Sustainable resource management

What is sustainable resource management?

A definition: Sustainable resource management is the management of the raw materials in the chain so that the added value of the chain of the market, as requested by the market, is also delivered in the short and long term, without compromising the ability of now and future generations to meet their own needs.

Why is this important for a company?
The supply of materials and semi-finished products is very important for the profitability of a company in terms of availability and price. For a long time, this was generally not a problem. In recent years, disruptions in the supply chain have shown that this is no longer self-evident. More and more raw materials are being designated by the EU as critical (CRMs: Critical Raw Materials). Resource resilience is also seen by the EU as increasingly important for the European economy. Materials and products that leave the company as waste are also important; preventing wastage. Also, the environmental impact of material use should not be forgotten.

What can a company do? There are many possibilities: recovering materials and (semi) products for reuse, doing more with less products through new business models, increasing the life span, and replacement by other materials and products; to name just a few. On the shop floor, this translates, for example, into waste management, remanufacturing, product tracing and the application of bio-based materials.

Why is this important for universities and colleges?

Raw material management is becoming an increasingly important issue because it is an important condition for the economy and living environment. Raw material management touches many disciplines, such as business administration, design, production techniques, chemistry and public administration. Education will be expanded in many disciplines in this respect. Research programs are increasingly touching upon the issue of resource management.

What can a university or college of higher education do? For education, the exchange of new ideas for lessons and teaching materials is important. For research, cooperation from different disciplines is indispensable.

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