News & Events
24th July 2018
Professor Koh visits Shanxi AI and Big Data Research Institute
21st July, AREC Director Prof Lenny Koh accompanied by DRTTA (Director of international collaboration Ken Pan, and Associate director of DRTTA Zhenlei Yao) visited Shanxi AI and Big data research institute, they have discussed collaborations related to AI, Big data technologies, next generation tech skills development.
In the afternoon, the director Runlan Cui of Shanxi AI and Big data research institute demonstrated to AREC and DRTTA about their work related to big data project in various fields, such as industrial applications, urban geography, ecological and environmental monitoring, medical, iNews smart news. The theoretical and outcomes of these project were shared and they also showed Lenny the management model of the centre itself, such as skills development and management process of the centre.
After the demonstration, the Director Runlan Cui from Shanxi AI and Big Data Research Institute introduced the service tenet, work mission, development goals and operation mode of Shanxi Intelligent Big Data Research Institute, as well as the current research and development of big data key technologies, big data academic research, big data industry standard research, and solving big data industry. They provide technical research support for innovation-driven development in the big data sector across the province and the country.
Professor Koh shared how AREC promotes understanding of complex supply chains and proposes solutions using cross-disciplinary research in cross-industry supply chain management and information systems, including the development of digital cloud-based software tools (SCEnAT Suite) to support the transformation of traditional supply chains to high performance and sustainable supply chains. Through the use of the SCEnAT software into the digital supply chain life cycle thinking, it has been widely used in various organisations, technologies and systems.
The partnership of AREC and DRTTA will create a positive impact for transformational research on sustainable supply chains and global resource efficiency, specific activities focus on global resource security, advanced materials, new energy, agri-tech, water treatment, waste and circular economy and big data. Key impact activities in the areas of providing high quality research resources, leading policy research model and industrial consulting, Big Data, AI and educational training for comprehensive service solutions for the partners.
A very successful visit where all parties have expressed a strong interest for future collaboration in areas that have mutual interests.
9th July 2018
AREC UK working with A*Star Singapore
Supported by the Singapore-UK Commonwealth Innovation Fellowship, Scientist III Hsienhui Khoo from A*STAR Singapore Institute of Chemical and Engineering Science (ICES) collaborate with Prof Koh from Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), The University of Sheffield UK on a ground breaking Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research initiative.
Through this collaboration, bio-derived chemical supply chains, sustainability assessment, and new tool development are amongst the key outcomes. Potential companies of interests such as pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries are testers and users of our research output, building from the historically strong link to this industry in Singapore. During her attachment, Hsienhui Khoo presented a seminar entitled: “Is green chemistry sustainable?” using a life cycle/supply chain approach to investigate the outcomes of some selected green chemistry principles. Her talk has attracted major interest across the University from Science, Engineering and Social Science, as part of a wider interest in our LCA sustainability and energy research portfolio institutionally.
Globally, it is becoming increasingly common for pharmaceutical and chemical industries to adopt sustainability practices in their business operations. Aligned with the aim for more sustainable manufacturing processes or products, the green chemistry concept encourages the application of environmentally benign chemical synthesis, or alternative processes for pollution prevention.
In her talk, the true environmental benefits of green chemistry were questioned together with the use of a life cycle or supply chain perspective where issues of mass balances, energy use, and a whole range of environmental impacts have to be addressed. As an example, in place of Green Chemistry Principle 2 (Atom Economy), the concept of “life cycle atom economy’ was introduced. The outcome was compared against the conventional method of calculating atom economy of a one-stage synthesis.
In other cases, Green Chemistry Principle 7 (Use of Renewable Feedstock), considers replacement of fossil-based chemicals with bio-derived chemicals. By extending the one-step synthesis route to a larger boundary, the production of such bio-derived chemicals starts with biomass growth and generation. This involves the application of energy and fertilizer uses at the farm, leading to further environmental impacts.
Professor Paul Sharratt from A*STAR Singapore (ICES) visit The University of Sheffield
Professor Paul Sharratt from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), A*STAR, Singapore visited The University Sheffield on 24th May 2018, welcomed by Professor Koh, Director of AREC. During his visit he met with staff from the Faculty of Engineering – Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Faculty of Social Science - Management School and AREC. Professor James Litster from CBE and Professor Paul Sharratt had detailed discussion establishing collaborative initiatives.
A*Star is a partner of The University of Sheffield, with a long standing research and exchange track record and activities internationally. The areas cover science and engineering such as materials characterisation, chemical processes, and polymer synthesis driven by developments in sustainability.
3rd July 2018
AREC Global: Policy and industry benefits in China
AREC in partnership with World Academy of China Development Research Think Tank (DRTTA) held a successful event in Beijing, China on the 28 June 2018.
Professor Lenny Koh’s speech outlined AREC’s vision to reengineer future supply chains by integrating efficiency and sustainability into strategic decision making with the aim of improved competitiveness internationally. Professor Lenny Koh went on to explain AREC’s mission of creating a world leading supply chain with resource efficiency and sustainability at the heart of its infrastructure.
Professor Lenny Koh explained that AREC’s cross-disciplinary research and collaboration with partners in government and industry is resulting in major impacts on policy, industry and society internationally.
Professor Lenny Koh said “We are very honoured to have established such a strong partnership in China with the DRTTA leading to major policy, industry, economic, environmental and societal impact.”
AREC’s partnership with DRTTA provides the platform for sharing of learning and exchange to advance the impact and collaboration in mutual areas of interest and priorities between the UK and China. Under AREC China, two major achievements include:
- Global Intelligent Supply Chain Big Data Research Centre in China in collaboration with DRTTA, Any Trust, Tsinghua University, Macquarie University and University of Auckland.
- Founding member of the Industrial Blockchain Alliance led by Tsinghua University in collaboration with leading industry such as JD, CIIC and Supoin.
AREC methodologies and tools such as Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) have been adopted by world industrial leaders as well as innovative SMEs and varying level of government organisations. They have demonstrated major global impact on resource efficiency, regulatory compliance, improved industrial supply chain competitiveness and increased productivity.
Professor Lenny Koh also shared her work on Blockchain technologies for transport with Transport Systems Catapult. She commented aligning Bockchain’s potential integration with Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the Cloud will open up enormous opportunities to advance how we design, operate and deliver public and private services globally. This includes:
- For the One Belt One Road Initiative, to adopt blockchain technology for multi-modal travels experience for passengers and freight handling across borders for businesses with seamless transaction.
- For Made in China 2025, to create intelligent supply chains by upgrading to high value manufacturing environments with smart sensors, 5G across supply networks.
- For the economic and environmental resource efficient model for China’s NDRC 13th five-year plan, to adopt environmental sustainability reporting and integration with international standards.
2nd July 2018
New deal with industry to secure UK civil nuclear future and drive down cost of energy for customers
AREC also welcome the civil nuclear sector deal.
Professor Koh welcomes Dr Gate Pichawadee Kittipanya-ngam to Sheffield University Management School.
Dr Gate Pichawadee Kittipanya-ngam - Assistant Professor of Operations Management from Thammasat University Business School in Thailand visited Sheffield University Management School where she gave a talk as part of the SCEnATi training.
Her talk “Investigating food supply chain sustainability in Thailand: A comprehensive study of different rice supply chains” was particularly relevant as this collaborative project will incorporate the use of the SCEnATi. The project will
investigate the environmental impact of various rice supply chains using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method.
The SCEnATi on Microsoft Azure Cloud was run on the Microsoft Surface Hub. The SCEnATi training was run by Dr Adrian Solomon and Lucy Smith from the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC). They showed the mapping process from data input (e.g. with integration with Office 365 Excel), process mapping of supply chains/selection of similar supply chains through to computation of the environmental impact of supply chains. The environmental impact was shown not just as estimation of carbon emissions but also taking into account a wide range of environmental indicators. Example output was presented:
- A carbon map together with a results dashboard providing an overview of the data.
- Business Intelligence (integrated with Microsoft Power BI) such as customised reporting.
20th June 2018
Fully funded PhD Scholarships
The Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) would like to invite applications to the two themes of fully funded PhD scholarships advertised (which will be based at SUMS), supported by the Sheffield University Management School (SUMS).
Theme 1: Waste recycling, resource efficiency and circular economy - apply
Theme 2: Industry 4.0 and intelligent future systems - apply
18th June 2018
Investigating food supply chain sustainability in Thailand: A comprehensive study of different rice supply chains
Dr Gate Pichawadee Kitti Panya-ngam, Assistant Processor of Operations Management from Thammasat University Business School in Thailand will be vising Sheffield between 27-29 June.
Gate will be giving a talk entitled ‘Investigating food supply chain sustainability in Thailand: A comprehensive study of different rice supply chains’ prior to the SCEnATi training session scheduled on the 29 June from 2pm – 5pm in the Hitchcock Boardroom in SUMS. The talk and the training will be part of this 3 hours block.
7th June 2018
Blockchain could bridge the gap to integrated transport, according to new report
•University of Sheffield and Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) report studies the disruptive potential of Blockchain in the transport industry
•TSC is calling for government and industry to explore the technology’s potential uses in transport to ensure the UK stays ahead of latest developments
Blockchain could provide the underpinnings for a future integrated transport system, without the need for large and costly centralised control mechanisms, according to a new paper from the University of Sheffield and the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC).
Read "The full article".
Download the full report "Blockchain disruption in transport: Are you decentralised yet?"
SCEnAT 4.0 for Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 and Revolution
Industry 4.0 has been presented as the latest industrial revolution. It has a major role in transforming the World’s industrial processes within organisations and across the supply chains.
This can be achieved using large-scale Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments to increase efficiency and productivity in supply chains across sectors. Factories will become increasingly autonomous with closer integration between machines and workforce, providing a seamless process with minimal waste. Industry 4.0 will use the IoT and cyber-physical systems such as sensors to collect data. Such advances enable big data analytics and the creation of intelligent supply chains.
In the recent Build 2018 Conference, Microsoft has set their vision and priority in the role of future technology, their advancements, new tools and Cloud services to help developers create a better, safer, more just World. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the heart of these advances, which brings together societal need, Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge. In the next 10 years, billions of everyday devices will be connected — smart devices that can see, listen, reason, predict and more.
The UK ‘Made Smarter’ review has identified key requirements to support the digitalisation of manufacturing as shown below:
• the increased pace of adoption of industrial digital technologies,
• the faster innovation of these technologies,
• the need for stronger and more ambitious leadership to transform UK industry.
