SS15: Technological innovation, business and finance

Time: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 (12:00 – 13:50)

Location: Schwarzhorn

Session Chair: Prof. Helga Weisz, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany
Session Chair: tbd


Exploring the potential of e-mobility to improve resource efficiency through scenario building

Teresa Domenech1, Marc Dijk2, Sara Evangelisti1, Carla Tagliaferri1, Paul Ekins1, Paola Lettieri1

1University College London, United Kingdom; 2Maastricht University, The Netherlands

The transport sector is the second largest emitter of GHG emissions in the EU and about two thirds of the emissions are generated from road transport. More importantly, while emissions from other sectors have shown a consistent decreasing trend, GHG emissions from transport have continued to rise and were 20.5% above 1990 levels in 2012, despite important improvements in vehicle efficiency. The electrification of the car float using vehicles running on plug-in electricity for their primary energy or e-mobility, has been considered a central option to improve the environmental efficiency of the transport sector and a key element to achieve the required Transport White Paper target of 60% decrease of GHG emissions by 2050. Although important innovations have been made in recent years, the requirements for e-mobility and also its implications are not always well understood. This papers uses a combination of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and scenario modeling to explore the energy and resource implications of e-mobility and helps to understand the contribution of e-mobility to the transport sector GHG reduction target but, more generally, to resource efficiency. Based on a comprehensive LCA, which covers e-cars from cradle to grave – i.e. manufacturing, use and disposal/recycling, the analysis builds three differentiated scenarios of e-mobility for 2050, based on different assumptions with regards to road transport use, e-car share and energy mix, as well as powertrain efficiency and recycling rate. Environmental impacts, energy savings and resource implications are analyzed for each of these scenarios. Based on these findings, the paper draws conclusions about policy mixes to promote resource efficiency in the transport sector and the role of e-mobility in a resource efficient economy.


Are metal resources under severe pressure from E-mobility?

Saskia Ziemann1, Daniel Beat Müller2, Armin Grunwald1, Liselotte Schebek3, Marcel Weil1,4

1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany; 2Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway; 3Fachgebiet Stoffstrommanagement und Ressourcenwirtschaft, Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD), Germany; 4Helmholtz Institute Ulm Electrochemical Energy Storage (HIU), Germany

Electric vehicles (EV) as an alternative to fossil fuel based cars play an important role for a more sustainable development of the transport sector. Traction batteries such as Lithium-ion Batteries (LIB) represent the vital part of this technology and could face a significantly increasing demand bringing about also a growing need for the contained materials. Therefore it should be evaluated if a strong and fast increase in use of battery materials through EV might pose a threat for long-term availability of raw materials required for LIB production. Starting with the example of lithium for EV-batteries we could show that the contribution of recycling to reduce the need for primary resources seems to be lower than often assumed, especially as long as demand is growing fast. Additional challenges for an effective recycling of EV-batteries are the low selectivity of battery recycling technologies complicating the recovery of certain valuable materials and also the dependency of the recycling rate on the efficiency of the whole recycling chain. Furthermore, supply risks could rise through high demand for primary raw materials as the dependency on reserves in critical countries increases when the smaller amount of reserves in stable countries is depleted.


Integrating environmental and resource efficiency issues in the investment decisions of institutional investors

