Featured session

Featured topic


Transitioning to circular economy through business model innovation

Session Overview:

We are ever in need to explore strategies and approaches to transition from the take-make-waste economy towards a circular economy. Among the strategies, business model innovation plays a vital role in transforming the current practices into the circular economy. In this session, we will bring together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and educators and to discuss the recent trends in circular economy research with an interest in business model innovations.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, sustainable consumption and production, sustainable design, consumer lifestyle, behavioral design, platform economy, sharing services, product service system, policy design, and ecolabelling.

This organized session will have a combination of oral presentations (15 min presentation + 5 min Q&A) by 6-7 presentations and free discussions at the end. We will have 2 slots in the conference program with a break in between.

Session Organizer:

Dr. Yusuke Kishita, The University of Tokyo


Plastic pollution and circularity from the life cycle perspective

Session Overview:

Intergovernmental negotiations are currently underway towards agreement on an international legally binding instrument (treaty) on plastic pollution. In the meanwhile, circular economy policies and businesses targeting plastics are widespread across the world. Plastic issues need to be tackled with the life cycle perspective: leakage into the environment should be controlled throughout the life cycle of plastics; and circularity should be designed considering the life cycle of plastics from production of feedstocks to recycling and end-of-life treatment of plastic waste.

We call for a wide range of relevant studies addressing plastic pollution and circularity from the life cycle perspective. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, material flow and life cycle analyses for revealing the fate and impacts of plastics in the environment, as well as for measuring the potential of circular policies and businesses of plastics on carbon neutrality and other environmental benefits.

Session Organizer:

Dr. Jun Nakatani, The University of Tokyo


Material flow/stock structure consistent with a carbon neutral society

Session Overview:

The rapid decarbonisation of energy use is needed toward a carbon-neutral society. While the power generation industry is accelerating the spread and high efficiency of renewable energy, it is still challenging to electrify the thermal energy required for the life cycle of materials, and it is therefore vital to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by enhancing the efficiency of materials use. However, changes in material flows consistent with the achievement of a carbon neutral society are uncertain. This session, therefore, aims to discuss the structure of material flow transition formulating a carbon neutral society for each material life cycle stage.

Session Organizer:

Dr. Keisuke Nansai, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)


Carbon Sourcing towards Sustainability: Life Cycle Thinking on Biomass Application in Chemicals and Materials

Session Overview:

Sustainable carbon sources have become an essential resource for the production of chemicals and materials in carbon-neutral society. Biomass resources, including sugars, fatty acids and lignocellulosic resources, can become such carbon resource options. Biomass can be utilized by chemical/physical conversion and then mixed with other materials, or through chemical synthesis to produce products equivalent to fossil-derived chemicals. The technological development and system design for biomass utilization is still in its developing stage and can be regarded as an emerging technology. This session deals with life cycle thinking in relation to the utilization of biomass resources. It will cover a wide range of topics, including case studies on specific biomass-derived products and the application of various assessments such as life cycle assessment, material flow analysis and industry linkage analysis to technologies in the research and development stage. Additionally, we will discuss the essential LCA perspectives necessary for the effective societal integration of biomass-derived production.

Session Organizer:

Dr. Yuko Saiki, The University of Tokyo