Industrial Digitalisation Technologies (IDTs) are key to both improving prosperity and reducing the environmental impact of industry. IDTs can improve the resource efficiency of industrial processes. IDTs can perform a crucial role in developing a resilient UK industrial base that can ride out disruptions in resource availability, as well as making the UK industrial system more sustainable over the long-term.
China have developed a policy known as “Made in China 2025” to boost high value manufacturing in their supply chain. This spans across targeting strategic materials innovation, digitalisation, energy and transport revolution (such as electrification) and so on. Such policy links with major development of science and innovation park across China, driving closer collaboration between knowledge providers such as universities and research centres with industry. AREC China (based in the Science Park in Beijing) was launched in 2018. This provides a strong foundation to enable co-development of new advances that make huge impact in China industry and Made in China 2025 policy.
SCEnAT 4.0 for Industry 4.0
By eliminating inefficiencies across the supply chain, supply chain productivity will be improved. To achieve this, intelligent data management will play a critical role. New digital technologies are enabling new levels of increased connectivity and the more effective use of data. Advances in technology are enabling more data to be collected more quickly and this data can be easily accessed from multiple sites, safely shared between different partners in a supply chain, and more effectively analysed.
These technologies allow manufacturers to respond to increasing consumer demands for faster delivery and more personalised products and services. A transition in the way that supply chains operate from the current linear supply chains (with limited use of data and new technologies) to a digitally connected supply chain network supported by these technologies.
UK leaving the EU (Brexit) will open doors to international collaboration and trade deals opportunities. Such environment requires integrated intelligent supply chain and future network and system capable of seamless transactions and management of flow of assets, goods and services (tangible and intangible).
Based on the policies mentioned in this document and industrial need, SCEnAT 4.0 for Industry 4.0 which embrace Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solution will transform future supply chain to digitally connected system and network. AREC is working with key partners on these, and more details of its release will be made public in due course.
Blockchain enabling Transparency in Supply Chain
Blockchain the technology that underpins Bitcoin has provided an alternative currency for monetary exchange. This is achieved by shifting the trust provided by the financial intermediaries to ‘machines’. The machine enabled trust in digital information exchange has wider business applications wherein Blockchain is also referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). More recently the technology found its application for supply chain use cases.
Why use Blockchain technology in supply chains?
The growing consumer awareness, increasing regulatory pressure and, changing business dynamics has raised the bar on the level of transparency that businesses provide and have in their supply chain network. This has led business to digitalize their supply chain to foster transparency which is limited even in some matured supply chain networks. In this drive towards digitalization, Blockchain is being evaluated as one of the potential technology to enable transparency in the supply chain.
How can Blockchain technology enable transparency in the supply chain?
At its core, Blockchain works on distributed database principles such that data is available to all members in the business network. Blockchain does not stop with the distribution of data; the technology promises authenticity of the data through the use of advanced data encryption and data validation algorithms. This improves the availability and quality of the information exchanged in the supply network — the key for businesses embarking on the transparency journey. Moreover, the use of smart contract feature of Blockchain can automate certain business transactions that can enhance transparency and trust in trading partners relationship. For instance, online payment for the supplier can be triggered when acknowledgement of the goods is received.
Is Blockchain able to solve the transparency problem in the supply chain?
Blockchain is only the enabler to achieve the end goal — Transparency. This cannot be achieved without healthy participation from supply chain network members to share information. One way to encourage this participation is through finding a favourable response for members in the supply network to the question — ‘What's in it for me to use Blockchain?’. This requires finding the right use case and designing the system such that benefits of adopting Blockchain are fairly distributed and not inclined primarily towards the dominant partner in the network.
Paper Cup recycling and disposal
There is extensive debate in industry and increasing public interest in the environmental impact of the paper cup.
Costa have commissioned an independent research with AREC, part of the University of Sheffield to understand:
1. The recycling / disposal route of the paper cup.
2. Recyclability of the paper cup.
Please see the latest news from Costa Coffee:
Prof Koh will be speaking at the Sustainable Supply Chains conference in London
27th June at the Constellation Suite, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1AX
Prof Koh will be speaking at the Festival of Debate event: "How could Emergency Climate action benefit Sheffield"
7th June 6-8.30pm at the Council Room at Firth Court
Tickets available via www.festivalofdebate.com/june-2018/
Is green chemistry sustainable? - Talk by Hsienhui Khoo, Singapore Commonwealth Fellow in Innovation & A*Star Scientist III
Date and time: 10 May 2018, 2pm – 3pm
Host: Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC)
Venue: Sheffield University Management School, Meeting room 1 & 2, Floor E
Book a place
Using A Life Cycle/Supply Chain Approach to Investigate the Outcomes of Some Selected Green Chemistry Principles
Globally, it is becoming increasingly common for pharmaceutical and chemical industries to adopt sustainability practices in their business operations. Aligned with the aim for more sustainable manufacturing processes or products, the green chemistry concept encourages the application of environmentally benign chemical synthesis, or alternative processes for pollution prevention.
Theoretically, applications of the 12 Green Chemistry Principles attempt to ensure cleaner production routes that lead to “greener” chemicals or materials. However, within the context of green chemistry, the true measure of the greenness of any processes or products is not clearly defined.
In this talk, the true environmental benefits of green chemistry will be questioned with the use of a life cycle or supply chain perspective where issues of mass balances, energy use, and a whole range of environmental impacts have to be addressed. As an example, in place of Green Chemistry Principle 2 (Atom Economy), the concept of “life cycle atom economy’ will be introduced. The outcome will be compared against the conventional method of calculating atom economy of a one-stage synthesis.
In other cases, Green Chemistry Principle 7 (Use of Renewable Feedstock), considers that replacement of fossil-based chemicals with bio-derived chemicals. By extending the one-step synthesis route to a larger boundary, the production of such bio-derived chemicals starts with biomass growth and generation. This involves the application of energy and fertilizer uses at the farm, leading to further environmental impacts.
AREC DRTT World Academy Partnership
AREC partnership with DRTT World Academy of China Development Research Think Tank (DRTT) will create positive impact to global resource efficiency and supply chain sustainability. Being a subsidiary of China Development Research Centre of the State Council, DRTT focuses on providing services covering: high-quality information, top-notch policy research and industry consulting, big data, education and training, conference and industry park. The partnership put it in the unique position to provide comprehensive solutions that benefit all stakeholders, address environmental concerns and issues of resource efficiency.
Professor Helen Li, Dean and chief economist of DRTT World Academy, said: “The landing of AREC China with DRTT World Academy at its Beijing Science Park working in partnership will cement our strong international relation between China and UK, in addressing the world resource efficiency and sustainability challenges across global supply chains required by industry, government and society.”
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of AREC, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this partnership between AREC and DRTT World Academy which will pave the way for major impact in China, enabled through our research and knowledge exchange. In the form of AREC China, it will become our local contact point to stimulate major collaborative projects and initiatives between UK and China, working with industry, government and academia.”
The Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre’s (AREC) mission and vision advocate efficient and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain across sectors, industries and governments. Initially focussing on some of the world biggest resource security such as advanced materials and manufacturing, energy and civil nuclear, agrifood and water, AREC expands its portfolio to examine those challenges in the automotive, mobility & transport, construction, digitalisation, Industry 4.0, autonomous system, blockchain, intelligence management, waste recycling and circular economy domain. Our key question is with these advances of science and technology, are they resource efficient and sustainable? In the pursuit of our mission and vison, AREC supports the development of resource sustainable supply chains by proposing new ways of reducing risk for stakeholders in overcoming the challenges of resource availability.
AREC’s approach uses a combination of methods, tools, models, technologies, processes and systems accordingly to address the specific challenges. Where applicable, cross learning takes place where knowledge sharing occurred. AREC owns intellectual properties of some of these solutions making its stakeholders and partners more competitive. Partners share with AREC their knowhow and technology, jointly making our co-produced outcome even more attractive.
AREC’s industrial partnership with world leaders such as Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel, Hovis, Whitbread / COSTA, Hovis, DLA Piper, IBM, Munton, Nestle, Wardell Armstrong; innovative SMEs such as Sheffield Forgemasters International, DBL Logistics, Brocklesby, Shaping Cloud, Olympia Electronics; organization bodies representing industries such as Minor Metals Trade Association (MMTA), Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), Chambers of Commerce, British Standards Institute, Manufacturing KTN; government bodies representing policies such as All Parties Parliamentary Energy Studies Group (PGES), Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Sustainability Partnership / low carbon sector group, Sheffield Green Commission, Cold Commission, European Parliament, European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), resulting in major impact to resource efficiency and supply chain sustainability. These impacts range from improvement in regulatory compliances, carbon tax savings, cost savings, won procurement contract and green award, reduced negative environmental impact, increased supply chain competitiveness, improved productivity, enhanced energy efficiency, and others.
How to get involved
AREC and DRTT partners with individuals and organisations globally from industry, education, government and third sector. If you are interested in becoming involved, please email: ( Ken.firstname.lastname@example.org and S.C.L.Koh@sheffield.ac.uk ). To learn more about our research, please visit us at DRTTA.com.cn; www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec
Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool –Suites
Customers can now choose among three different Cloud based SCEnAT software products and five service packages to fit their needs. The products are designed with Microsoft technology.
Current AREC Project Portfolio
COSTA/WHITBREAD – PAPER CUPS RECYCLING
COSTA commissioned AREC £100,000 to investigate recyclability and disposal route of paper cups. COSTA decided to launch a pioneering recycling scheme after environmental campaigner and prominent chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall raised awareness about the non-recyclability of paper cups used by coffee chains in his show, Hugh’s War on Waste (broadcasted by BBC1). AREC used SCEnAT to map the paper cup recycling chain, undertook a large scale national survey to investigate consumers’ attitudes towards recycling; and conducted laboratory testing to conduct fibre breakdown analysis of paper cups. Working with key stakeholders, AREC (Prof Koh and Prof Styring) said: “The findings will be announced in public in due course and will contribute towards reducing the waste generated by the 8 million takeaway coffees Britons drink every day.”
