New PDF release: Sustainable Metals Management : Securing Our Future - Steps

By et al Arnim von Gleich (Editor)

ISBN-10: 1402040075

ISBN-13: 9781402040078

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Additional resources for Sustainable Metals Management : Securing Our Future - Steps Towards a Closed Loop Economy (Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science)

Example text

The focus is in fact on ‘cross-border turnovers’. A reduction of the flows between the technosphere and the ecosphere would thus be compatible even with a growing economy, even with a growth of material and energy flows within the technosphere. Even in phases when the flows within the technosphere still remain equal or continue to grow linked to economic growth, ‘cross-border’ flows between the technosphere and the ecosphere can and should decline. With the demand for minimisation of the exchange processes of a sustainable metals industry with the ecosphere, the question that immediately arises is the target corridor.

But these ‘values’ are highly dependent on the current economic climate, demand forecasts, substitution options as well as technical developments. From a sustainability aspect we can also go one step further. We find at least certain clues for the value of ‘nature’s input’, if we apply the effort that we have to expend currently and in the foreseeable future in order to extract metals from ores. g. e. 8% ore. g. 005%30. 3% are currently excavated. 4%31. Using the example of copper, an enrichment factor of approximately 80 is thus situated between the average content of the earth’s crust and the minimum excavation capacity.

In addition to the positive legacy of the values produced (including the stock of metals in the technosphere), we also bequeath the negative sides of this legacy, especially emissions and waste, including irreversible accumulations of metal contaminations in ecosystems and also the irreversible destruction of biotopes during the ore extraction process possibly linked to a reduction in biodiversity. If the outlined approach to determining the value of the ‘natural capital’ is defined more precisely and put into operation with regard to assessing ore deposits, we also receive a set of instruments that can be used to evaluate what is the economic significance (including currently externalised costs), if we are in future forced to extract ‘poorer’ ores with decreasing metal concentrations (and/or existing in more problematic forms).

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Sustainable Metals Management : Securing Our Future - Steps Towards a Closed Loop Economy (Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science) by et al Arnim von Gleich (Editor)


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