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Reference Number EP/N02351X/1
Title Material demand reduction
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 10%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 60%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 5%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr JM Allwood
No email address given
University of Cambridge
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 August 2015
End Date 31 December 2018
Duration 41 months
Total Grant Value £1,737,979
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region East of England
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr JM Allwood , Engineering, University of Cambridge (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Mr J Cullen , Engineering, University of Cambridge (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract One third of the world's energy is used in industry to make products - the buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, capital equipment and household goods that sustain our lifestyles. Most of this energy is needed in the early stages of production to convert raw materials, such as iron ore or trees, into stock materials like steel plates or reels of paper and because these materials are sold cheaply, but use a lot of energy, they are already made extremely efficiently. Therefore, the key materials with which we create modern lifestyles - steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminium in particular - are the main 'carriers' of industrial energy, and if we want to make a big reduction in industrial energy use, we need to reduce our demand for these materials. In the UK, our recent history has led to closure of much of our capacity to make these materials, and although this has led to reductions in emissions occurring on UK territory, in reality our consumption of materials has grown, and the world's use of energy and emission of greenhouse gases has risen as our needs are met through imports.This project therefore aims to enable delivery of significant reductions in the use of both energy and energy-intensive materials in the Industries that supply the UK's physical needs. To achieve this, we need to understand the operation and performance of the whole material and energy system of UK industry; we need to understand better how options for physical change interact with the preferences of corporate clients and individual purchasers; we need to look for opportunities to innovate in products, processes and business models to use less material while serving the same need; and we need to identify the policy, business triggers that would lead to significant change while supporting UK prosperity.The investigators have already developed broad-ranging work aiming to justify and evaluate the technical opportunity for material demand reduction, in close collaboration with industry and government partners: the WellMet2050 project, funded as an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship, opened the door to recognising Material Efficiency as a strategy for saving energy and reducing emissions, and established several strategies for reducing total material demand. The book "Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open" arising form this project set out these strategies, and has been widely picked up: 20,000 individuals looked at the free online version of the book in its first year, and a second edition of the print version is being released in 2015. This new project aims to build on this foundation and work towards implementation of material demand reduction through a parallel programme of framing understanding and sector case-studies.The proposal has around 5m of committed gearing, including cash commitments to support around 20 PhD students mainly to connect the work to the specific interests of consortium partners. About half of these students have nowstarted, and their work is set into context within the work programme described in the proposal. The project is also strongly supported by several government departments and a wide network of other organisations whose interests overlap. Communication is a core part of the activity of the project, to ensure that on-going and completed work is shared as widely as possible, in the most useful form with all relevant stakeholders. Communication mechanisms include on-going development of an organic website, publication of well-designed prospectuses and reports, development of short films for specific users, speeches, seminars, an International Visiting Fellows programme, and two invite only two-day workshops.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/01/16