Reid Lifset's research and teaching focus is on the growing field of industrial ecology, the study of the environmental consequences of production and consumption. He is a Research Scholar and Resident Fellow in Industrial Ecology on the faculty of the Yale University School of the Environment (YSE). He is founder and an editor of the Journal of Industrial Ecology, an international peer-reviewed bi-monthly and official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.
He also serves as Associate Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program and the Yale Program on Solid Waste Policy. Mr. Lifset's research focuses on the application of industrial ecology to novel problems and research areas, the design and evolution of extended producer responsibility (EPR), the development of the circular economy, and the environmental implications of the digital economy. He is a member of the governing council of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) and the editorial board of Waste and Biomass Valorization. He did his graduate work in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in management at Yale University.
In 2015, he was awarded the Society Prize from the International Society for Industrial Ecology and has chaired the Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology. He has served on the U.S. EPA's Science Advisory Board, the advisory board of the American Journal of Science, and the editorial advisory board of the Springer book series, Eco-efficiency in Industry & Science. He has advised organizations including the U.S. EPA, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Coalition of Northeast Governors, the Luce Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
P. Kautto, P., H. Kalimo, H. Salo, T. Heinonen, R. Lifset, E. Mateo, A. Nissinen, A. Jukka, P. Leskinen, M. Miettinen, T. Turunen. 2021. The Circular Economy and Product Policy. Helsinki: Office of the Prime Minister of Finland.
Lifset, R., S. Ali, T. Makov, and J. Kulczycka. 2020. Review of Material Efficiency Policies for Climate Change Mitigation. In IRP. Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future. Hertwich, E., Lifset, R., Ali, S., Pauliuk, S., Heeren, Tu, Q. A report of the International Resource Panel. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.
Hertwich, E. R. Lifset, S. Pauliuk, and N. Heeren 2019. Bridging the gap: enhancing material efficiency in residential buildings and cars. In United Nations Environment Programme. Emissions Gap Report 2019. UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya.
Lifset, R. 2016. The role of government in extended producer responsibility: A discussion of selected governance issues. In Extended producer responsibility: Updated guidance for efficient waste management. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/extended-producer-responsibility/governance-issues-and-extended-producer-responsibility_9789264256385-6-en
Kalimo, H. and R. Lifset. 2015. Thinking under the box: Public choice and constitutional law perspectives on city-level environmental policy. William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. 40(1): 200-234. https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmelpr/vol40/iss1/6/
Lifset, R. and M. Eckelman. 2013. Material efficiency in a multi-material world. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 371(1986). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2012.0002
Lifset, R. and F. Boons. 2012. "Industrial Ecology: Business Management in a Material World." In The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment, edited by P. Bansal and A. Hoffman. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199584451.003.0017
Lifset, R. J., M. J. Eckelman, E. M. Harper, Z. Hausfather, and G. Urbina. 2012. Metal lost and found: Dissipative uses and releases of copper in the United States 1975-2000. Science of the Total Environment 417-418(0): 138-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.09.075
Johnson, J., E. M. Harper, R. Lifset, and T. E. Graedel. 2007. "Dining at the periodic table: Metals concentrations as they relate to recycling." Environmental Science & Technology 41(5): 1759-1765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es060736h
Lifset, Reid, Robert Gordon, Thomas Graedel, Sabrina Spatari, Marlen Bertram "Where Has All the Copper Gone? The Stocks and Flows Project, Part 1" JOM October 2002. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02709216
Lifset, R. and T. E. Graedel. 2001. "Industrial Ecology: Goals and Definitions." In Handbook for Industrial Ecology, edited by R. U. Ayres and L. Ayres. Brookfield: Edward Elgar. http://www.elgaronline.com/view/1840645067.00009.xml
Lifset, R. 1993. Take it back: Extended producer responsibility as a form of incentive-based policy. Journal of Resource Management and Technology 21(4): 163-175.