Wuppertal top ten publications includes Catalyst collaboration
In naming its top 10 scientific publications for 2016, the Wuppertal Institute recognized a number of studies that were focused on sustainability transformations. Among that group was a study published in Journal of Cleaner Production involving Catalyst, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate Environment and Energy and D-Mat, a Finnish consultant of sustainable practices. The question for lead researcher Justus von Geibler and his team – which included Catalyst Francesco Cordaro – was whether a mixed-method approach to assessing resource efficiency can be applied to value chains.
For this study, a single-serve coffee value chain operated by the Mars Corporation became the test subject. Researchers employed two metrics, the first being the Material Input Per unit of Service (MIPS) method, which estimates environmental impacts from products and services. As it considers the whole life-cycle (extraction, production, use, waste/recycling), material inputs along the entire chain can be assessed quantitatively. The second measure was a semi-quantitative Hot Spot Analysis (HSA) to identify environmental hot spots.
In its conclusion, the paper acknowledged that the combination of the two methods provides a more comprehensive snapshot of the value chain than using either of the methods alone. MIPS, it said, provides detailed resource use values for quantifying improvement options while the data from the HSA enables organizations to target specific improvement options where quantifiable data of the value-chain are not available.