Presentations at the 14th Biennial International Conference on EcoBalance

The 14th Biennial International Conference on EcoBalance is hosted by the Institute of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan. The theme of the conference is “Materializing Sustainability Visions: Fostering Partnerships with Life Cycle Thinking” and due to COVID-19 restrictions, it happens as a hybrid-online conference.

Talk by Jan Streeck: Socio-economic material stocks and their role in reducing resource use in the United States of America

Socio-economic material stocks of infrastructure, buildings and machinery are the basis of production and consumption and an important determinant of current and future resource use. One of the largest consumers of materials worldwide are the United States of America (USA) with a substantial influence on global trends. To assess the role of stocks for long-term resource use in this affluent industrialized economy, we here present results of a study on economy-wide resource use, accumulation of material stocks and resulting end-of-life outflows from 1870 to 2017. Based on the dynamics of stocks and resulting end-of-life (EoL) outflows from stocks, we investigate waste management and circularity considerations and present two prospective scenarios until 2100 to highlight the long-term effect of material stock dynamics for future resource use.

Talk by Doris Virág MA MSc: “The materiality of mobility. A case study for the city of Vienna, Austria”

Urban material stocks of mobility infrastructure and vehicles require substantial amounts of materials and energy for maintenance and operation in order to provide mobility services, thereby causing considerable emissions. We investigate resource demand and emissions linked to personal mobility in Vienna and compare a number of stock-flow-service indicators for four different mobility modes. Policy measures planned by the City of Vienna are discussed in relation to the findings.

Talk by Dr. Dominik Wiedenhofer: “A novel approach for mapping material stocks of buildings and infrastructure from remote-sensing data”

Spatial patterns of buildings and infrastructures play an important role in determining societies’ resource use patterns and are hence under scrutiny when pondering strategies to foster sustainability. Currently, two types of data are used to map building and infrastructure stocks: (1) night-time lights and (2) cadastral data, which both have important limitations. We here present results of an alternative approach that derives high-resolution material stock maps from a stock-driven modelling using freely available Earth Observation data derived from newest generation European Sentinel satellites, combined with information from OpenStreetMap and material intensity factors per m2 respectively m3 of infrastructures and buildings.