This theme takes a whole-systems perspective to measuring and embedding sustainability in decision-making. In particular, we use methods from industrial ecology to understand the full environmental footprint of our products and activities. This allows us to predict what choices will lead to more sustainable outcomes in practice. Understanding the environmental footprint of our activities is essential to avoid “burden shifting”, where one type of environmental impact is reduced but another increased.
- apply our methods to real-world problems to develop sustainable products, through collaboration with partners across the Institute and beyond
- continually improve industrial ecology methods to make them more accessible, robust, and actionable; for example, improving how we deal with uncertainty and building tools for better data visualisation
- use our findings to inform policy, legislation and industrial practice
We work in a variety of sectors including energy, construction, manufacturing and petrochemicals.
Keywords: industrial ecology, life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, techno-economic assessment, carbon footprinting, science-based carbon targets