The premier online source for information on recycling, industrial ecology,and Cradle-to-Cradle processes.Created By:Jake Hvistendahl – Master‟s in Sustainable Design ProgramIntro to Sustainable Design at MN College of Art and Design
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMYDue to increased evidence of man’s effects on climate change and our reliance on finite resourceson a finite planet, scholars, climate scientists, and industrialists have started to pave they way fora circular economy. This economy goes beyond our current system of extract, create, anddiscard. A circular economy designs out waste, and uses the Cradle-to-Cradle principles wherethe waste of one system equals food for other systems.
“A large-scale transition to a circular economy promises to address fundamentally some of the economy‟s long-term challenges. Improved material productivity, enhanced innovation capabilities, and a further shift from mass production employment to skilled labour, are all potential gains that will significantly increase the resilience ofGETTING ROUNDER economies.” - The Ellen MacArthur Foundation – „Towards a Circular Economy‟ Benefits of a Characteristics of a Circular Economy Circular Economy Profits Designs out waste Material savings Designs for disassembly Reductions in price fluctuations Designs for re-use Less volatility in supply chains Creates cascading use cycles Creation of stable cross-sector industrial ecologies Generates cross-sector nutrient pathways People Creation of new skilled jobs Uses renewable energy sources Become users not consumers Creates symbiotic industrial processes Planet Values Innovation over production Reduced material extraction and mining Moves towards a more skilled labor Less waste entering land fills force Toxic materials designed out of products Creates more durable products
HOW NUTRA-LAB FITS INTO THE EQUATION Manufacturer Why we need Nutra-Lab To move towards a circular economy we need to create enablers that can improve cross cycle and cross sector processes, where the outputs of one industry become the inputs for another. In order to User Engineer achieve this, designers and industrial engineers need to have up to date information on what potential technical nutrients are being outputted within their communities. Designers working Cross Sector towards processes and products in the circular Product Cycle economy will need to design for circular products, but they also need to have access and information about what nutrients are available for their User Designer production process, so as to close the loops of other industrial waste streams. Designers and engineers will also need access to up-to-date information on new recycling processes and industrial ecology advancements that can Recycler serve as inspiration for creating tighter material circles.
WHAT IS NUTRA-LAB? Recyclers and Waste Government Data Industrial Ecologists Disposers Nutra-Lab is a non-profit organization that gathers data from recyclers, government entities, industrial ecologists, and industry Industry sectors. Once compiled and analyzed, Nutra- University Supplied Lab disseminates this information through its Research Data easily searchable website in an attempt to create a better resource for future designers and engineers to create circular economic Nutra-Lab processes. By gathering market and process data about the locations, amounts, and types of nutrient streams available in certain areas, Nutra-Lab can help others create cross-sector closed loop processes and symbiotic industrial Industrial Product Process relationships. Ecologist Designer Engineer Nutra-Lab will use its access to actors in the circular economic community, and the money generated through its advertising revenue, to New Novel Tightened support the creation and adoption of Symbiotic Cradle-to- Circular governmental and economic policies that Industrial Cradle Industrial further the goals of a circular economy. Relationship Product Process
? DATABASE FUNCTION To explore the database and locate possible closed loop solutions or inputs for novel processes, a designer can search via process, specific nutrient, or location. A main menu will drop down these potential pathways, and break them down according to relevance. For a process search, the submenu would be divided into categories relating to different recycling and up-cycling process types based off of inputs and outputs. A nutrient search could involve a direct search for a specific nutrient orNutrient the designer could break into submenus for Process Location technical or biological nutrients, which would be Type further categorized by their properties or uses; I.E. mineral type, chemical composition, alloy-Metals -Recycling base, solvents, filler, insulation, shock-Plastics -Recapture absorber, etc. A location based search would-Solvents -Reprocessing pull up a map showing locations of participating-Ceramics -Repurposing industries and their nutrient outflows, circular-Etc… -Etc… industries of note, resources like University and governmental programs, etc…
Product 1 Product 2WHAT IS NUTRA-LINK? Once the database has been created, Nutra- Lab will begin construction of the supporting Nutra-Link marketplace, where industries and Primary Secondary designers can actively seek to buy and sell $$$ specific nutrients across the Internet. The Industrial Industrial Nutra-Link marketplace will be an intuitively Process Process navigable site for the redistribution of nutrients across industry sectors. The sale of these nutrient outflows will provide added value for companies, sourcing for designers, and the Nutrient Nutrient generation of a larger online community for Outflow Inflow circular industry pioneers. A designer or ecologist looking for a specific nutrient can search the site by region or specific nutrient to Information on cost, Information on cost, locate potential sources for their processes. location, and chemical location, and chemical Once a supplier is located, and prices and composition composition volumes are negotiated the trade can take Nutra-Link place outside of the website, or for materials Marketplace with known market prices that are easily transportable, the transaction can occur directly through the website for a small fee. Money from Data about industry, transaction fees amount of material recaptured, and sale price Nutra-Lab Database
THE NEXT STEP Scaling Up Regulation and Legislation As a non-profit corporation, the start-up capital A portion of revenues generated through for the formation of Nutra-Lab will have to donations, site advertisements, and transaction come from donations. fees will be channeled towards efforts to create These donations will help build the database and support legislation that furthers the and pay for: creation of a circular economy. Site construction Research interns and information librarians Nutra-Lab will use its connections to leaders in Advertising in Industrial Ecology and Product Design industry, design, and engineering to create publications effective community support for: Add revenues from the completed database Meaningful regulations and taxations on waste will lessen the need for continual fundraising practices efforts. Incentives for creating novel recycling processes and cyclical industrial processes Once Nutra-Lab database is complete, Environmental regulations that create increased construction will begin on the Nutra-Link demand for in-stream materials and protect the marketplace environment against damaging extraction practices Incentivize further expansion of renewable energy Nutra-Link will generate additional advertising sources revenue as well as transaction fees. This revenue will be reinvested in expanding the database and advertising to generate more industry participation.