Sustainable Production and the Circular Economy
Department of Civil & Urban Engineering Distinguished Faculty Seminar
Prof. Nabil Z. Nasr
Associate Provost and Director of Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Rochester Institute of Technology
CEO of The REMADE Institute Rochester, NY
The growing demands for new products coupled with the rise in consumption in developing economies are resulting in environmental challenges around the world. The major cause of continued deterioration in the global environment is unsustainable consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries. However, there is strong evidence that transitioning to a sustainable economy can lead to higher economic growth while reducing the impact on the environment. Industry is becoming aware that, to meet today’s demanding environmental standards; the life-cycle impacts of a production system must be understood and optimized. In response, many designers are focusing on addressing the environmental impacts of products. This presentation will discuss a framework and methodology for sustainable production and highlight initiatives in this area. In addition, highlight of key enabling technologies focused on enhancing product performance, expanding product service life, and lowering energy and material consumption will also be discussed. This will include smart products used in the transportation sector. An overview of the newly established REMADE Institute will also be provided. This institute will focus its efforts on driving down the cost of technologies essential to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50-percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027.