News & Events

BBC Breakfast invites AREC Director Lenny Koh to talk about UK’s ‘greenest’ summer

Picture of BBC Breakfast Appearance

AREC Director Lenny Koh appeared again on BBC Breakfast on 26 September 2017. 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

Science & Technology. Today interviews AREC Director Lenny Koh about Perovskite solar cells

On September 27, 2017, 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:

To read the full interview with Prof. Lenny Koh please click here:

To access the full publication, please click here:

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 on 22 September. 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.

First Picture of MEP VisitAs 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),

MEP Visit Impage 3a 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 Director Prof Lenny Koh appears live on BBC Breakfast


On August 2nd, 2017, 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

In July 2017, 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), she brought industry and academia together 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.

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”.

Partnership to work on humanitarian logistics using Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV): How can we revolutionalise the healthcare and medicines cold chains?

UAV drone meetingWith 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.

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.

Tata BrinscombeMaking 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 on 22 April 2016 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 in the next few days.

For information on the following, email:
AREC and LCA: Lenny Koh (
DARE: Mark Rainforth ( or Jean Simpson (
SUbST: Ian Reaney (

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.

Materials LCA workshop

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.

Click here to read the full article online at Freight in the City.

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.

Read articles regarding the launch on and

£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.”

See more coverage of this news here and here.

Sustainability expert to drive forward city's low-carbon sector

Prof Lenny KohA 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.

Scenat+ Launch Event“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

Prof Lenny KohRecycling 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, or email

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.

BIN Action tank flyer 1

BIN Action Tank Flyer 2

ERSC Festival of Social Science 2014 banner

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 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:

  1. Advanced materials and manufacturing
  2. Energy and nuclear
  3. Water
  4. Agritech/food

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.

Summary diagram showing outcomes of the workshop

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.