Critical Raw Materials: Managing Resources for a Sustainable Future
نبذة عن المقرر
The availability of critical raw materials (CRMs) is under massive pressure. However, these materials are essential for products, technologies and solutions to some of the world’s most crucial issues – such as the energy transition. The small numbers of suppliers, price volatility, environmental damage from mining, and costly time- and energy-consuming extraction processes are just a few of the many associated challenges.
Addressing the criticality of raw materials is one of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time. Just as renewables alone will not solve climate change, recycling cannot be the only solution to deal with the increasing use of these materials. The transition to a raw materials-intensive economy calls for a systems-thinking approach and the involvement of businesses, governments and society at large.
This course provides a systemic understanding of CRMs and equips you with tools and strategies for managing them in a sustainable way. The course covers the entire raw materials’ value chain, which will help you see what actions can be taken at every stage and how you can make informed decisions, and contribute to and benefit from a more sustainable approach to CRMs, regardless of your professional or academic background.
Key topics include access to raw materials, environmental and social impacts, geopolitical factors, market dynamics, economics, supply chains, global trends in CRM use, and resource efficiency.
You can choose from three different tracks that cover possible solutions from a technical, business or policy perspective. These range from supply risk mitigation, exploration, urban mining and substitution to circularity strategies, business models, responsible sourcing and certification.
This course also introduces you to experts, start-ups and projects in the field and inspires you to tackle problems with concrete initiatives.
Alessandra Hool, MSc, has a background in History and Philosophy of Science and International Law and Economics. Since 2017, she has been the CEO of ESM Foundation – Foundation for Rare Metals. The Foundation is dedicated to fostering research and development in critical raw materials with a focus on a more sustainable management of these resources.
Alessandra is the coordinator of the consortium developing this MOOC as well as of other projects related to critical raw materials and their sustainable management, such as the International Round Table on Materials Criticality (IRTC).
Associate Professor, David Peck, researches and teaches in the field of circular built environment and critical materials, based in the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. He is a founding member of the Circular Built Environment Hub, which connects to BauHow5 and Ellen MacArthur Foundation networks.
David is also an Honorary Associate Professor at University College London – The Bartlett and an adjunct Professor at MIP Politecnico di Milano, Graduate School of Business. David works with ad hoc committees in the EU, Brussels.
Ester van der Voet
Ester van der Voet is an Associate Professor at Leiden University in the Department of Industrial Ecology of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML). Her research focuses on resource use and resource management, resource efficiency, metals, critical materials, and biobased materials.
She has initiated three MSc programs in Industrial Ecology and circular economy: a joint degree program between Leiden University and TU Delft, and two international double degree programs with partners from EU, US, China, Japan and Australia.
She is a member of UNEP’s International Resource Panel. Her present activities mainly focus on the circular economy and urban mining, specifically scenario development at different scale levels and building up information systems to support local, national and international policies on sustainable resource use.