LEVERHULME CENTRE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION (LC3M)
The University of Sheffield received a prestigious £10 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust to create the Leverhulme Climate Change Mitigation Centre. AREC’s Director Prof Koh is a Co-Investigator and uses her internationally recognised expertise in supply chain management to contribute to the centre’s research theme “Sustainability & Society” (Theme 4) which investigates the sustainability and potential impacts of enhanced rock weathering. Prof Koh and her team use hybrid life cycle assessment which analyses issues related to mining, grinding, transporting and spreading of crushed rocks needed to support enhanced weathering strategies at meaningful scales for carbon capture to enable integrated environmental assessment of the enhanced rock weathering supply chain and uncertainty-perturbation scenario analyses. This helps assess the potential to build a global, sustainable, integrated enhanced rock weathering supply chain framework for analysing and understanding the long-term environmental, social and economic impacts.
Through a £1.1 million EPSRC grant as part of the PSi programme, AREC works together with Jaguar Land Rover to investigate the impacts of ageing of materials on performance in the automotive industry. From the Cradle-to-Grave life cycle assessment using SCEnAT, results obtained through each of these steps facilitate understanding of the ageing process and help improve Jaguar Land Rover’s performance which contributes to increasing customer satisfaction. This research involves University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield (Prof Soutis, Dr Pinna, Prof Koh, Prof Wagg, Prof Hopkinson, Prof Hodzic, Prof Withers).
Funded by EPSRC (Prof Reaney, Prof Koh, Prof Sinclair, Prof Rainforth, Prof Matthews, Dr Morley, Dr Tennant, Dr Freeman, Dr Dean), this £2.5 million ‘Substitution and Sustainability in Functional Materials and Devices’ (SubST) grant runs over a five-year period. The research consists of six parallel projects, with more being developed in collaboration with industry partners throughout the course of the funding period. The objective is to identify alternatives to existing Functional Materials and Devices (FMD) which are less harmful to the environment. All projects use multiscale modelling in device design, materials development and understanding physical properties. Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) is utilized on all projects. SCEnAT is coded based on the state-of-the-art Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and has been used by leading industry such as TATA, Rolls-Royce and Sheffield Forgemasters International. This research has generated major impact on materials sustainability across Japan, China, Europe and USA.
A prestigious example worth highlighting: as a result of the LCA research between KNN and PZT (comparing lead-based vs. lead free materials), Georgia Tech collaborated with us on LCA and techno-economic analysis on triboelectric Nano generator. Both of these studies have yielded two high impact outputs published in Energy and Environmental Science (Impact factor 29.518).
TRAINING FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT OPERATION (TRAINERGY)
With the aim of fostering greater exchange between academia and industry, TrainERGY aims to develop an innovative, evidence-based transnational framework that will markedly improve the knowledge and skills of academic institutions to produce more marked oriented energy efficient operations (EEO) curricula, reducing the barriers in this field. In order to achieve this objective, the team, which is comprised of key academics, small-medium enterprises (SMEs), and industrial association partners from different sectors, work together to identify existing training needs, create a framework for the development of EEO curricular, and produce learning materials for Masters level courses. In addition, led by the University of Sheffield, the team develops an evidence-based Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) based on the SCEnATi where feedback from multiple stakeholders (academics, students, industry) will be evaluated and incorporated into the EEO curriculum in an open innovation and co-creation manner. TrainERGY, which involves Poland, UK, Greece and Italy, is funded by the European Commission ERASMUS+ programme. This team includes Dr Kalinowski, Prof Ketikidis, Dr Solomon, Prof Koh, Dr Genovese, Prof Bruno, Dr Piccolo, and several key representatives from industry and business associations.
TRANSENERGY - ROAD TO RAIL ENERGY EXCHANGE (R2REE)
Funded by EPSRC, the £1.5 million research project TransEnergy – Road to Rail Energy Exchange (R2REE) focuses on new technology, infrastructure and system to sustainably deliver electrically powered rail transport systems and electric road vehicles (EVs), and extend to the power supply network which supports them. The convergence over coming years of both road and rail transport on electric power with reduced dependence on fossil fuels offers great potential benefits, but also has risks from dependence on a single fuel type and peak demand stress on its underlying supply network. Although fossil fuels have environmental drawbacks they have the advantage of offering inherent energy storage, thereby desynchronising time of energy use from its supply, and smoothing demands on the supply network. This is not the case for electricity use in which there are currently only limited means to smooth and reduce demand.
The proposed research addresses both the technology to store electric energy in a form suited to transport use, and the modelling to understand how to use the technology to reduce overall energy demand. This project focuses on new battery technology for energy exchange between road and rail transport systems, and examines issues surrounding Electric Vehicles (EVs)’ composition of the power supply network used to support these systems and the connection to rail and grid, and the associated techno-economic and environment impacts of the technology. Prof Koh leads WP1 in this research to investigate the techno-economic and environmental impact of various battery technology using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing methodologies, where SCEnAT+ and SCEnATi are deployed. This project is led by The University of Sheffield in collaboration with Leeds University and Southampton University. The team includes Prof Stone, Prof Foster, Prof Koh, Prof Smith, Prof Harrison, Dr Fletcher, Prof Cruden, Dr Gladwin and Dr Goodwin.
The N8 AgriFood £16 million research programme funded by HEFCE brings together farmers, the government and leading academics together to tackle the biggest global challenges to provide a sustainable, resilient and healthy food supply for society as a whole. The programme is led by the N8 Research Partnership, which is a collaboration of the eight most research-intensive universities in the north of England: Sheffield, Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and York. The partnership brings together the greatest concentration of academics engaged in agri-food research in the UK with 370 researchers and £269 million of research funding. AREC is a major contributor in this partnership because of its expertise in agri-tech and supply chain analysis. By integrating understandings of food supply networks from food production and supply through to consumption and nutrition, it is possible to develop practices for the UK’s food supply networks that can help address global food security issues. Prof Smith leads this, with a leadership and academic team including Prof Denby, Prof Hartley, Prof Banwart, Prof Firbank, Prof Halford, Prof Reed, Prof Cameron, Prof Jackson, Prof Koh, Prof Oglethorpe and a team of research and knowledge exchange fellows.
STFC AGRIFOOD NETWORK+
Funded by the Science and Technology Funding Council (STFC) with £363,967, the goal of the STFC Food Network+ (SFN) is to connect various sectors within the area of agri-food to stimulate interdisciplinary research which is needed in order to develop sustainable, secure supply of safe, nutritious, and affordable high-quality food using less land, with reduced inputs, and in the context of global climate change and declining natural resources. It connects all the leading researchers across disciplines including physics and astronomy, social sciences, plant sciences, data and computer sciences and others to raise awareness about existing challenges and opportunities in agriculture. This STFC funding is led by The University of Manchester, The University of Sheffield, York University, Newcastle University and Liverpool University and led by Prof Bridle, Prof Koh, Prof Flanagan, Prof Reed, Prof Halford, Prof Denby and Prof Grieve. Three champions have recently been appointed by the investigators to coordinate each of the themes: Dr Choudhary (Supply chain), Prof Oliver (Data science) and Dr Reynolds (Consumption).
UK AGRIFOOD VALUE CHAIN RISK ANALYSIS (AVCRA)
Identification and analysis of risks across the value chain is a pre-requisite for developing a resilient and sustainable supply chain of the future. The AVCRA pilot project funded by N8 Agrifood aims to investigate the socio-environmental and geopolitical risk profile of UK agri-food value chains by employing a systems approach. This project is led by Dr Choudhary from Sheffield in partnership with Durham, Newcastle and Leeds, and 6 industrial partners including Co-op Food, Quorn Foods, William Jackson Food Group, WRAP, Anthesis and Barefoot Lighting.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN URBAN CONTEXTS: POLICY AND DECISION-MAKING APPROACHES (PROSFET)
Funded by European Commission H2020 RISE with 283,500 euro, The University of Sheffield coordinates the EU-funded PROsFET which aims to deliver decision support tools to help negotiate conflicting interests that arise in urban logistics management, which includes a large variety of stakeholders. Especially in the area of urban freight transport, it can be difficult to devise strategies that effectively address environmental concerns while reducing freight logistics costs at the same time. In order to better facilitate decisions that address concerns of multiple stakeholders, the project will undertake the following three steps. First, it will conduct a comprehensive review of urban freight transport in Europe, by highlighting best-practices and sharing them across a network of public bodies. Second, it will promote the utilisation of stakeholders’ engagement methods in urban freight transport policy formulation and strategic decision making in Europe. Finally, it aims to encourage the use of decision support tools for urban freight transport by public authorities in Europe. It is led by Dr Genovese from the Sheffield based AREC team involving Dr Ballantyne and Dr Sgalambro.
BLOCKCHAIN AND INTELLIGENT MOBILITY
Funded by Innovate UK Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), AREC is working in partnership with TSC, Computer Science and Transport Innovation Systems Sheffield on Blockchain in Intelligent Mobility. This project explores the transformational potential of such distributed ledger system (Blockchain) for future enterprises, logistics and supply chains – around the spheres of mobility-as-a-service, autonomous systems, Logistics 4.0 and Industry 4.0. This project builds on the Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy by TSC, where the highlights are summarised below.
EU-INDIA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP FOR EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION (REINVEST)
Funded by European Commission EuropeAid programme, the REINVEST project aims to foster collaboration between EU and India in the field of freight transportation, working together to make it more efficient, more environmental friendly and financially and socially sustainable. Together with five partners, the University of Sheffield is tasked with the project’s implementation. Objectives include but are not limited to analysing existing freight transport systems in both countries to identify best practices, develop a knowledge framework and a sustainable freight transportation toolkit to assist decision-makers; and increase knowledge sharing through the organisations of seminars and workshops. The Sheffield team includes Dr Ballantyne and Dr Simpson. It involves partners from Loughborough University, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Karagpur, University of Padua and SEERC.
CIVIL NUCLEAR VALUE CHAIN MANAGEMENT, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ROLLS-ROYCE
The University of Sheffield received a £37.1 million grant from the Regional Growth Fund to support the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s large-scale programme of supplier development and manufacturing research in partnership with key industrial members. In this case, the partnership is with Rolls-Royce, which is the lead company for the UK Nuclear Supply Chain. Whilst this programme focuses on the Civil Nuclear new-build industry, but has broad applicability across the nuclear value chain and other industries in the energy sector. In addition, AREC working with Nuclear AMRC analysed the UK civil nuclear supply chain competiveness and requirement for new nuclear power stations by 2035, and the report has been completed.
Recent AREC Publication
• Structure-integration relationships in Oil and Gas Supply Chains.Ebrahimi, S. et al. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 2018.
• The environmental impact of fertilizer embodied in a wheat-to-bread supply chain Goucher, L. et al. Nature Plants, 3 (2017).
• Conceptualising A Circular Framework of Supply Chain Resource Sustainability; Koh, S.C.L.et al., International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37, 10, 1520-1540(2017).
• Environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric Nano generators, Ahmed, A.; et al.; Energy & Environmental Science 10, 3, 653-671 (2017).
• The contemporary landscape of fuel poverty research; Ambrose, A and Marchand, R, Indoor and Built Environment (Special Issue), Aug. (2017).
• Perovskite solar cells: An integrated hybrid lifecycle assessment and review in comparison with other photovoltaic technologies; Ibn-Mohammed, T. et al. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 80, 1321-1344 (2017).
• Improving retail supply flexibility using buyer-supplier relational capabilities; Obayi, R., et al, International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 37, 3, 343-362(2017).
• Sustainable Supply Chain Management and the transition towards a Circular Economy: Evidence and some Applications; Genovese, A.; et al. Omega, 66, B, 344-357 (2017).
• A hybridised framework combining integrated methods for environmental Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing, Miah, J.et al., Journal of Cleaner Production, 168,1,846-866(2017).
• Integrated hybrid life cycle assessment and supply chain environmental profile evaluations of lead-based (lead zirconate titanate) versus lead-free (potassium sodium niobate) piezoelectric ceramics; Mohammed-Ibn, T.et al. Energy & Environmental Science, 9, 11, 3495-3520(2016).
• Integrated resource efficiency: measurement and management, Koh, S.C.L et al. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36, 11, 1576-160 (2016).
• Drivers of U.S. toxicological footprints trajectory 1998–2013; Koh, S.C.L. et al. Nature Scientific Reports6(2016).
• Retrofitting the Built Environment: An Economic and Environmental Analysis of Energy Systems; Ibn-Mohammed, T. Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2016).
• Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy, Transport Systems Catapult (2016).
AREC is experiencing some exciting developments! We want to share them with our stakeholders and our community:
Blockchain disruption in transport
Blockchain disruption in transport event – organised by the Transport Systems Catapult in partnership with The University of Sheffield.
Register via this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/blockchain-disruption-in-transport-tickets-41865711470
BBC Breakfast invites AREC Director Lenny Koh to talk about UK’s ‘greenest’ summer
AREC Director Lenny Koh made another appearance on BBC Breakfast. Prof. Koh was invited to discuss the National Grid’s announcement that in 2017, the UK experienced its ‘greenest’ summer to date. Prof. Koh expressed that the National Grid trajectory of low carbon energy supply is a welcomed development and explained that it aligns with AREC’s mission of championing renewable energy (especially offshore wind and PV + civil nuclear) and supporting supply chains in the UK. She further pointed out that recent improvements in technology and efficiency help reduce costs which eventually helps consumers save money. An example of this includes regionalising and localising energy supply through smart grid/small scale supply such as Small Modular Reactor (SMR). Since AREC’s work contributes to such developments, its research fosters policy goals such as reductions in carbon emissions, which encourages sustainable energy solutions while reducing negative impacts on people’s health. For more information on AREC’s work, please see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec/projects.
Science & Technology. Today interviews AREC Director Lenny Koh about Perovskite solar cells
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, was interviewed by Science & Technology. Today about Perovskite solar cells’ potential to greatly reduce energy payback periods. The interview related to a recent study published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, which was authored by Prof. Koh in collaboration with Dr. Ibn-Mohammed; Prof. Reaney, Dr. Acquaye, Dr. Schileo, Dr. Mustapha and Dr. Greenough. For more information about the study’s results and impacts, please click here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/perovskite-solar-cell-journal-1.726272
To read the full interview with Prof. Lenny Koh please click here: https://sciencetechnology.today/2017/09/27/perovskite/
To access the full publication, please click here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117307311
Prof Lenny Koh welcomes local MEP to the University
Prof Lenny Koh, director of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) welcomed John Procter, MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber, to the University of Sheffield. Mr Procter and his adviser to the Yorkshire & the Humber region, Martin Dales, met with different departments at the University including the Management School, the Department of Materials Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Impact and Knowledge Exchange (SSPIKE) team.
As the spokesman for Education and Culture, Mr. Procter has a keen interest in research at the University and was keen to see its facilities and learn more about ongoing projects. Prof Koh showed the visitors the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and cutting-edge laboratory facilities in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which form part of the Sir Henry Royce Institute.
This visit follows AREC’s impact presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels. Mr Procter hosted the event, ‘Pathway to Global Policy, Industry and Societal Impact’, which showcased Prof Koh’s role in working towards environmental sustainability. At the event, she presented the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool – Intelligence (SCEnATi),
a cloud-based software in partnership with Microsoft, which helps businesses become more competitive and resource efficient, whilst reducing negative impacts on the environment.
On his visit, Mr Procter said: “I was impressed by the University of Sheffield. It was great to see first-hand the world-leading work produced right here in Yorkshire. The research has great implications for the region, as well as globally. In a world where the global supply chain relies on resources interconnection, it’s inspiring to see research which champions an inclusive, integrated approach to resource sustainability and efficiency.”
Prof Koh continued: “It was my privilege to show Mr Procter leading examples of Sheffield’s research. Our cross disciplinary environment, combined with a global outlook, shape our contribution to the region and beyond.”
AREC and AMRC meet with UNIPART
Unipart visited the University of Sheffield in order to explore opportunities for future collaboration. Unipart is interested in developing its logistics program, with a focus around connected supply chains, and was therefore eager to hear AREC’s perspective. Unipart representatives were also keen to learn about the School of Management educational programmes, such as the MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, where students benefit from active partnerships with important industry leaders. Unipart and AREC then visited the Factory 2050 to observe the cutting edge manufacturing innovation at the AMRC.
AREC Director Prof Lenny Koh appears live on BBC Breakfast
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, School of Management, at the University of Sheffield, appeared live on the popular BBC Breakfast show to share her expertise on the reduction of negative environmental impacts. In the previous months, the UK government announced that it intends to require local councils to reduce the number of speed bumps used in streets within their regions in an effort to reduce harmful carbon emissions. Speed bumps require cars to slow down and speed up quickly which results in very high levels of nitrogen dioxide that are detrimental to the environment. The BBC invited Professor Koh as a recognised expert on environmental sustainability to share her knowledge of the impacts on live television.
AREC Team Members Travel to USA to Foster Collaboration
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, School of Management, University of Sheffield, travelled to the United States in order to showcase her research and foster international and interdisciplinary collaboration. Together with Prof. Ian Reany, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, Prof Koh first visited Brown University, an Ivy League institution recognised world-wide for its research excellence. After receiving a very warm welcome, she met with key leaders and heads of various research institutes who have set benchmarks in research on sustainability and model of positioning. Prof. Koh and Prof. Reaney then continued their trip to Pennsylvania State University. Again a very warm welcome. Prof. Koh and Reaney presented their work to directors and members of the university’s esteemed research institutes related to sustainability research. This was followed by a tour of their Materials Research Institute, which encompasses the national institute that does world class materials research in the States. The meetings presented an excellent opportunity to discuss future possibilities for collaboration between the institutions and contributes to raising awareness about excellent work conducted at the University of Sheffield internationally.
Establishing pathways to resource efficiency and sustainability: Joining academia and industry
Prof Lenny Koh, chair in operations management, recently co-hosted an event at the European Parliament, Brussels. Alongside John Procter, MEP for Yorkshire and Humber (European Conservatives and Reformists Group),bringing together industry and academia to showcase the research excellence and impact of the Sheffield-based Advanced Research Efficiency Centre (AREC).
Focusing on environmental sustainability, resource production and consumption efficiency, Lenny aimed to maximise the centre’s global outreach and gave an informative introduction to the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool - Intelligence (SCEnATi), part of AREC's research output.
SCEnATi is a tool used by leading organisations to map their supply chain and identify improvement opportunities in terms of economic, environmental and social factors by relying on the tool's businesses intelligence capability integrated within the hybrid lifecycle analysis methodology. Lenny emphasized the importance of global stakeholder collaboration using the examples of mobile phone manufacturing, use and after-life disposal, and changes to the motor industry.
Other panel members also presented their vision for greener supply chains and how researchers and industry can work closer together. They included Prof Panos Ketikidis (International Faculty of the University of Sheffield in Thessaloniki, Greece), Jay Sterling Gregg (European Energy Research Alliance), Philippe Micheaux Naudet (Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management) and Maria Rincon-Lievana (Circular Economy Action Plan).
A number of key points emerged from the following discussion, including the importance of interdisciplinary innovation to a greener economy, greening public procurement, investors and innovators collaborating on advancing science, energy storage and security, and the importance of the circular economy.
Providing the Tools and Technology to Move the Economy Towards A Sustainable, Low-Carbon Future
OUR DATA ANALYTICS TOOL, BUILT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ONE OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES, IS HELPING DECISION MAKERS UNDERSTAND THE FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THEIR SUPPLY CHAINS AND THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR DECISIONS.
SCEnATi, the improved version of the SCEnAT supply chain environmental analysis tool, now integrates with the Microsoft cloud technology platform, Azure. It outputs on a world map geographic carbon dioxide emissions and environmental impact across global supply chains.
This powerful data visualisation - along with country profiles and sustainability contribution information - helps policy makers, planners, investors and industrialists understand the impact of their supply chains by calculating carbon dioxide emission intensity and environmental impact using life-cycle analysis.
As part of the improvements, SCEnATi has also been enhanced with advanced business intelligence analytics capability from the Microsoft Power BI platform, which works with Shaping Cloud on an Office 365 platform.
Teresa Hitchcock, Partner at global law firm DLA Piper where SCEnATi was launched, said: "I am delighted to see the evolution of this research capability led by the University of Sheffield, especially the work from Professor Koh and her team. Being an industry member of the AREC committee, we have been involved in the work as part of a co-production process. I believe this tool will assist key stakeholders in their transition to a low carbon and sustainable future globally and to support their compliance to environmental regulation and policy."
Professor Lenny Koh, Chair in Operations Management at Sheffield University Management School and Director of Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), said: "The supply chain resource sustainability model demonstrated in SCEnATi is powered by advanced technology and will grow our understanding of global challenges on resources critical in supply chains. The science which underpins SCEnATi has been published in top journals whilst the technology, provided by our strategic partner Microsoft, provides a flexible, secure environment for our users."
Mike Davies, Higher Education Manager from Microsoft, continued: "SCEnATi automates data capture using Microsoft Excel where Office 365 supports complete mobility to enable users to use the tool as part of their routine package."
Steve Beswick, Education Business Development Director from Microsoft, said: "It is compatible with a range of our devices including Surface and Hubs. The built-in touch capability in this tool gives complete flexibility to users to access the tool anytime and anywhere."
Carlos Oliveira, CEO of Shaping Cloud concluded: "The science and technology supporting SCEnATi is world leading. It is a great example of how academic research can be translated into a tangible piece of IP, which we believe can deliver real change and impact worldwide."
AREC Forms Partnerships in China
AREC is establishing an active partnership with leading Chinese research institutions. Team members (Lucy Smith and Mengfeng Gong) presented their research at a conference at Beihang University, one of the top universities in China specialising in aeronautics and astronautics. Lucy won Best paper award from the conference. SCEnAT has been promoted at the conference, and several meetings between Prof Koh and key players in China took place, discussing collaboration and policy & industry impact on resource efficiency and sustainability & life cycle thinking across the supply chain (‘Creating the Supply Chain of the Future’).
Reducing the environmental impact of a loaf of bread: SUMS leads interdisciplinary project
With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the UK every day, bread remains a staple of the British diet. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Sheffield have now calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas.
The group of interdisciplinary researchers from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, including three experts from Sheffield University Management School (SUMS), analysed the complete process from growing and harvesting the wheat; milling the grain; producing the flour; baking the bread and the production of the final product, ready to be sold by retailers.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Plants, show ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in wheat cultivation contributes almost half (43 per cent) of the greenhouse gas emissions – dwarfing all other processes in the supply chain.
Dr Liam Goucher, N8 Agrifood Research Fellow from the University of Sheffield who carried out the study and is based at SUMS, said: “Consumers are usually unaware of the environmental impacts embodied in the products they purchase – particularly in the case of food, where the main concerns are usually over health or animal welfare. There is perhaps awareness of pollution caused by plastic packaging, but many people will be surprised at the wider environmental impacts revealed in this study.
“We found in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertiliser applied to farmers’ fields to increase their wheat harvest. This arises from the large amount of energy needed to make the fertilizer and from nitrous oxide gas released when it is degraded in the soil.”
How to produce sufficient healthy and affordable food for the world’s growing and more demanding population, whilst protecting the environment is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of agricultural crops are now grown with the use of fertilisers. Although they can dramatically boast the growth of plants and vegetables – assisting the growing demand of food yields – fertilisers consist of substances and chemicals such as methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen. The emissions from these substances in synthetic fertilisers contribute to greenhouse gases.
Professor Peter Horton FRS, Chief Research Advisor to the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield and corresponding author of the paper, said: “Our findings bring into focus a key part of the food security challenge – resolving the major conflicts embedded in the agri-food system, whose primary purpose is to make money not to provide sustainable global food security.
“High agricultural productivity – necessary for profit for farmers, agri-businesses and food retailers, whilst also keeping prices low for consumers – currently requires high levels of application of relatively cheap fertilisers.”
He added: “With over 100 million tonnes of fertiliser used globally each year to support agricultural production this is a massive problem, but environmental impact is not costed within the system and so there are currently no real incentives to reduce our reliance on fertiliser.
“How to achieve sustainable global food security is not only a technical question but a political economic one, and requires interdisciplinary research of the kind we do here at Sheffield.”
The study was made possible by a pioneering collaboration with the agricultural and food manufacturing sector developed by Richard Bruce, a co-author of the paper and Business Engagement Lead for the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield.
The data analysed in the study was processed using an advanced life-cycle assessment tool – SCEnAT – developed by Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre at the University’s Management School and co-author of the paper.
“This tool handles large and complex data sets and yielding data on the environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions of all the stages in the supply chain,” said Professor Koh. “The tool identifies the processes that yield the most impact – the hotspots. The findings raise a very important issue – whose responsibility is it to bring about the implementation of these interventions: the fertiliser manufacturer, the farmer, the retailer or the consumer?
“There is a growing recognition for a range of industrial processes of the notion of extended producer responsibility – the producer being responsible for downstream impact, expanded to the idea of shared producer and consumer responsibility. The consumer is key, whether being persuaded to pay more for a greener product or by applying pressure for a change in practice.”
The paper also highlights the solutions available which could potentially reduce these impacts in the future.
Co-author Professor Duncan Cameron, Co-director of the P3 Centre for Translational Plant and Soil Science explains: “The fertiliser problem is solvable – through improved agronomic practices”.
“These harness the best of organic farming combined with new technologies to better monitor the nutritional status of soils and plants and to recycle waste and with the promise of new wheat varieties able to utilise soil nitrogen more efficiently”.
AREC wins Award For E-Waste Research
Prof Koh and colleagues have received the prestigious Elsevier Atlas Award for their work on e-waste. The Award recognises scientific research that has an impact on people around the World.
Recycling waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) more effectively could be worth up to 3.7 billion euros to the European market as well as reducing environmental pollution, an award winning research paper has found. Waste electrical and electronic equipment is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate between three and five per cent each year. The project presents a comprehensive framework supporting the decision-making process of multiple electronic recycling centres. The assessment defined the potential revenues coming from the recovery of valuable materials, such as gold and platinum, in 14 electronic waste streams in Europe. It found that recycling electronic waste was equal to 2.15 billion euros in overall potential revenue to the European market in 2014 and could rise to 3.67 billion euros by 2020. As well as providing a significant source of revenue, more effective development of new electronic items and waste set to increase, the research highlights the need for manufacturers and recycling centres to work more closely together in order to recover more material from disposed equipment. It also recommends the development of more flexible recycling plants able to intercept different types of end of life products.
McLaren Automotive to build new Manufacturing Facility in Sheffield thanks to Partnership with University of Sheffield
A pioneering partnership between the luxury sports car producer McLaren Automotive and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has led to the development of a significant new manufacturing facility – bringing a £100 million boost to the economy. The creation of the Composites Technology Centre is a result of the pioneering partnership between McLaren and the University of Sheffield’s AMRC. The new facility is projected to create 200 new jobs and will be based in the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. Its purpose is to develop and manufacture advanced carbon fibre chassis for McLaren Automotive’s supercars. As part of the partnership, the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre will also immediately start training McLaren apprentices who will work in the new facility.
Partnership to work on humanitarian logistics using Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV): How can we revolutionalise the healthcare and medicines cold chains?
With over 1billion people living in communities without regular access to essential medicines, the human cost of poor infrastructure and inadequate delivery logistics is felt throughout the underdeveloped world. The lack of a reliable delivery mechanism results in limited access to emergency medicines, such as anti-venom, and routine pharmaceuticals such as vaccines.
The University of Sheffield and UAVAid Ltd have agreed a research collaboration to explore the use of Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) drone technology to improve humanitarian logistics. Together, they aim to utilise the latest advances in UK this technology to solve the supply chain problems caused by poor ‘last mile’ medical deliveries to remote and difficult to reach areas. In doing so, they hope to improve the health of millions of people and create efficiency savings for governments and aid organisations.
The University of Sheffield, through the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), will assume the lead academic role in the ‘Last 100mile Research Group’ (LCmRG), which was founded by UAVAid co-founder, Daniel Ronen, to drive research in the area of humanitarian logistics. The membership of the group already includes leading academics and experts from across the world in disciplines including logistics, supply chain management, UAV robotics, healthcare and humanitarian action.
Daniel said: “This partnership marks a very important milestone in this area. We have specifically chosen to work with the University of Sheffield because of its excellent research capabilities, and strong record of partnership with industry on real world applications. By working with world class researchers, we hope to develop and trial new operating models and systems, which will ultimately improve the quality of life of those living in impoverished communities.”
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of AREC, said: “Our first project in this programme will focus on the delivery of vaccines to hard to reach areas of the developing World. UAVs are a very exciting technology, enabling the optimisation of supply chains in new and innovative ways. Combining advanced robotics and data analytics will help to advance the field of humanitarian logistics, and generate practical innovations for improving healthcare and medicine supply chains.”
A meeting, focusing on the use of UAVs for humanitarian deliveries, was hosted by the university in June 2016. It was attended by leading experts, technologists, universities, NGOs and funding agencies from around the world.
Research Away Day
Together with the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre and the Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), AREC organised a Research Away Day in March 2017. The day featured an exploration of themes, sectors, technologies/tools and methodologies in the areas of agrifood, advanced materials and manufacturing, energy and nuclear, water, transport and logistics, climate change, information science, sustainability science and decision science. The day also included informative presentations by The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Prof Dawson and Research & Innovation (R&IS)’s cross-disciplinary research manager Dr Knight. The discussions yielded a set of key actions including: 1) the formation of a Task and & Finish Group (TFG) to help explore and develop the hub of excellence idea with a focus on Life-Cycle-Analysis (LCA) modelling, infrastructure technology and manufacturing supply chain; 2) cross-disciplinary funding applications to involve members of all centres; 3) advancing strategic partnerships and collaboration with key stakeholders; and 4) prioritizing greater connectivity between low and high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) research.
AREC in Partnership with Microsoft Launches SCEnAT+ in London
An innovative tool launched by the University of Sheffield in partnership with Microsoft is helping organisations to reduce the environmental impact of their supply chains. In alignment with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the urgent need to reach an international agreement to battle CO2 emissions is unequivocal. Now, public and private sector organisations have the ability to better understand the environmental impact of their supply chain thanks to a new Cloud based tool SCEnAT+ (Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool). SCEnAT+ has been implemented in various organisations to help reduce their carbon emissions and pinpoint efficiency improvement opportunities within their supply chains. By running an analysis of a supply chain and presenting a carbon "heat-map", SCEnAT+ provides recommendations for reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain. The pioneering tool enables companies to perform improved life cycle analysis, better life cycle costing, supply chain benchmarking and evaluation of a plethora of supply chain environmental impact on the ecosystem and wider economy, leading to increased revenues and decreased CO2 emission.
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the University of Sheffield's Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, said: "Microsoft's Futures programme is the ideal platform for us to base the SCEnAT+ on as it will enable its scalability, interoperability and reconfigurability. We look forward to working with Microsoft on further new developments in the future. Our goal is embedding sustainability conditions in all decision making across supply chains around the world."
Mike Davies, Head of Higher Education Business from Microsoft UK, said: "We are pleased to announce this new partnership with the University of Sheffield and its Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre.
"The SCEnAT+ has the ability to provide great benefits to organisations in reducing the cost and environmental impact of their supply chains, and it also showcases the abilities of our Cloud services."
Dr Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager from Microsoft Research, added: "The future of research collaboration will be accelerated via Azure Research and Azure Marketplace which provide a rapid innovation environment supported by Cloud technology. SCEnAT+ technology is based on Azure infrastructure. We are looking forward to our next phase of collaboration with the University of Sheffield."
Driving Forward with DBL Logistics, City Region and Public-Private Organisations
Some of the world’s most well-known companies visited Sheffield to discuss the future of logistics research thanks our partnership with the University of Sheffield.
DBL Logistics have been working closely with the University’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) on the development of an innovative Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT+). The online tool enables companies to map their supply chains and identify CO2 emission reduction opportunities. Following the launch of the tool, DBL Logistics Managing Director David Clarkson, and Professor Lenny Koh of the University of Sheffield’s Management School organised an event to discuss the vision of shaping the Sheffield City Region into a world centre for sustainable supply chain logistics research. The event was attended by worldwide organisations such as Microsoft - a strategic partner of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre - as well as Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Scarborough Group, Sheffield United, Wurth Research and Shaping Cloud.
David Clarkson, who is also Sheffield Chamber’s Transport Forum representative in the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Logistics Group, said: “The event really highlighted the amazing work that is currently being done by the University regarding research and development in the Sheffield City Region. We’re very proud to be a part of this project as we work towards our ambition of becoming a carbon neutral company, which is unheard of in a logistics company. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but that’s our goal and why we are working with the university. It would be fantastic if our city could lead the way in reducing the supply chain’s carbon footprint.”
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of The University of Sheffield’s AREC and also a Co-Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Sustainability Partnership for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Our aim is to play a lead role in creating the sustainable supply chain of the future using the world leading research capability here in both universities in Sheffield in this field. This is very timely given the recent launch of the Sheffield Green Commitment Report which aims to build a sustainable, smart and competitive future city. I believe productivity and efficiency can be accelerated by exploiting the research and innovation at the universities, working in partnership with industry and government bodies.”
Martin McKervey, Partner at Nabarro LLP and Private Sector Lead of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s infrastructure group and the Transport for the North, said: “This ambition is very much aligned with the visions of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s infrastructure group and the Transport for the North. Integrating sustainability and its related research and innovation capabilities into our visions will help ascertain that our infrastructure and transport master plan for the UK, in particular the North as part of the Northern Powerhouse project be so much more compelling, especially under the climate from pressure of protecting the natural capital and environment, and of balancing the need to connect and compete in a global stage.”
AREC and partners announce Manifesto to increase the recovery and recycling of paper cups
In response to media attention and consumer concern over the recycling of paper cups, the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) have launched an industry-wide Manifesto with the objective of significantly increasing paper cup recovery and recycling rates by 2020. The Manifesto has more than 30 signatories, including AREC.
Defra has recognised the Manifesto and views it as a welcome example of industry working together. Mark Pawsey MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Packaging, said: “I’m encouraged to see industry working so closely together to find and implement solutions for recovering and recycling paper cups.”
The Manifesto is a voluntary commitment, funded by its members, to deliver systemic change that will increase the sustainable recovery and recycling rates of used paper cups. The Manifesto work programme will be run by an industry-wide executive board made up of elected members, with delegated reporting working groups. Supporter and signatory organisations are publicly recognising that working together is essential if long-lasting change is to be achieved.
We are hiring: Research Associate in sustainable supply chains
Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, we are looking to appoint a research associate in sustainable supply chains to investigate enhanced rock weathering.
The contract is for five years and will be based at the Management School. The candidate will hold a good first degree and a PhD in environmental science, sustainable supply chain, Life Cycle Assessment, management science, environmental economics or a relevant area (or have equivalent experience).
Deadline: 31 May 2016. Click here to find out more and to apply.
Making the sustainable choice – embedding Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in the materials and manufacturing supply chain
A fascinating partnership between researchers at the Management School and the Faculty of Engineering led to a recent sell-out event, with industry leaders at the heart of it.
A number of industry delegates from throughout Europe joined academics at the University of Sheffield for the Materials Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Workshop, a one-day event organised jointly between the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) and EPSRC funded projects ‘Designing Alloys for Resource Efficiency’ (DARE) and ‘Substitution and Sustainability in Functional Materials and Devices’ (SUbST).
The morning consisted of presentations on major materials innovation projects and real industry cases, given by leading academics and representatives from industry, focusing on the current and future trends of LCA and how this can aid decision-making to achieve resource efficiency and sustainability in an organisation.
The keynote presentation was given by Louis Brimacombe, head of environmental technology at Tata Steel (pictured above left), who explained how LCA has a role in understanding the benefits of a circular economy, where not only environmental considerations but also the social and economic performances of a material are crucial for making sustainable decisions.
Following his presentation, Louis Brimacombe (pictured above) said: “LCA is core in achieving sustainability across supply chains. It not only helps industry makes informed decisions, but identifies where we can improve resource efficiency, sustainability and circular economy.”
During the afternoon, delegates split into working groups to discuss current issues including: why current materials life cycle is not sustainable; how science and research can help to make it more sustainable in the future; the stakeholders who should be involved, and the support and resources required to achieve this. Feedback from this session introduced some exciting new ideas and concepts.
At the end of the workshop one of the main organisers of the event, Professor Lenny Koh from Sheffield University Management School, who is also the director of AREC, said: “This event, which delegates agree should become annual, has evidenced the important role and influence of supply chain LCA in resource efficiency and the sustainability of materials supply chains in flagship projects at the University of Sheffield, including DARE, SUbST and SIMULIFE. LCA must be designed into the development stages of any new materials or products/services to search for the most sustainable option before scale-up. For existing materials, products and services, their life cycle must be continuously assessed through LCA.”
Presentations and a summary of breakout discussions will be posted at www.darealloys.org/news in the next few days.
For information on the following, email:
AREC and LCA: Lenny Koh (email@example.com)
DARE: Mark Rainforth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jean Simpson (email@example.com)
SUbST: Ian Reaney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Materials life cycle event - 22 April 2016
Professor Lenny Koh is hosting a Materials Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) workshop at Inox Dine on Friday 22 April 2016. Click here to sign up.
Supply chain carbon reduction in action
Professor Lenny Koh's SCEnAT tool is put into action at DBL Logistics, a Sheffield company, and could help reduce their fleet's carbon footprint.
David Clarkson, MD at the family firm, said: “The benchmarking is obviously of keen interest to our sales director because if you can benchmark yourself against a competitor and it shows we are far more sustainable, this puts us in a stronger position.”
They have already seen results from using the system - in fact the SCEnAT system also flagged up to DBL the inefficiencies of running older vehicles on its fleet in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and maintenance and repair costs.
Recycling e-waste research expands its reach into practice
Information on Professor Lenny Koh's research into e-waste has been published in a relevant trade publication, Skip Hire Magazine. Click here to read the article.
Helping global organisations reduce environmental impact of their supply chains
Professor Lenny Koh's launch of SCEnAT+ with Microsoft attracted the attention of the media.
SCEnAT+ has been implemented in various organisations to help reduce their carbon emissions and pinpoint efficiency improvement opportunities within their supply chains. By running an analysis of a supply chain and presenting a carbon "heat-map", SCEnAT+ provides recommendations for reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain.
£10 million Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at University of Sheffield announced
- Centre will aim to revolutionise approaches to climate change mitigation and promote food security, whilst safeguarding natural resources
- It will develop the science to safely remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cool the planet
- Announcement coincides with Paris Climate Change Conference 2015
A new £10million Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, led by the University of Sheffield, has been announced, in a bid to address one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century.
As global leaders gather in Paris for the Climate Change Conference to reach a deal aimed at reducing global carbon emissions and limiting global warming, the Leverhulme Trust Board has today (3 December 2015) revealed plans for the new Centre, which will be funded for up to £10 million over ten years.
Led by Professor David Beerling, the Leverhulme Centre hopes to revolutionise approaches to climate change mitigation and transform the evidence base needed to alter land management options for mitigating climate change and promoting food security, whilst safeguarding natural resources. The vision is to develop and assess the role of enhanced rock weathering as a means of safely removing large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to cool the planet, while also mitigating ocean acidification.
The plan is to deliver these aims through Earth system modelling, lab-based controlled environment experimental investigations and large-scale field studies, embedded with social science analyses of sustainability and public engagement.
Professor Beerling FRS, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield, said: "I am delighted that the Leverhulme Trust is providing substantial long-term investment in our pioneering Leverhulme Centre at the University of Sheffield. It couldn’t be more timely and represents a huge vote of confidence for the outstanding team of scientists and social scientists involved from Sheffield and elsewhere.
"Turning the tide on climate change is a matter of inter-generational justice. Deployable strategies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere are strongly embedded in climate stabilization policies but don’t yet exist. So pinning the future fate of the Earth and 7 billion humans on meaningful emission cuts without fostering research into alternative actions to avert the threat of dangerous climate change is a risky strategy.
He added: "The ambition of our new interdisciplinary Leverhulme Centre is to deliver a step-change in the development of feasible, scalable, atmospheric CO2 removal options and avert ocean acidification. We will objectively develop the science, sustainability and ethics necessary for harnessing the photosynthate energy of plants to accelerate the breakdown of silicate rocks applied to agroecosystems and ultimately sequester carbon on the sea floor. In effect, the approach uses natural reactions that have been stabilizing climate for millions of years to safely remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."
The University of Sheffield Leverhulme Centre is one of four winners of the new Leverhulme Research Centre awards, designed to support fundamental cross-disciplinary research across the whole range of the sciences, humanities and social sciences.
The competition was designed to encourage original research which would establish or reshape a significant field of study and transform our understanding of an important topic in contemporary societies. The Trust encourages research which is fundamental or curiosity-driven, multi-disciplinary, and often higher risk. Applicants were therefore invited to be bold in compiling their bids, with the choice of research topic left deliberately open.
Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, said: "The new Leverhulme Trust Centres are a major investment in discovery-led research at a time when funding for scholarly inquiry is under great pressure. They are our vote-of-confidence in the quality of the UK’s outstanding researchers at every level. Each Centre will embrace multi-disciplinary and international collaborations designed to bring the highest calibre of expertise to bear on these exciting areas of inquiry. We look forward to working with our new award holders over the coming years as they explore these new research agendas."
From the plough to the plate: reducing environmental impact and improving efficiency
One of Britain's biggest and best-loved bread makers has joined forces with University researchers and a leading agricultural intelligence provider, to better understand the impact its activities are having on the environment – from the plough to the plate.
"It's important for Hovis to know where the environmental hotspots in their supply chain are," says University of Sheffield supply chain and energy efficiency researcher, Dr Liam Goucher. "By working with us, we can help them identify those hotspots and develop targeted solutions that both reduce the impact on the environment and make them more efficient as a company."
Using real-world data ranging from the energy consumption of its ovens and mills, to the volume of fertiliser used on its farmers’ fields, members of a multidisciplinary research team are now undertaking analysis using the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) developed by Professor Lenny Koh at the University’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre.
"This tool allows us to pin point where the weak points in a supply chain are and assess their impact across a range of environmental indicators,” says Professor Koh. Early results, which are currently being poured over by Hovis and independent agricultural intelligence services company, Agrii.
"What makes this project especially interesting to a company like Hovis, is that once we have identified and quantified environmental impact throughout the supply chain, the members of our multidisciplinary team are able to develop viable and sustainable interventions to address key problem areas," says Dr Liam Goucher, who has undertaken much of the original research.
Whether it is a way to reduce the energy inputs needed to bake the more than 60 million loaves annually in a single bakery, or the development of novel seed varieties and production techniques, the Sheffield team has the intellectual resource to design these solutions.
But for biochemist, Professor Peter Horton, of the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, this specific piece of research has much wider implications. “We know that big challenges such as sustainable food production will not be met by research within a single discipline. That’s why we are so passionate about the integration of science, engineering and social science here at Sheffield. By creating teams like this we can not only identify the problems, we can also design the sustainable solutions,” he added.
Prof Lenny Koh discusses AREC as part of the Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF)
Prof Koh presents her research into resource efficiency and the circular economy for the festival, linked to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:
University helps global organisations reduce environmental impact of their supply chains
An innovative tool launched by the University of Sheffield in partnership with Microsoft is helping organisations to reduce the environmental impact of their supply chains.
In alignment with the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in France later this year, the urgent need to reach an international agreement to battle CO2 emissions is unequivocal.
Now, public and private sector organisations have the ability to better understand the environmental impact of their supply chain thanks to a new Cloud based tool SCEnAT+ (Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool).
SCEnAT+ has been implemented in various organisations to help reduce their carbon emissions and pinpoint efficiency improvement opportunities within their supply chains. By running an analysis of a supply chain and presenting a carbon “heat-map”, SCEnAT+ provides recommendations for reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain.
The pioneering tool enables companies to perform improved life cycle analysis, better life cycle costing, supply chain benchmarking and evaluation of a plethora of supply chain environmental impact on the ecosystem and wider economy, leading to increased revenues and decreased CO2 emission.
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, said: “Microsoft’s Futures programme is the ideal platform for us to base the SCEnAT+ on as it will enable its scalability, interoperability and reconfigurability.
“We look forward to working with Microsoft on further new developments in the future. Our goal is embedding sustainability conditions in all decision making across supply chains around the world.”
Mike Davies, Head of Higher Education Business from Microsoft UK, said: “We are pleased to announce this new partnership with the University of Sheffield and its Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre.
“The SCEnAT+ has the ability to provide great benefits to organisations in reducing the cost and environmental impact of their supply chains, and it also showcases the abilities of our Cloud services.”
Dr Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager from Microsoft Research, added: “The future of research collaboration will be accelerated via Azure Research and Azure Marketplace which provide a rapid innovation environment supported by Cloud technology. SCEnAT+ technology is based on Azure infrastructure. We are looking forward to our next phase of collaboration with the University of Sheffield.”
Companies that have used SCEnAT+ include:
- Muntons, the UK’s leading malt supplier who exports their products globally it reduced their CO2 emissions by 650 tonnes, following recommendations identified in SCEnAT+.
- Northern Foods, which has managed to save 2.4 million road kilometres by implementing a Virtual Meeting Policy as recommended through the use of SCEnAT+.
- Outokumpu, stainless steel producer saved £300,000 in energy costs after analysing their supply chain and implementing the identified potential solutions from using SCEnAT+.
David Clarkson, Managing Director of DBL Logistics said: “I am proud to say that DBL Logistics played a part in the SCEnAT+ development and for any companies involved the tool offers a unique opportunity to gain a new perspective of their supply chain and identify opportunities for both carbon and financial savings.”
Sustainability expert to drive forward city's low-carbon sector
A renowned expert on sustainability, and Director of CEES, has been chosen to help drive forward Sheffield’s low-carbon sector.
Professor Lenny Koh from the Management School, a specialist on low-carbon supply chains, has been selected as one of three new Chairs of the 'Sustainability Partnership for business, innovation and skills' for the Sheffield City Region.
Professor Koh will work alongside Oliver Coppard, from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and Teresa Hitchcock, from law firm DLA Piper, as co-chairs to represent the education, public and private sectors.
A recent report by Oxford Economics found that over 9600 people are employed in the low carbon sector across the Sheffield City Region, and suggested that the sector will create over 1000 jobs in the region before 2021, adding over £80 million to the local economy.
The sector covers areas such as as low-emission vehicles, waste processing, low-carbon electricity and heat, low-carbon advisory and finance services and developing energy-efficiency products.
Professor Koh said: “We’re really thrilled to be taking on the challenge of driving this sector forward in Sheffield City Region. Given what is going on at a national and international level, the opportunity to develop a thriving, growing sector could not be bigger or more exciting.
“Over the coming weeks and months our priority will be to listen to as many voices as we can from across the region’s businesses, innovation hubs, local authorities and third sector organisations, so that we know exactly what our industry needs from the Sheffield City Region if we’re going to move forward.
“With the Northern Powerhouse and the devolution agenda moving forward so quickly, there is a real, once in a generation chance to get the support from government that our low carbon sector needs. There are some big challenges ahead, but with the right support we really can exploit our well-earned global reputation for excellence and innovation.”
The Partnership will continue feeding into the Sheffield City Region growth plan, through initiatives such as the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), run by Professor Koh. The Centre seeks to develop resource efficiency within the advanced materials and manufacturing, energy, agricultural technology and food, healthcare and transport industries.
Over the coming months, the new Chairs of the Partnership have also committed to a ‘leadership and learning’ model, engaging with the wider low carbon sector through a series of events and meetings across the region.
The first outing for the new look group will be at the launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre’s (AREC) SCEnAT+ tool in London on the 24 September 2015 sponsored by Microsoft (click leaflet above).
Recycling e-waste worth up to 3.7 billion euros to Europe
Recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) more effectively could be worth up to 3.7 billion euros to the European market as well as reducing environmental pollution, an award winning research paper has found.
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of CEES, along with colleagues Federica Cucciella, Idiano D’Adomo and Paolo Rosa from the University of L’Aquila and Politecnico di Milano have recently published a paper entitled ‘Recycling of WEEEs: an economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams’.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate between three and five per cent each year.
Professor Koh, Director of Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) and a world leading expert on low carbon supply chains, said: “We have been working on the collaborative research for several years with the University of L’Aquila and Politecnico di Milano. This builds from our prior research on turning waste into resource, resource efficiency and circular economy.
“In particular, this research has strong relevance to addressing global issues of materials availability and security, reducing reliance on unused non-renewable materials, especially precious, critical and rare earth materials in manufacturing for sustainability and for consideration for substitution.”
The paper presents a comprehensive framework supporting the decision-making process of multiple electronic recycling centres. The assessment defined the potential revenues coming from the recovery of valuable materials, such as gold and platinum, in 14 electronic items including notebooks, monitors, smartphones, hard drives and tablets using current and future disposed quantities in Europe.
It found that recycling electronic waste was equal to 2.15 billion euros in overall potential revenue to the European market in 2014 and could rise to 3.67 billion euros by 2020. As well as providing a significant source of revenue, more effective recovery of materials could benefit the environment by reducing manufacturers’ reliance on unprocessed resources.
Professor Koh added: “The recycling of e-waste could allow the diminishing use of virgin resources in manufacturing and, consequently, it could contribute in reducing environmental pollution.
“Given that EU has tried over the last two decades to develop a circular economy based on the exploitation of resources recovered by wastes, this research is key evidence to influence both industry and government on the financial and economic value of materials recovery of WEEE.”
With the development of new electronic items and waste set to increase, the research highlights the need for manufacturers and recycling centres to work more closely together in order to recover more material from disposed equipment. It also recommends needed the development of more flexible recycling plants able to intercept different types of end of life products.
Following publication earlier this month, the research has been recognised by academic publisher Elsevier with the prestigious Atlas Award.
The award recognises scientific research that has an impact on people around the world and is selected by an advisory board based on suggestions from the publishers of Elsevier's 1,800 journals each month.
Professor Gill Valentine, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “I am delighted to hear that Professor Koh and her colleagues have been recognised with the Elsevier Atlas Award. This insightful work demonstrates the significant impact research here at the University can have on our world and the environment.”
An award ceremony for the presentation of the Elsevier Atlas Award will be held at the Management School on 29 September 2015.
AREC at SheffEX 2015
The Sheff EX Business Event took place on the 6th of June at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The event showcased international and local businesses with over 100 exhibitors present. AREC exhibited in partnership with the Sheffield Chambers of Commerce. Along with exhibition stands there were numerous interactive seminars and presentations given covering a wide range of topics. The conference focused on promoting interactions across industries. The event was well attended throughout the day and was a great event for giving exposure to various businesses. A number of these businesses were also focused on sustainability and reducing emissions as AREC is, this included BMW who showcased their new I range of cars that have reduced emissions.
AREC at the Management Directors Club - Kelham Island
AREC attended a Management Directors club event held at Kelham Island Museum. The event was held on the 11th of May and focused on Innovation, Collaboration and Growth. Case studies were presented giving examples of good collaboration within industries. These case studies were presented by Tinsley Bridge, Fripp Designs and Durham Duplex. AREC had a stand at the event a long with exhibits from the Mercury Centre and other University Departments. This event was an excellent opportunity for AREC to disseminate to numerous industries and promote the power of strong collaboration with industry and Academia.
