Bill Gates placed the book Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open on his top five books to read in 2015. So belated congratulations to our technical consultant Dr Rachel Waugh who was one of its Cambridge University authors. The book focuses on the five materials that account for more than half of the world's industrial carbon emissions (steel, cement, paper, plastic, and aluminium): Rachel's expertise was invaluable in the chapter on steel.

The message from the book, which is available direct from the University of Cambridge research team's website is that avoiding the energy used to melt steel products represents a large-scale opportunity.

As Bill Gates says in his blog (see link): "How do you look with both eyes open? By ... studying how you could use less material to begin with, make products that last longer, reuse or recycle them, or avoid using the service the material provides. The authors argue that by looking with both eyes open—both using less stuff, and making stuff more efficiently—it should be possible to cut [GHG] emissions in half without asking people to make big sacrifices." That's a message consistent with our remanufacturing and circular economy themes.

"The book's message is clear and convincing: We can't go on using materials the way we have been for the past 150 years, but fortunately, we don't have to. We can meet the world's growing need for the stuff of modern life, avoid the worst effects of climate change, and preserve the environment for future generations," says Gates. We agree.

Rachel returns to work next week after maternity leave and picks up coordination of the European Remanufacturing Network. Welcome back Rachel!

 

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