Adrian Ronald Tan, Caroline Delerable, Antoine Helouin

Ernst & Young (EY), France

While it is possible to manage resources more sustainably and use them more efficiently to improve productivity, competitiveness, growth and job creation, this requires a long-term view and significant initial investments. Finance and securing investments in resource efficiency is a fundamental component to achieve sustainable growth and make a shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy. One issue that has been identified as a barrier to investment in resource efficiency is the responsibility of institutional investors through fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty has been traditionally interpreted narrowly as focusing solely on maximising the financial returns often through short- and medium-term investments. Today, 10 years after the first UNEP Financial Initiative’s Freshfields report on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into fiduciary duties and the UN supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative, the inclusion of environmental and resource efficiency issues in the investment decision-making process of institutional investors is not considered a breach of fiduciary duties in the EU or any of its Member States. Although the inclusion of environmental factors into fiduciary duties is compatible with the legal framework, there is still scope to further develop and advance the integration of environmental and resource efficiency issues in the investment decisions of institutional investors. This paper provides an overview of the state of play on the inclusion of environmental and resource efficiency issues into fiduciary duties. It examines the arguments for and against including sustainability issues into the fiduciary duties of institutional investors and proposes actions for how such issues could be more explicitly integrated into investment decision-making to encourage long-term investments to promote resource efficiency and sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.


An innovation promoting sustainable construction in developing countries aims at changing the market EDGE brings together the Construction & Financial Sectors in Central America

Ana Quiros1, Jose Cordero1, Mario Quiros2, Philip Strothman3

1Green Building Council Costa Rica, Costa Rica; 2ALCALA, Association for LCA in Latin America; 3FSLCI, Berlin Germany

Recognizing the importance the construction sector has on the economy as well as the impact it has on resource consumption there have been several evaluating and certification systems that have been developed with the over-arching objective to steer market along the sustainability path. One of such systems with global reach is LEED appears to respond mainly to the higher end of the construction value chain offering the opportunity for the application of more affordable evaluating tools. EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is an IFC World Bank innovation aiming at transforming the market with a simple, user-friendly, free of charge evaluating system. The tool gathers information from more than 100 emerging economies and may be tailored to country specific conditions -climate, prices and construction practices. South Africa, Costa Rica (first in LA), Vietnam, Indonesia, India, have launched or are in the process of launching EDGE country-specific platform. Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Panamá and Honduras have expressed interest.

A recount of LEED application in CA and as it compares to recent EDGE launch in Costa Rica, shows the effectiveness of the new online tool to help developers and homeowners find efficient ways to reduce building´s energy and water consumption, lower the GHG emissions and provides information on investment, pay-off terms and reduction on monthly electricity and water bills all with CF assessment. Furthermore GBC-CR supports green credits and other financial instruments for projects with EDGE certification. Private and public banks are implementing such financial instruments and the availability of this simple yet robust, competitive evaluating system proves its effectiveness..

The experiences show EDGE complements evaluating systems to mainstream resource-efficient buildings in developing countries bringing together governments, green building councils, financial institutions, developers and in general all actors of the construction value chain, for the sought market transformation towards a green economy.


Linking decoupling to social progress and global solidarity

Klara Hajdu

CEEweb for Biodiversity, Hungary

While global resource consumption is steeply on the rise, fuelling just a moderate global economic growth, this has not eliminated social inequalities, hunger or poverty globally. Today we face growing global competition over resources, and rising prices which tend to hurt the poorest, both globally and within nations. Poverty, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, access to modern energy and climate change together with financing are in the centre of political attention at the negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals and a climate change agreement. However, current policy efforts aim to give sectoral responses to these challenges, often also locked in to the same approaches due to historical responsibilities and institutional structures. The ignorance of the deeply underlying drivers behind these problems and the failure to address their relationships endangers though the effective delivery of the common global goals. The European Resource Cap Coalition has set on to examine the challenge of resource overuse with the full consideration of social justice and the equitable sharing of benefits from the use of resources. The Coalition has studied a number of policy tools and advocates for an international energy budget scheme, which is a complex set of tools to apply on national and international levels. This paper analyses why current policy responses cannot effectively deliver social, environmental and economic goals at the same time, focusing specifically on the global dimension of resource allocation, benefit sharing and access to technologies. Then it examines how the energy budget scheme can contribute to delivering an ambitious climate change agreement as well as several Sustainable Development Goals and targets, linking the core features of decoupling to social progress and global solidarity. The energy quota, the secondary market and the revolving fund, the three key components of the scheme are analysed from this perspective.