How can we ensure the continuous supply of the increasingly scarce raw materials that are needed to make the products we use every day? In this course, we will look at the potential benefits of circular procurement and how recycling technologies and more efficient ways of collecting and recycling critical raw materials (CRMs) can make your business and production more resource resilient.
A good number of the materials found in everyday products are now referred to as "critical". This means that there is a risk of failure in their supply and that they are also critical in terms of economic importance.
Many metals, for instance, are already critical or could become critical in the near future due to their limited availability and the growing demand for products worldwide. Think of the newest electronic products that contain critical metals such as gallium, which is used in integrated circuits; beryllium, used in electronic and telecommunications equipment and permanent magnets and germanium found in infra-red optics.
Innovative product design and reusing, recycling and remanufacturing products can help to deal with a raw materials shortage. But this can only provide an integrated solution if we keep CRMs in the loop through smarter CRM management. The starting point is to identify CRMs in products. It is not always clear what materials are in which products. It is, therefore, necessary to keep all metals in the loop for as long as possible.
Scarcity in the supply chain can not only damage businesses but also negatively impact economic development and the environment. For this reason, the course will also discuss environmental issues and electric and electronic waste regulations.
This course will be of value to a wide range of professionals working in or interested in this field. These include professionals involved in producing products containing CRMs (such as electronics) as well as local or national government officials tasked with organizing waste management and recycling for these products. Students interested in the field of waste management will also find this course helpful for their studies in electronics, industrial design, and industrial ecology.
This course has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT receives support from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation program.