Next Article in Journal
Factors Affecting the Capital Cost of Prefabrication—A Case Study of China
Next Article in Special Issue
A Study of Lightweight Door Hinges of Commercial Vehicles Using Aluminum Instead of Steel for Sustainable Transportation
Previous Article in Journal
A Framework for Integrating Ecosystem Services into China’s Circular Economy: The Case of Eco-Industrial Parks
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sustainable Materialisation of Responsive Architecture

Material Services with Both Eyes Wide Open

MARETEC, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Universidad Piloto de Colombia, Carrera 9 No. 45A-44, 110231 Bogotá, Colombia
Mining and Industrial Engineering School of Almadén, Universidad de Castilla–La Mancha, Plaza Manuel Meca 1, 13400 Almadén, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1508;
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
Energy has been at the forefront of the sustainable development discourse for quite some time as policymakers, industry heads and society at large have taken progressive steps to cut carbon via renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. Unfortunately, some of these methods have given rise to perverse socio-environmental effects; as materials have been unnecessarily sacrificed, mines and wells have opened and plantations grown, in the name of energy saving. This paper contributes to clean energy-orientated policies and practices by exploring the discipline of sustainable materials. We first review two strategies: energy efficiency linked to materials; and material efficiency, meaning “doing more with less.” We find that, although both contribute significantly, they are hampered by the rebound effect and their focus on “doing less bad” rather than “good”. Furthermore, they do not in themselves evaluate the services and societal wellbeing that materials provide. We then define “material services” and propose a wider strategy that encompasses and enhances the previous two. Under the new strategy, we argue that sustainable materials should be considered as those that do no harm and which optimally, through the services provided, contribute to better sustainable development policies and practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable materials; service efficiency; sustainable development goals; material efficiency; material consumption; material stock; material footprint sustainable materials; service efficiency; sustainable development goals; material efficiency; material consumption; material stock; material footprint
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Carmona, L.G.; Whiting, K.; Carrasco, A.; Sousa, T.; Domingos, T. Material Services with Both Eyes Wide Open. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1508.

AMA Style

Carmona LG, Whiting K, Carrasco A, Sousa T, Domingos T. Material Services with Both Eyes Wide Open. Sustainability. 2017; 9(9):1508.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carmona, Luis G., Kai Whiting, Angeles Carrasco, Tânia Sousa, and Tiago Domingos. 2017. "Material Services with Both Eyes Wide Open" Sustainability 9, no. 9: 1508.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop