4 and Franz-Georg Simon 5,*
Affiliations: 1 Wilfried Denz Umweltberatung, Gasselstiege 231, 48159 Münster, Germany; E-Mail: w.denz@muenster.de
2 UBA Federal Environment Agency, Wörlitzer Platz 1, D-04229 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany; E-Mail: jan.kosmol@uba.de
3 Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany; E-Mail: holger.rohn@wupperinst.org
4 Institute for Industrial Ecology, Pforzheim University, Tiefenbronner Str. 65, D-75175 Pforzheim, Germany; E-Mail: mario.schmidt@hs-pforzheim.de
5 BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research, 12200 Berlin, Germany; E-Mail: franz-georg.simon@bam.de
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: franz-georg.simon@bam.de (F. G. S.); Tel.: +49-30-8104 1430; Fax: +49-30-8104 1437.
Abstract: In 2011 the German Association of Engineers VDI started its work on a set of guidelines on resource efficiency. The guidelines provide a framework defining resource efficiency and considerations for the producing industry. They include a special guideline for SMEs as well as guidelines on methodologies to evaluate resource use indicators such as the cumulative raw material demand of products and production systems. VDI guidelines have a high acceptance in industry and therefore are important for mainstreaming resource efficiency in this target area. Besides the methodological framework the guidelines describe strategies and measures to increase resource efficiency and to enable industry and service providers to identify potentials for improvements. The full article will present an overview on the methodology and content of these guidelines and discuss their impact.
Keywords: resource efficiency; life cycle thinking; SME, guidelines, products and production systems, standardization; resource indicators; cumulative raw material demand

Title: User-integrated Innovation: Sustainable Living Labs
Authors: Christa Liedtke1, Carolin Baedeker1*, Holger Rohn1, Marco Hasselkuß1 and Viktor Grinewitschus2
Affiliations: 1 Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy, Germany; E-Mails: christa.liedtke@wupperinst.org; holger.rohn@trifolium.org; marco.hasselkuss@wupperinst.org
2 Hochschule Ruhr West, University of Applied Sciences, Germany; E-Mail: viktor.grinewitschus@hs-ruhrwest.de
* Corresponding author; Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany; Tel.: +49 (0)202 2492 – 119 (244 - secretary); E-Mail: carolin.baedeker@wupperinst.org
Abstract: The paper will introduce the Sustainable LivingLab methodology for the user-integrated development of sustainable product-service-innovations. This methodology is employed in the European project SusLabNWE in the pilot field of heating in private households. By integrating users and further actors along value chains, developed products are expected to show less rebound effects, induced by wrong application, and a higher chance of diffusion. Sustainability potentials are evaluated throughout the interactive process, thus potentially contributing to more resource efficient and less material intensive production and consumption. The theoretical concept, the Three-Phases model of research (Insight Research, Prototyping, Field testing) and first results will be presented.
Keywords: Sustainable Living Lab; sustainability innovations; user integrated innovation; resource efficiency; interactive value chains

Title: Resource Intensity Analysis at Micro Level Focusing Value Chains: Measuring Dematerialization at Product, Company and Household Level
Authors: Katrin Bienge*, Kathrin Greiff, Christa Liedtke, Holger Rohn, Jens Teubler and Klaus Wiesen
Affiliations: Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
*Corresponding author; Tel: +49 (0)202 2492 – 191; E-Mail: Katrin.Bienge@wupperinst.org
Abstract: About 20 years ago, the concept Material Input per Service Unit (MIPS) was invented as a measure for ecologic economic activities by quantifying the material input of products and services (Schmidt-Bleek 1994). Since then, environmental assessment has been changing: There are extensive databases for life cycle inventories and various assessment methods (JRC 2010). Based on 20 years of practical experience in material intensity analysis (Lettenmeier et al. 2009, Ritthoff et al. 2002) the paper shows the current state of research: In the first part it is described, how MIPS covers sustainability strategies and linkages to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as well as to material flow analysis (MFA) are pointed out. In the second part propositions are made how existing challenges by calculating the material intensity of goods and services can be faced, giving practical examples.
Keywords: Material Input per Service unit; resource efficiency; life cycle analysis; material intensity analysis; dematerialization

Title: Factor X Residential Area in Inden/Germany
Authors: Klaus Dosch*, Regina Dechering (Community of Inden) and Marcel Martin (RWE Power AG)
Affiliation: Aachener Stiftung Kathy Beys, Germany; E-Mail: dosch@aachener-stiftung.de
* Corresponding author.
Abstract: In Inden, a community between Aachen and Düren in the westernmost parts of Germany a residential area with approx. 50 housing units is being optimized regarding its resource consumption for the entire lifecycle.
First a benchmark has been defined, which reflects the local construction habits and the actual federal energy savings directive (EnEV 2009). Then the material consumption for different type of constructions, materials, energy-standards and heating-concepts are analysed and optimized.
This leads to a recommendation for a standard concerning construction, materials and energy supply for the buildings. This standard will be assured by contractual agreement with the buyers of the land.

Title: Shifting the Burden Abroad: An Easy Way to Increase Resource Productivity
Author: Aldo Femia and Renato Marra Campanale*
Affiliations: E-Mails: renato.marra@isprambiente.it; femia@istat.it
Abstract: Resource productivity (RP) – the European Commission’s headline indicator for monitoring sustainable consumption and production – has increased in Italy faster than that of both labour productivity (LP) and energy productivity since 1980. This apparently shows that Italy is moving in the right direction, in line with the need to assign to the goal of a drastic increase in RP priority level, even higher than that currently attached to the increase of LP. However, a more in-depth and extensive analysis regarding the changes in the country’s industrial structure is necessary before conclusions can be drawn. Besides considering the RP indicator, on the one hand we disaggregate material consumption (i.e. the denominator of the RP) into its components and on the other hand we broaden the analysis to overall material requirements, including unused domestic extraction and indirect material flows associated with international trade. These analyses demonstrate that Italy’s apparent success in increasing RP is largely due to a shift abroad of the material flows and connected ecological burden.

Title: Trends of the Housing Sector’s Material Stocks and Flows in Wuxi, China
Author: Mathieu Saurat 1,* and Chun Xia-Bauer 2
Affiliation: 1 Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Research Group ‘Material Flows and Resource Management’, Döppersberg 19,  42103 Wuppertal; E-Mails: chun.xia@wupperinst.org (C. X.-B.)
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: mathieu.saurat@wupperinst.org; Tel.: +49-202-2492-132; Fax: +49-202-2492-138.
Abstract: Construction of housing space represents by far the largest share of China’s new building stock. Residential buildings are also up to an order of magnitude more material intensive than commercial or industrial buildings. The growing building stock therefore accounts for a high demand for construction materials today and will yield large quantities of demolition waste in the future. The key driving forces behind these developments are population, per capita floor area, buildings’ lifetime, and material intensities. This article presents a stock dynamics model of urban and rural residential dwellings in Wuxi coupled with a material flow analysis model for construction materials and their associated environmental rucksacks. It provides a status quo analysis and  projections based on a baseline scenario (current policies and technologies) and an alternative scenario (driven by extra low carbon policies and technologies).
Keywords: MIPS; MFA; building stock; dynamic modeling; China

Title: Identifying Key Sectors for a Transition Towards Low Resource Economy
Authors: S. Koskela1, T. Mattila1, R. Antikainen1 and I. Mäenpää2
Affiliations: 1        Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Helsinki, Finland; E-Mail: sirkka.koskela@ymparisto.fi
2              Oulu University, Thule Institute, Oulu, Finland
Abstract: Environmentally extended input-output analysis (EEIO) allows a detailed assessment of the pathways of material consumption and environmental impacts of industries. Using the Finnish EEIO-model (ENVIMAT), we identified the economic key sectors with the highest throughflow of embodied material use and total material intensities in Finland. The changes in the material inputs in these sectors would have considerable multiplier effects for the economy as a whole. Stakeholders from the sectors estimated the short term material efficiency potential to be about 2-20 %. This is insufficient for a systematic change towards a low resource economy, which is urgently needed.

