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Towards a Sustainable Resource Management: A Broader Systems Approach to Product Design and Waste Management
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9215-0166
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rapid economic growth, urbanisation and increasing population have caused (materially intensive) resource consumption to increase, and consequently the release of large amounts of waste to the environment. Numerous technological and operational approaches to resource management have been introduced throughout the system of production, consumption and waste management. This thesis concludes that the current, rather isolated, efforts to influence different systems for waste management, waste reduction and resource management are indeed not sufficient from a long-term sustainability perspective. To manage resources and waste sustainably, resource management requires a more systems-oriented approach, which addresses the root causes of the problems.

This thesis identifies and discusses different sustainability challenges facing the global waste management system. To address these challenges a broader systems approach to waste management is proposed. The thesis argues that there is a need to recognise the multitudes of perspectives, cross-scale dynamics and actors’ interactions at various levels. The barriers and limitations to a systems-oriented management of waste generation including design, production, consumption and waste management are discussed. The study utilises soft systems methodology (by Checkland (2000)) within which different concepts and methods are utilised to present a worldwide view on resource dynamics and develop a research heuristic for sustainable resource management. The study emphasises the need for a shared vision among various actors across the chain of production and consumption. To assist better planning, the need for improved databases on resource use and wastes is emphasised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xii, 37 p.
Series
TRITA-IM-LIC, 2013:02
Keyword [en]
Resource Management, Product Design, Waste Management Challenges, Systems Thinking, Sustainability Science
National Category
Environmental Management Climate Research Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141126ISBN: 978-91-7501-986-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-141126DiVA: diva2:694766
Presentation
2014-03-10, Sal D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140211

Available from: 2014-02-11 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2015-02-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Progress and challenges to the global waste management system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Progress and challenges to the global waste management system
2014 (English)In: Waste Management & Research, ISSN 0734-242X, E-ISSN 1096-3669, Vol. 32, no 9, 800-812 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rapid economic growth, urbanization and increasing population have caused (materially intensive) resource consumption to increase, and consequently the release of large amounts of waste to the environment. From a global perspective, current waste and resource management lacks a holistic approach covering the whole chain of product design, raw material extraction, production, consumption, recycling and waste management. In this article, progress and different sustainability challenges facing the global waste management system are presented and discussed. The study leads to the conclusion that the current, rather isolated efforts, in different systems for waste management, waste reduction and resource management are indeed not sufficient in a long term sustainability perspective. In the future, to manage resources and wastes sustainably, waste management requires a more systems-oriented approach that addresses the root causes for the problems. A specific issue to address is the development of improved feedback information (statistics) on how waste generation is linked to consumption.

Keyword
Global challenges, resource management, root causes, systems approach, wastes
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155150 (URN)10.1177/0734242X14537868 (DOI)000342632500002 ()2-s2.0-84907200004 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20141104. Updated from manuscript to article in journal.

Available from: 2014-11-04 Created: 2014-10-31 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Moving from incremental improvementsin efficiency to Systems-Oriented Design: A Systems Approach to Product Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving from incremental improvementsin efficiency to Systems-Oriented Design: A Systems Approach to Product Design
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122916 (URN)
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2013-05-30 Created: 2013-05-30 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved
3. From waste disposal to a global resource management paradigm: a conceptual discussion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From waste disposal to a global resource management paradigm: a conceptual discussion
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Environmental Management Climate Research Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141120 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Licentiate Thesis in Industrial Ecology - Towards a Sustainable Resource Management: A Broader Systems Approach to Product Design and Waste Management(1233 kB)456 downloads
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Singh, Jagdeep

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Citation style
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