This webinar was hosted by the International Resource Panel (IRP), in collaboration with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), and the World Economic Forum (WEF), with support from the SUN Institute Environment and Sustainability and SYSTEMIQ

During the webinar, the IRP launched its "Implications for Business Leaders in Housing and Mobility" of the IRP report "Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future". It also featured leading business voices, allowing insight into how Material Efficiency Strategies, in particular, the strategy ‘more intensive use’, can be applied in practice. A series of questions were addressed in the webinar, including: 

  • How does material efficiency create value for businesses?

  • What do the following key material efficiency strategies mean concretely for business models: more intensive use, lifetime extension, material substitution, better recycling and efficient design?

  • How can the buildings and mobility sectors implement more intensive use strategies for existing housing and vehicles?

  • What are key policy incentives for “more intensive use” and other approaches to material efficiency?


Speaker quotes

"Material efficiency strategies mean that resource-intensive provisioning systems such as housing and vehicles can be designed to deliver high-quality services at much lower material base through leaner design, better recycling of materials, better repair of using different materials."

Janez Potočnik, Co-chair of the International Resource Panel and Partner at SYSTEMIQ



"Focus is shifting from energy efficiency toward material efficiency perspective...Material efficiency and circular economy as a framework is a great framework for innovation...The industry and different players are adopting new ways to design products, they are adopting business model innovation. We see that those players are successful in integrating the value of the supply chain in a much more holistic way."

Martin Pauli, Germany Foresight Advisory Lead, Arup Group



“Working with the World Bank, we are creating the Sustainable Housing Leadership Coalition and the single most important goal of the coalition was to influence the building codes and standards so that even if a builder did not know what it is to build green, if he followed the building codes and standards, he would end up building green. For a country like India, it is critical that all buildings built in the future are green because it is believed that 70% of the buildings required by the country by 2050 are yet to be built."

 —Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group



"There needs to be a transition to what we call a CLIC world: circular, lean, inclusive, and clean. In many cases, consumers are demanding the shift. It is important to look at which technologies are going to give you the most returns both in terms of the sustainability returns and the financial returns."

Kristina Church, Head of Sustainable Solutions, Lombard Odier Investment Managers



"We can see that more intensive use is the most important material efficiency strategy in terms of GHG emission reductions, through ride-sharing or car-sharing, as well as shifting toward smaller, trip-appropriate vehicles."

Edgar Hertwich, International Chair of Industrial Ecology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Executive Fellow at the Yale School of Environment



"Cars are a very underutilized asset - utilised maybe 2 to 3% of the time. Mobility as a service could be ride-sharing and car-sharing... There are different models out there and they are taking up on popularity especially with millennials."

Christoph Wolff, Head of Shaping the Future of Mobility and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum



“Current market conditions and policies did not incentivize material efficiency. Some policies keep the price of materials artificially low and therefore limit the competitive value of saving materials. As a front running business leader, it’s important to anchor business vision in material efficiency and climate science, to invest in innovative policies and pilots, and to demand and support policy development."

Reid Lifset, Research Scholar and Resident Fellow in Industrial Ecology at Yale University, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology