A framework for Sustainable Materials Management

JOM: the journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (Impact Factor: 1.76). 01/2006; 58(8):15-22. DOI: 10.1007/s11837-006-0047-3


Achieving global sustainability will require a decoupling of material consumption from economic value creation. While industrialized
societies have achieved gains in resource efficiency and waste recycling, total material through-put continues to rise. Environmental
pressures will only be exacerbated as the world's developing economies increase their consumption rates. This paper describes
an integrated framework for sustainable materials management that will help to address these critical challenges from a systems

Download full-text


Available from: Joseph Fiksel, Jun 07, 2015
  • Source
    • "Sustainability is a term that encompasses a broad range of goals. In recent years, a focus has emerged on identifying ways of increasing sustainability [10]. Examples include studies of sustainable materials for buildings in specific cities [2], materials selection for developing sustainable products [20] or automotive applications [7]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An issue in the application of nano-enabled products is how can we evaluate sustainable solutions to current sys-tem problems based on performance criteria? This work describes the application of an Input–Process–Output (IPO) model as a framework for a life-cycle analysis approach to identify performance metrics and criteria for evaluating the application of nanomaterials to improve the sustainability of a system. A case study is presented describing a scenario whereby a nano-enabled biocidal paint is considered for a remediation effort to reduce growth of dark molds and bacteria on refrigerated warehouses. The framework is applied to support identifica-tion of the energy-consuming steps (such as increased refrigeration energy burden, cleaning and repainting), selection of performance metrics for evaluating consumption, and determination of thresholds to measure sustainability outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
  • Source
    • "In the scientific literature, the environment has already been the subject of study and modeling from different scales. In his study about the management of a supply chain, Fiksel (2006) considers an environment composed of independent systems (ecological, social, and industrial) that are related through material flows. In his previous works about sustainable business systems (Bakshi and Fiksel 2003; Fiksel 2003), the environment is instead represented as a hierarchical nested system (figure 2a), where a system is embedded or contained in a larger system and where the system itself contains smaller systems. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Models of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) might help us transform our production systems by fostering the emergence of sustainable EIPs since such models have the potential to support the decision-making processes of cooperative companies that participate and to decrease operational uncertainties. In this article, a conceptual framework for modeling the operation of EIPs is presented. The framework is underpinned by complex adaptive systems theory, industrial ecology, and an analysis of the experiences of existing EIPs. The proposed framework draws on the observed strengths of two types of industrial symbiosis models—planned eco-industrial parks (PEIPs) and EIPs that developed through self-organizing symbiosis (SOS)—as well as their observed weaknesses and the features of complex adaptive systems. From this analysis, five key properties to be modeled are deduced: functionality, reliability, life span, theoretical knowledge, and adaptability. It is proposed that the properties of functionality and theoretical knowledge are determined by the goals of the EIP and its member companies, while the property of adaptability is determined by the understanding that the companies in an EIP have of the environment surrounding the EIP, while the properties of reliability and life span are determined by the internal and external relationships of the companies that make up an EIP.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Industrial Ecology
  • Source
    • "One example of a systems approach to sustainability is the Triple Value (3V) Model, which I first developed for OECD as part of the Sustainable Materials Management initiative (Fiksel, 2006). This conceptual framework, based on the ''stock and flow'' concept, helps decision makers to better understand the intricate, dynamic linkages among environmental media, human health, ecology, and economic activities. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Environmental challenges are mounting, as the rapid pace of economic development threatens the availability of ecosystem services. Achieving sustainability in our highly-connected global economy will necessitate systems thinking to fully understand the implications of new policies and practices and to avoid unintended consequences. The Triple Value Model, first developed for OECD, is a framework for systems thinking that explicitly defines the linkages and flows of value among three major categories of systems—industrial, societal, and environmental systems. Moreover, using this framework it is possible to construct dynamic models that enable integrated assessment of the costs and benefits of proposed interventions. In the area of sustainable materials management, for example, systems thinking suggests a strategy of “dematerialization” that can be pursued using a variety of regulatory and voluntary approaches. Caterpillar is one company that has successfully used this strategy as a basis for its worldwide remanufacturing business.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Environmental Development
Show more