Sustainable Materials: With Both Eyes Open

Julian Allwood, Cambridge University, Low Carbon Materials Processing Group

Monday, March 4, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

One third of the world's carbon emissions are emitted by industry. Most industrial emissions relate to producing materials. Steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminium are the most important contributors. The industries that make materials are energy-intensive, so they have always been motivated to be efficient and have now reached a fantastic level of performance.

However, the world's demand for materials is growing, and likely to double by 2050. By default, industrial emissions will also double, unless we do something differently. This talk sets out an agenda for making a big difference to global emissions by requiring less new material. Based on a five-year project with eight researchers and a consortium of 20 large industrial partners, we have gathered evidence on six material efficiency options which allow us to provide the same final services (such as housing or transport) with significantly less material. The talk will present a series of case studies to demonstrate how these strategies can be applied in practice, and explore the actions by government, businesses and consumers that would bring them about.

Bref Bio:

Julian Allwood leads the Low Carbon and Materials Processing group at the University of Cambridge, having previously worked for Alcoa and as a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Imperial College. The group explores the technologies and systems of energy, material and resource efficiency, largely related to metals. He is a vice Chairman of the International Academy of Production Engineering, joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology and a Lead Author for the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, with a focus on industry. He currently holds an £1.4m five-year EPSRC Leadership Fellowship and his recent book “Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open” is available online at www.withbotheyesopen.com . From 2013, Julian will be Director of the UK Indemand Centre, a national research centre into opportunities to reduce end-use energy and material demand in the industries that supply UK needs. The Centre spans four universities, and is funded by £6.2m from EPSRC with £5m of industrial commitment.

Recommended Readings:

With Both Eyes Open