Title: Roadmap to a Society and Lifestyles of Low Resource Consumption - New Perspectives on Sustainable Transformation Processes on the Level of Households
Authors: Michael Lettenmeier1,2, Christa Liedtke1 and Holger Rohn1,3
Affiliations: 1 Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy, Germany; E-Mails: michael.lettenmeier@wupperinst.org (M.L.); christa.liedtke@wupperinst.org (C.L.); holger.rohn@wupperinst.org (H.R.)
2 D-mat ltd., Finland
3 Trifolium – Beratungsgesellschaft mbH, Döppersberg 19, 42106 Wuppertal, Germany
*Corresponding authors; Tel.: +49 (0)202 2492 – (244 - secretary)
Abstract: An increasing number of consumers in cities, especially in western societies, can be characterised by a medium or high resource consumption profile. Since these lifestyles are becoming more popular in growing cities worldwide, resource efficiency is an issue of increasing importance on different levels. This study identifies a resource cap target and analyses possibilities and necessities of future lifestyle developments. Respective targets and approaches are discussed for different areas of demand, taking into account the importance of the participation of stakeholders when designing solution strategies. Social innovations are necessary, supported by technological developments, but rebound effects need to be prevented in this context.
Keywords: low resources lifestyles; households; resource consumption; resource cap; 8t society

Title: Implications of Onshore Wind Energy Development in China on Natural Resources
Authors: Chun Xia-Bauer*, Mathieu Saurat and Dominic Wittmer
Affiliation: E-Mails: chun.xia@wupperinst.org (C.X.-B.) ; mathieu.saurat@wupperinst.org (M.S.) ; dominic.wittmer@wupperinst.org (D.W.)
Abstract: Wind energy is recognized as an effective way of climate change mitigation. It has developed rapidly in the last decade in China and will play an increasingly important role in the Chinese energy profile. However, its rapid growth is associated with a high demand for natural resources. This paper addresses the middle-term lifecycle-wide material requirements of onshore wind energy development in China by: 1) exploring the development of total abiotic material use of wind energy installation; 2) assessing the metal demand pressure of wind energy development, since the start of large scale development in China to 2020.

Title: Resource Efficiency and Beyond: The Role of Efficiency and other Measures in Sustainable Development
Authors: Robin Harder *, Mikael Mangold and Pernilla Hagbert
Affiliation: E-Mails: robin.harder@chalmers.se; mikael.mangold@chalmers.se; pernilla.hagbert@chalmers.se
Abstract: Sustainable development targets are often reduced to environmental improvement along with economic growth. Decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation—through increased resource efficiency—is commonly suggested as a viable path to meet these targets. This paper first outlines potential pitfalls in the pursuit of sustainable development, such as: presumptions regarding human nature (e.g., homo economicus), the role of technology (e.g., belief in technological fixes), the type of economic system (e.g., perceived necessity of continuous economic growth), rebound effects, tokenism, sub-optimisation (e.g., energy efficiency), or lock-in of current technology and lifestyles. The paper then discusses the role of resource efficiency in mitigating these pitfalls and debates how resource efficiency can be complemented by other measures to further promote sustainable resource use and bring about an equitable and sustainable future.

Title: The Optimisation of Materials and Energy Recovery from Urban Wastes: The LCA as a Support Tool for the Spatial Planning of Waste Management Infrastructure
Author: Simonetta Tunesi
Affiliation: Strategic Environmental Consulting, Sustainability, Natural Resources Protection, Waste Management, Via Modena 1 - 40139 Bologna, Italy; E-Mail: s.tunesi@ucl.ac.uk; Tel.: +39 3355621864
Abstract: The Life Cycle Assessment was applied, using WRATE the software developed by the England and Wales Environmental Agency, to two italian waste management (WM) systems, with the aim of optimising the integration between the recovery of the material obtained from segregated collection and the recovery of energy, either from residual wastes and the organic fractions. Different energy strategies were compared, taking into consideration local constraints: pre-treatment of residual wastes decreased the efficiency of energy recovery compared to direct thermal treatment of residual wastes, while the co-incineration of refused derived fuel in cement kiln could improve some system performance.
A sensivity analysis was also performed to test the effectiveness of the italian requirement of achieving 65% of segregated collection by 2020: in the systems analysed, increasing from 55 to 65% did not necessarily improve the environmental performance of the integrated WM system with respect to global warming, resources consumption (including fossil fuels) and acidification.
These results proved the importance of including in the environmental analysis the whole integrated WM system, this requires: choosing the proper spatial dimension; analyzing a flux of wastes sufficient to define and compare complete infrastructural systems; interfacing the system outcomes with the possibilities offered by the regional area of material and energy recovery thus estimating fluxes directed to long distance transport.
The results of this LCA applications and of an extensive literature review are presented to describe how this approach is aimed at providing a complete management framework which can be used to support planning of the WM infrastructural development and its interaction with the surrounding industrial system at a regional scale.
Keywords:  material and energy recovery optimisation;  LCA of waste management; WM infrastructural development

