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SS FORUM: Industrial sustainability through supply chain energy and resource management

Event Type
Guest Lecture
Eric Masanet, Northwestern University
Center for Sustainable Systems
School of Natural Resources and Environment
February 21, 20142:00pm - 3:30pm
1040 Dana Building


Energy and resource efficient production technologies are some of the most promising, cost-effective, and reliable sources of sustainability improvement available to the global manufacturing sector.  However, best practice technologies for energy and resource efficiencies are still vastly underutilized in most manufacturing plants—despite their proven benefits and low adoption costs—due to a variety of organizational, financial, and knowledge barriers in the manufacturing sector.  This presentation will discuss a modeling approach that aims to overcome these barriers by quantifying the best practice energy and resource efficiency potential of industrial supply chains. The model provides insights into how much energy and emissions could be saved through specific technology upgrades to specific energy systems (e.g., steam systems) at specific actors in a complex supply chain, and further estimates what level of capital investment would be required to achieve these savings.  Results can be used by manufacturers to set procurement standards to increase best practice technology uptake by suppliers, and by policy makers to design policies for supply chain energy and resource efficiencies aimed at specific industries, technologies, and materials.


Eric Masanet is the Morris E. Fine Junior Professor in Materials and Manufacturing in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.  Prior to joining Northwestern in June 2012, Eric spent eight years at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where he most recently held the positions of Staff Scientist and Deputy Leader of the International Energy Studies Group with a focus on industrial energy systems analysis.  While at LBNL, he also held a joint research appointment at UC Berkeley, where he managed the graduate Engineering and Business for Sustainability Certificate program.  He is Editor in Chief of the Resources, Conservation and Recycling, the leading journal on resource systems sustainability.  He has previously served as program co-chair of the International Society for Industrial Ecology Conference (2011) and IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (2008-2010).  He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley with a specialization in environmentally-conscious design and manufacturing.