AREC At the Factory 2050 Conference
The Factory 2050 Conference took place on the 25th & 26th of March 2015 at the Advanced Manufacturing Park. The AMRC Executive Dean, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE led the Factory 2050 Conference. This conference featured speakers from organisations around the world discussing what the factory of the future will be like. Presentations included the reconfigurable manufacturing, the role people will have in Factory 2050 and also the challenges to supply chains in the future.
- The presentations aimed to answer questions such as:
- What will Factory 2050 look like?
- How will it differ across industrial sectors?
- How will it interface with the supply chain?
- What technologies will be used to make Factory 2050 a reality?
- What will be the impact of new and innovative processes?
- What role will people play and how will they be adequately trained?
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), delivered a presentation entitled ‘Future Supply Chain Environmental and Decision Science’ at the Factory 2050 Conference. Her presentation focused on how supply chains in the future will have to adapt and how the supply chain will fit into the factory reconfigurability of the future. The topic of supply chains adaptability was also discussed by other speakers at the conference demonstrating the importance of supply chain sustainability. This highlights the importance of the work of AREC.
AREC had a stand at the conference engaging with industry representatives and discussing with them how working with AREC can help their industry. The conference was well attended over the two days with over 200 guests and speakers from different international companies.
It was a great event for industry and academics to come together and discuss the opportunities and challenges of the future. The conference also highlighted the importance of the development of resource sustainable supply chains.
Supply Chain Success in the REF2014
The research from the LSCM Research Centre, CEES and AREC including outputs, environment and impact case studies made extraordinary achievements in the REF2014 boosting the ranking of the REF2014 results in The University of Sheffield and also of the Management School specifically:
• Top five in the Russell Group for research impact
• Top ten in the UK for research impact
Professor Lenny Koh, Director of LSCM Research Centre, CEES and AREC said: “This extraordinary achievement shows that the world leading researchers in supply chain and resource sustainability are The University of Sheffield, and The University of Sheffield is the ‘go to’ place for research and impact in this area. It is also recognition that shows our research has made a difference to the world, industry and society.”
Details of the REF Impact Case Studies contributed by our Centres are shown in the links below:
Press Release - Organisations benefit from the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) - NOV 2014
The launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), led by Professor Lenny Koh from the Sheffield University Management School, has captured the attention of organisations looking to improve their sustainable credentials, both locally and on a national scale.
AREC has been formed as a facility to promote collaboration between industry and academics who can help introduce resource efficiency and sustainability across supply chains. It also offers a platform for access to policy makers and focuses on four main industries: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Energy and Nuclear; Water; and Agritech/Food.
Professor Koh together with her exceptional team across Faculties and disciplines, taken from leading industry and academia, have identified a number of issues affecting the development of resource sustainable supply chains in large organisations including getting support from the board for sustainability improvements, unless there is a legal requirement or financial benefit. AREC also recognises that Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) need to overcome supply chain challenges so gives them the opportunity to collaborate with larger industrial partners to benefit from their cutting edge academic research and skills – this endeavour fits directly with current Government and EU policies.
Industry partners such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel, Unilever and DLA Piper – in collaborations overseen by Professor Koh’s team, organisations of every size can benefit from their expertise and resources.
It is AREC’s view that long-term success lies in achieving a fair and sustainable balance between rewarding all stakeholders in a business, not just the shareholders. With this approach, customers, suppliers, employees and the community in which the business operates should benefit.
‘Green’ and sustainable organisational elements are becoming increasingly important to reputation, and investors are developing a longer-term view on their partners – if firms are seen to be neglecting these vital criteria, customers may choose to go to a competitor that is doing them well.
AREC will support businesses in considering development in these areas, and will provide resources and partnerships with which to do so. Professor Koh said: “I am delighted to be leading this Centre. The calibre of our industrial and academic partnerships speaks millions about the attention and investment the University is putting into our initiative.
“Sustainability and socially-responsible work practices are built into Sheffield University Management School’s mission statement, so my involvement and that of my Management colleagues is very relevant. This initiative sits strategically well with the specific research priority of the Faculty of Social Science on climate change and sustainable growth. The translational and cross disciplinary nature of the AREC work in partnership with industry, departments and Research Centres from the Faculties of Social Science, Science and Engineering as well as the University’s AMRC and Nuclear ARMC, connecting lower TRL and higher TRL activities together for greater societal impact.”
To find out more about the AREC, visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec, or email email@example.com.
Energy Policy: Sweating Our Assets with Rt Hon Laura Sandys MP
Date: Thurs 30 Oct 2014
Time: 16.30 - 18:00 followed by a drinks reception
Venue: Mappin Hall,Sir Frederick Main Building, Mappin Street, University of Sheffield, S14DT
We are delighted to welcome the Rt Hon Laura Sandys MP to the University to speak about Energy Policy and how 'Sweating Our Assets' by recycling and re-manufacturing can help with the green circular economy.
Following Laura's lecture, there will be short talks from two of the University's Early Career Researchers. Dr Grant Wilson from the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering will discuss the use and importance of Energy Data analysis in scenario planning and Liam Goucher from the Management School will talk about SCOT, a European Commission funded project at the University of Sheffield which is tasked to help define the Strategic European Research & Innovation Agenda and provide a Joint Action Plan for its implementation across Member States.
The event is free and open to all, including members of the public, but places need to be reserved via the Eventbrite website.
The 'Sweating Our Assets: Productivity and Efficiency Across the UK Economy'report, which was chaired by Laura Sandys MP, is available to read here.
ESRC Festival of Social Science 2014
As part of the UK-wide Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, taking place from the 1st - 8th November 2014, we are holding two events relating to our research into susitainable supply chains. Information regarding each event, and how to book, can be found below.
Title: Improving Supply Chain Efficiency and Competitiveness under Resource Scarcity
Date & time: Mon 3 November 2014, 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Location: Sheffield University Management School, Hitchcock Boardroom
Booking: you must register in order to attend this event. Please go to the Sheffield Management School Gateway and complete the booking form.
Summary: The University of Sheffield (UoS) excels in supply chain management and resource efficiency. The Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) combines the University’s expertise in Supply Chain Management, Advanced Materials, Agritech & Energy to produce a unique, world-class research facility. It provides business with access to the knowledge, capabilities and tools to reduce the environmental, economic and social impact of their supply chain in a sustainable and innovative way. There is increasing academic and corporate interest in green and sustainable supply chain management (Koh et al 2012) and low carbon technologies. This is derived from a need to reduce dependency on our carbon based resources by adopting approaches that impact on the TBL of ecological, economic and social indicators. There are currently no facilities in the world that offer bespoke multidisciplinary Supply Chain Resource Sustainability TBL modelling solutions for private enterprise to buy into. AREC will be the first to offer this by developing a multi-layered modelling facility, channelling it through a new corporate-facing Supply Chain Hub infrastructure. AREC is also a Futures 2022 initiative within the UoS. This workshop will look into tools in economic and social dimensions, alongside science and engineering, to scope out the intersections for collaborations and interventions. It will engage with a range of stakeholders including government, industry, universities, the 3rd sector and the public, to gather multiple views on how this research can be exploited.
Title: Promoting Sustainable Supply Chain Growth by Research and Innovation Exploitation
Date & time: Mon 3 November 2014, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Sheffield University Management School, Hitchcock Boardroom
Booking: you must register in order to attend this event. Please go to the Sheffield Management School Gateway and complete the booking form.
Summary: This interactive workshop will discuss the work of Professor Koh’s two leading Research Centres – The Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) and the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre; and how their research improves supply chain efficiency and competitiveness under resource scarcity. These Research Centres undertake cutting edge research and create practical tools which impact on practice, academia and industry throughout the world. This vibrant research community attracts significant investment from a wide range of funding bodies and industry partners around the world. From this research, Professor Koh and her team produced the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT). SCEnAT is a first step on the pathway in adopting a balanced green supply chain system approach. It is a robust, cloud based DSS application and a modular supply chain modelling tool, which incorporates a very advanced Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and 1-0 methodology, supply chain mapping, intervention database and performance evaluation and KPI facilities. In the LLP EU funded project, Promoting Environmentally Sustainable SMEs (PrESS) the tool is being developed further and will be rolled out to wider SMEs in Europe, its methodology will be further advanced, and skills and training on supply chain environmental improvement and SCEnAT will be provided.
Another relevant event as part of the UK-wide Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, relates to the ERSC funded TRANSFER project, specifically how to promote more conscientious consumption of fashion, energy and water.
Title: Put a better foot forward: perspectives of sustainable consumption from the world of fashion
Date & time: Tues 4 November 2014, 09:00-12:00 or 14:00-17:00
Location: 17 The Moor (formerly Woolworths), Sheffield S1 4PF
Booking: you must register in order to attend this event. Please go to the sheffieldesrcfestival.org website to book.
Summary: An interactive workshop to promote more conscientious consumption of fashion, focusing on your footprint.
SCRS/ AREC workshop - 29th July 2014
51 industry representatives and academics explored supply chain challenges during a half day workshop held at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. The aim of this workshop was to foster closer working relationships between Sheffield University academics and leading businesses in key strategic areas.
Professor Lenny Koh, supported by a distinguished team of respected academics, led the Supply Chain Resource Sustainability (SCRS) workshop, helping to shape the vision and programme of supply chain resource sustainability research for translational and high impact performance. The workshop was very well attended, resulted in an informed and diverse range of opinions and identified key collaborative areas, capabilities and tools around supply chain resource sustainability needed by industry to address their resources supply chain challenges.
The workshop also introduced the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), a facility for supporting the development of competitive advantage by creating world leading, resource sustainable supply chains through collaborative action between industry and academia, especially in the thematic areas where Sheffield University has extensive expertise,including:
A summary of the workshop findings and priorities can be found below. A full copy of the SCRS/ AREC Workshop Report, and copies of the presentation slides, can be downloaded using the link to the right hand side of this page.
Following the successful workshop and publication of the report, the next steps for the project are:
- October 2014 - formation of steering groups to develop project matrix
- January 2015 - prepare and issue business case for approval from key stakeholders. Produce a series of proposals from key partners to raise funding and generate contributions.