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Short and long-term mineral resource scarcity impacts for a car manufacturer: The case of electric traction motors
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management. Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, 412 96, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2713-9582
2022 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, p. 132140-132140, article id 132140Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The importance of metals for modern society and future trends puts pressure on companies to handle issues concerning potential mineral resource scarcity (i.e. deficiency in quantity compared with demand). Companies see the need to handle such potential scarcity both in the short-term (is the availability constrained for our current products?) and the long-term (is our current use affecting the availability for future generations?). This study aims to examine the use of complementary methods for short and long-term scarcity in a company context, through a case study on permanent magnet electric traction motors, to provide both empirical and methodological insights. To mitigate long-term scarcity impacts, the results point to copper, neodymium and to some extent dysprosium as priority. These metals contribute to a large share of such impacts both due to themselves and their companion metals. In the short-term, neodymium and dysprosium, which are often regarded as critical (i.e. high supply disruption probability and high vulnerability to supply disruption), were found to be substitutable in the electric motor, reducing their criticality. Instead, the electric motor was most vulnerable to a potential supply disruption of iron and silicon because of no or low substitutability in electrical steel. Methodologically, these perhaps unexpected results, demonstrate that criticality requires a more context-specific assessment than often applied, especially regarding substitutability. By using complementary methods, decision-making about potential mineral resource scarcity impacts in company contexts could become more comprehensive and distinctly address both short and long-term scarcity impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier BV , 2022. p. 132140-132140, article id 132140
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-312583DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.132140ISI: 000807775600006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85130230276OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-312583DiVA, id: diva2:1659417
Note

QC 20220601

Available from: 2022-05-19 Created: 2022-05-19 Last updated: 2023-02-24Bibliographically approved

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