After many years of work, Julia Stegemann and I published a brand new textbook on waste management. It considers waste from a life cycle perspective and a variety of disciplinary angles. It helps students to understand the drivers of waste, the environmental, social, and economic impacts of waste generation, and best practices and technologies for waste management, recycling, energy recovery and disposal. The book is published with open access, which means the PDF can be downloaded for free, or you can buy the hardcopy at a reasonable price. Please find the book here or through any major bookstore.
This analysis, by a large international author team led by Lulu Song, shows that recycling can deliver substantial emission reductions, but not enough to meet climate targets. Instead, we have to radically decarbonize production and consumption or simply consume less. Whilst the article focuses on China, the same patterns are likely to be valid in other countries and globally. See here the article. See also here for a summary reflection on the findings.
Image: Astrid Westvang.
The Beyond the Buzzwords project explains popular terms related to sustainability. The project is run by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY). I worked with the project to break down the term “circular economy”. The page is now available here.
In this post, Stijn van Ewijk writes about the environmental impact of academic conference travel, options for reducing emissions, and priorities for post-COVID conferencing.
The Journal of Industrial Ecology published our study on the potential for reducing conference travel emissions. We studied the effect of a shift to land transport, a carbon tax, exclusion of long‐distance flyers, multi‐site conferencing, and a virtual conference. Here’s what we found: Read More
(This article first appeared on the UCL ISR website)
Authors from the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) and the UCL Energy Institute (EI) have published a paper in the journal Nature Communications titled ‘Diffusion of flue gas desulfurization reveals barriers and opportunities for carbon capture and storage’.
(The original article was published here by The Conversation.)
Every year, we buy 30 billion tonnes of stuff, from pizza boxes to family homes. We throw out or demolish 13 billion tonnes of it as waste – about 2 tonnes per person. A third of what we discard was bought the same year. The extraction, use and discarding of so much stuff creates a large environmental burden, from the depletion of minerals to the destruction of rainforests.