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SS Forum: CIRCULAR ECONOMY: New Sustainability Solutions or Ring Around the ole' Recycling Bin?

Event Type
Center for Sustainable Systems
School for Environment and Sustainability
October 2, 20203:00pm - 4:30pm

Join the SEAS Community for the CSS Sustainable Systems Forum on the Circular Economy. Moderated by SEAS Research Specialist, Marty Heller, this will be an hour conversation with time for Q&A at the end. The Virtual Link for the event will be sent to registrants a few days prior to the October 2nd

REGISTER HERE to be sent the link.


Martin Heller
Research Specialist
Center for Sustainable Systems
University of Michigan

Martin Heller is a senior research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) at University of Michigan. His research applies systems approaches and life cycle assessment methods, primarily to evaluate the environmental impact of food, food systems and dietary choices. This has included studies on the carbon footprint of the US diet and an LCA of the Beyond Burger. Recently, he has investigated the material flow of plastics in the U.S. and the environmental implications of various plastic waste reduction strategies. He is also examining modifications necessary in LCA methods to accommodate evaluation of circular economy strategies (specifically applied to the automotive industry), and exploring how circular economy metrics and LCA-based sustainability metric correlate.

Martin was awarded the 2018 Best Article Award in the journal, Environmental Research Letters and the 2015 Senior Author Best Paper in Journal of Industrial Ecology. He received a BS in chemical engineering from Michigan State and a PhD, also in chemical engineering, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Elizabeth (Beth) Uhlhorn
Global Product Sustainability Leader, The Dow Chemical Company
MS/MBA 2010

Beth Uhlhorn serves as Global Product Stewardship Director for Dow’s Performance Materials and Coatings business group, which encompasses a number of products based on silicone and acrylic chemistry. She oversees a team of 45 individuals responsible for product safety and regulatory compliance efforts and works to inform and support sustainability strategy for these businesses as well. Before joining Dow, Uhlhorn worked in the non-profit sector with the World Wildlife Fund as a research associate on the Conservation Finance team and later helped banks create and enforce environmental policies. She has also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cameroon, West Africa, where she trained farmers in natural fertilization techniques and developed small agricultural businesses.

Beth holds an MBA and MS the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. Outside of work, Beth and her husband, Ian, live in, and immensely enjoy, the city of Philadelphia (even during COVID lockdown!) Beth and Ian are active foster parents and have taken in several newborns over the course of their time in Philly, including their now-adopted daughter, Riley.


Allison Shapiro
Executive Director, Closed Loop Partners
MS/MBA 2012

Allison is Executive Director at Closed Loop Partners, an impact investment and innovation firm that invests in sustainable consumer goods, advanced recycling technologies and the development of the circular economy. Prior to this, she spent seven years at J.P. Morgan across sales, structuring, finance and strategy roles. Earlier in her career, Allison worked in clean tech strategy for Johnson Controls, PG&E, and Brookings Institution and began her career at the non-profit Ecosystem Marketplace.

Allison holds an MBA and an MS from the University of Michigan and a BS from Georgetown University.


Hunt Briggs
Senior Consultant at Resource Recycling Systems (RRS)
MS/MBA 2011

Hunt Briggs is a Senior Consultant at RRS and leads the company’s organics practice area. Hunt works with brands, trade associations, impact investors and others in the private sector, as well as public sector agencies to promote sustainable design and management for products and packaging that can support a circular economy. He most actively focuses on issues related to two material economies - single-use plastics and food waste - as well as the points of convergence for these materials, such as post-consumer materials management infrastructure.

As a joint author of ReFED's foundational Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, Hunt evaluated the investment potential for key solutions that will address food waste. He developed Circulate Capital's Impact Metrics Model to measure global progress of the organization's Clear Oceans Initiative, including regional plastic waste generation, recovery, recycling, and leakage to the environment. Hunt received his MBA/MS in 2011 from The University of Michigan.