SS3: Lifestyles and Education

Time: Monday, 12 October 2015 (12:30 – 14:20)

Location: Schwarzhorn

Session Chair: Dr. Harald Mattenberger, tba, Austria

Session Chair: Dr. Lewis Akenji, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan

Presentations

Developing a low-resource society – frameworks and scenarios towards a decoupled future

Holger Berg1, Liedtke Christa1, Maria Schnurr2, Holger Glockner2, Michael Schipperges3, Ullrich Lorenz4, Katrin Bienge1

1Wuppertal Institute, Germany; 2Z_punkt GmbH The Foresight Company; 3Sociodimensions Institute for Socio-cultural Research; 4Umweltbundesamt

Resource-focused research on sustainability has revealed insights into the techno-economic aspects of living and working. Approaches that develop concrete pictures of societies in the future that are ready, able and willing to live and strive in a low-resource way are as a rule much scarcer or very abstract. However, without such approaches low-resource practices are not likely to be established on a broader scheme. On the other hand, a society that has made low resource-living a central institution will not only cater for less resource use, it will also make it a positive, socially accepted and beneficial experience for its members. Creating solutions for this challenge is thus mandatory for successful long-term policies towards new, low-resource systems. The question however remains what such a future society may look like. Our contribution will address this issue by outlining a concept for a low-resource society and by introducing five explorative scenarios that delineate such a society. Firstly, the term low-resource society is presented in more detail. From this onset, five scenarios have been developed in workshops with experts and pioneers of low-resource living. These scenarios are distinct with respect to underlying assumptions on basic values and drivers, leading to very diverse narratives. They will be presented in brief and discussed in order to illustrate potential pathways and derive needs for further research.

 

Ecological lifestyles: Benefits of second-hand products sold through Internet platforms

Martin Lehmann, Conrad Leuthold

myclimate, Switzerland

Environmental-friendly lifestyles are becoming more and more popular throughout society. Part of this trend is also connected to the second-hand articles being resold over various Internet platforms. In order to figure out what this could mean in terms of reductions in CO2e-emissions, tutti.ch asked myclimate to perform a study on the environmental benefits of purchasing second-hand products compared to the production of new goods. On the basis of the assessment of 41 products in the 8 product categories furniture, toys, sport articles, small household appliances, large household appliances, electronics, baby/child and clothes/accessories, the total CO2e-emissions saved by the reuse of all the sold products over one year are calculated. The data inventory includes the raw materials, the production processes, as well as the packaging and transport of new products. The Swiss database ecoinvent was applied for background data. In most cases, producer information, end-of-life studies and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) served as primary data source. The received total GHG-emissions for the 5 most sold products in each category were extrapolated to the overall emissions of each category, with a safety margin of 33%. The results show that more than 50% of the CO2e-emissions are caused by the category furniture, followed by electronics. The entire GHG-emissions saved by the tutti platform in a year add up to approximately 47’600 t CO2e. The study concludes that the saved CO2e-emissions by the tutti Internet platform are remarkable. The avoided purchase of new products not only helps climate protection, but also resource and energy efficiency, as less natural resources and energy carriers are being consumed for the production and transport. A lifestyle that fosters the use of a product up to its functional end-of-life therefore makes a lot of sense and does not affect the standard of living.

 

Learning Factory – Transfering Resource Efficiency in Practical Implementation – An example of flood coolant in machining processes

Beatrix F. Becker1, Alessio Campitelli1, Mihir Joshi2, Liselotte Schebek1, Eberhard Abele2

1TU Darmstadt, Institute IWAR, Chair of Material Flow Management and Resource Economy; 2TU Darmstadt, The Institute of Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools

