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Towards a More Sustainable Use of Scarce Metals: A Review of Intervention Options along the Metals Life Cycle

Bleischwitz, R; Wäger, PA; Lang, DJ; Wittmer, D; Hagelüken, C; (2012) Towards a More Sustainable Use of Scarce Metals: A Review of Intervention Options along the Metals Life Cycle. Gaia , 21 (4) 300 - 309. Green open access

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Abstract

In the past few decades, geochemically scarce metals have become increasingly relevant for emerging technologies in domains such as energy supply and storage, information and communication, lighting or transportation, which are regarded as cornerstones in the transition towards a sustainable post-fossil society. Accordingly, the supply risks of scarce metals and possible interventions towards their more sustainable use have been subject to an intense debate in recent studies. In this article, we integrate proposed intervention options into a generic life cycle framework, taking into account issues related to knowledge provision and to the institutional setting. As a result, we obtain a landscape of intervention fields that will have to be further specified to more specific intervention profiles for scarce metals or metals families. The envisioned profiles are expected to have the potential to reduce action contingency and to contribute to meeting the sustainability claims often associated with emerging technologies.

Type: Article
Title: Towards a More Sustainable Use of Scarce Metals: A Review of Intervention Options along the Metals Life Cycle
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/oekom/gai...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2012 P.A.Wäger et al.; licensee oekom verlag. This is an article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: critical metals, life cycle management, non-renewable resources, recovery, resource efficiency, substitution
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1406338
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