Sustainability Summit Freiburg

Freiburg, Germany

October 19-20, 2015

Event Website 

Granta is attending this event.

Founded by Professor Mike Ashby in 1994, Granta today supports over 1,000 universities and colleges worldwide with CES EduPack, the world’s leading resources to support and enhance materials teaching in engineering, design, and sustainability. Granta also coordinates the Materials Education Symposia conferences. Prof. Mike Ashby will be speaking at this event during the Sustainable Materials session.

Presentation: Analyzing proposed sustainable developments – a materials perspective

Mike Ashby and Tatiana Vakhitova
Engineering Department, Cambridge, and Granta Design, Cambridge

Prof. Mike Ashby

Session 2: Sustainable Materials
Monday, October 19

A “sustainable development” is one that contributes in an equitable way to human welfare, does so in a way that minimizes the drain on natural resources, complies with the rule of law and is financially viable. Many academic, civil, commercial and legislative projects claim to do this, and many of them are materials-related – examples are: developing biopolymers to replace those derived from oil, imposing carbon taxes, promoting bamboo as a building material and subsidizing domestic PV. We refer to them as “articulations” of sustainable development. But how are they to be assessed? There is no simple, “right” answer to questions of sustainable development – instead, there is a thoughtful, well-researched response that recognizes the concerns of stakeholders, the conflicting priorities and the economic, legal and social constraints of a technology as well as its environmental legacy. This talk will describe a framework for exploring sustainable developments from a Materials perspective. The aim is not to define a single metric or index of sustainability; rather it is to improve the quality of discussion and debate on projects that claim to be sustainable. It makes use of a structured methodology supported by CES EduPack Sustainability Edition, that provides some of the necessary inputs. The method and database will be illustrated by applying them to a contemporary development.

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