Decoupling of resource use and economic growth is an aim with future global relevance (UNEP 2011) and also one target within the German sustainability strategy. Further, in the German resource efficiency programme (ProgRess) (FME 2012) one focus lies on the resource efficiency within production processes. However, its implementation in companies is slightly rare (UBA 2014). With the idea of a learning factory, resource efficiency is transferred in practical implementation with the focus on flood coolant use in machining processes. The focus of the research project ‘TU Darmstadt learning factory–resource efficiency in production–pilot project-machining processes‘ lies in two areas of research: First, the term ‘resource efficiency’ is not clearly defined. Second, companies do not know, how resource efficiency can be assessed, and which technological measures have an efficiency influence of the use of resources. The methodological approach includes three main parts: Assessment of resource efficiency, identification of technological processes and development of training concept. As selected processes drilling and milling processes with different tool sizes are chosen. Further the materials cast, steel and aluminium are investigated. For assessing resource efficiency an assessment matrix is developed. This matrix includes assessment parameters – economic, natural resources and practicability. These are described by defined indicators. Relevant control variables and seven technological approaches are identified. For the training concept ‘Learning Factory of Resource Efficiency’ three main parts are appointed: 1) Theoretical knowledge of resource efficiency as well as state of the art (of) technology development 2) Practical implementation of machining processes and own measurements 3) Evaluation of measurements and determination of resource efficiency potential Using the assessment matrix for evaluation of possible technological measures provides comprehensive information on resource efficiency. This knowledge is implemented directly in the practice by training courses offered for companies. This concept displays a new approach for an extended application of resource efficiency in production processes.

 

Households resource consumption: impact and potentials of social practices

Carolin Baedeker1, Kathrin Britta Greiff1, Christa Liedtke1,2, Jens Teubler1, Klaus Wiesen1, Monika Wirges1

1Wuppertal Insitute, Germany; 2Folkwang University of the Arts

The transformation of society to sustainable consumption and production patterns is a future key challenge. Households play a major role in this transformation process. This paper describes results of a resource consumption analysis at household level, conducted in Germany as part of the Living Lab research in the EU-project SuslabNWE (Sustainable Living Lab North West Europe, www.suslabnwe.eu). The project explores social and technological innovations in the field of heating and develops strategies for sustainable household consumption. To analyse the resource consumption of households a methodology for assessing households’ material consumption and consumption patterns was derived. The analysis intended to identify the impact of social practices on resource consumption. Therefore, households’ (n=16) natural resource consumption was calculated in different fields of activity. The direct consumption of resources was taken into account as well as their life-cycle wide impact. Finally, it was possible to compile consumption roadmaps together with seven of the involved households. In the course of the road mapping process, the households developed different options in a short, medium or long term frame collaboratively with researchers to reduce resource consumption in the fields of actions. Results show the applicability of the methodology, possibilities for further development, the transformational potential for changing behaviour as well as for product-service design (PSS). For example, it is possible to derive a less detailed questionnaire for assessing households’ resource consumption that can be used and integrated in an online tool, developed for calculating individual resource consumption (www.ressourcen-rechner.de). The resulting resource profiles show that next to technical options there is a high potential for structural changes and social innovations materialized in low resource PSS. The road mapping process showed the high motivation of the households for changing social practices and the need for adapted PSS and infrastructures.

 

Future Households: Smaller Footprint, Better Life

Michael Lettenmeier1,2,3, Senja Laakso4, Viivi Toivio1,4

1D-mat ltd., Finland; 2Aalto University, Finland; 3Wuppertal Institute, Germany; 4Helsinki University, Finland

The paper presents a project on how to achieve future household consumption already today. The project calculated lifestyle material footprint, developed household-specific roadmaps for halving material footprints by 2030, tested relevant measures towards a one-planet material footprint of 8 tonnes per person in a year, and developed mainstreaming options in co-operation between service and infrastructure providers and households. We concentrate on the material footprint as an aggre-gated indicator for the overall use of material resources. According to transition methodologies, the methodology was extended from just measuring household resource use to developing roadmaps, conducting experiments, as well as learning and upscaling, all of which contribute to the Transition-Enabling Cycle. The results of the experimental phase were encouraging. During that period, the households decreased their material footprint already close to the 2030 targets in their roadmaps. The participants thus showed that it is possible to achieve a significant dematerialisation of con-sumption by relatively few changes in everyday living already today. However, a part of the services used in the experiments had to be simulated because they were not yet available in the area where the project took place. Thus, achieving a one-planet level of resource use also requires systemic changes. While changing their lifestyles in the experimental phase of the project, several households noticed that their quality of life even increased. As a conclusion, we state that relevant and positive changes in household behaviour and activities can be achieved even soon. Thus there is no need for waiting until systemic changes have happened but households can make powerful improvements immediately, thus encouraging other actors to offer more sustainable solutions on the market.