Title: Material Intensity as Reference Framework for Waste Infrastructure Planning
Author: Hennig Wilts
Affiliation: Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy, Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany; Tel.: +49 (0)202 2492 – 280; E-Mail: henningwi@wupperinst.org
Abstract: The EU commission has set the target to develop Europe into a “recycling society” and to turn waste more and more into resources. Nevertheless the regulatory framework and waste infrastructure planning are still mainly weight based and do not take into account material intensity or recovery potentials of specific waste streams.
Based on case studies for WEEE, ELV and plastics this paper analyses how the current framework constitutes obstacles for a transition towards sustainable resource management. In the following it describes potentials and challenges for collection and recovery systems aiming at resource efficiency alongside the value chain.  Especially the comparison of the different waste streams and their socio-technical regimes (market and governance structures, infrastructures) highlights the need for integrated indicators in order to avoid problem shifting and cherry picking.
Keywords: waste management; resource recovery; circular economy; infrastructure planning

Title: No Signs of Consumer Modesty or of Ressource Conscious in The Construction Sector  – Housing In Germany 1980/2010/2050
Authors: Clemens Deilmann1 and Summary Karin Gruhler2
Affiliation: 1          Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1, 01217 Dresden, Germany; E-Mail: C.Deilmann@ioer.de
2 Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1, 01217 Dresden, Germany; E-Mail:  K.Gruhler@ioer.de
Abstract: Thirty Years of Ecology talk don‘t show up in the material input statistics. Building materials with high embodied energy hold still the same proportion - in the case of non-residential buildings an even growing proportion - of the material mix. Houses tend to be larger, the floorspace consumption is still growing. At the same time vacancies occure in societies or regions with stable or decreasing No. of households. In these special cases, each new constructed dwelling stands for a vacant dwelling somewhere else. Therefore the material consumption per inhabitant has been growing and will continue to grow until 2050 – in Germany from 105 tons to 120 tons per person until 2050 (housing without the technical infrastructure).
Housing stock in the two parts of Germany still differ in age and building structure and in occupied floor area. After 1990, population figures in East Germany fell while building activity thrived, leading to growing housing vacancies. In West Germany, by contrast, construction proceeded in step with the high increase in the population (Banse, Effenberger 2006). Up to 2050, according to the Federal Statistical Office, the population can be expected to develop very differently in East and West Germany. This will affect the housing stock and hence the resources and land utilization provoked by changes and adjustments (rehabilitation, demolition, development).
With the aid of the “material flow model” developed at the IOER, material flows and land consumption caused by demographic change are defined and shown in the form of scenarios. The studies discussed show the quantities of material incorporated into East and West German housing stock, the material flows needed to adapt housing stock to demographic developments, and whether these developments enhance the resource efficiency of housing material stock.
Keywords: demographic change; housing stock; demolition and development; material stock and material flows; resource efficiency

Title: Sustainable Resource Management in Policymaking – From “ProgRess” to an Overall International Policy Mix
Authors: Christopher Manstein, Matthias Koller, Harry Lehmann, Kora Kristof , et al.
Affiliations: E-Mails: christopher.manstein@uba.de; matthias.koller@uba.de; harry.lehmann@uba.de; kora.kristof@uba.de
Abstract: The current use of natural resources is already far exceeding the Earth's regenerative capacity. A responsible and efficient use of natural resources will therefore be a key competence for any society seeking to ensure its future viability. Improving resource efficiency can limit environmental damage, strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy, create new jobs and secure long-term employment.
On 29 February 2012, the Federal Cabinet adopted the German Resource Efficiency Programme (“ProgRess”). This paper provides an overview of the key elements of “ProgRess” and its implementation processes. The paper explores political activities on the European and international level and describes the necessary policy mix necessary for an ongoing successful integration of the topic Sustainable resource management in policymaking, science and society.

Last update: 28 March 2014

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