Promoting Resource Efficiencies of Metals:Mapping,Measurement, and Management

国家自然科学基金国际(地区)合作与交流项目 2020-2024


Metals are vital to modern society. The extraction and supply of metals contribute significantly to resource depletion and environmental degradation. Promoting the resources efficiency of metals use is thus important for achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Existing studies on resources efficiency of metals use mostly focus on flows of metal production or consumption. Traditional resources efficiency indicators overlook the role of in-use stocks of metals in providing services and generating human well-being, as well as the impact of global trade. The concept of anthropogenic metal cycles provides a systematic basis for establishing new metrics of resources efficiency incorporating both material flow and in-use stock indicators.Moreover, increasing amounts of international trade link the socioeconomic metabolism of metals in different nations at different life cycle stages, which leads to transboundary spillover effects
of resource efficiency improvement. If developed countries chose to enhance their resources efficiency by increasingly outsourcing pollution-intensive and low value-added stages of metal extraction and fabrication, as well as scrap recycling and disposal, to developing countries, this may cause negative effects to resources efficiency at the global scale. In order to avoid such"leakages” in resources efficiency, cross-national collaborative approaches are needed for managing the anthropogenic metal cycles to achieve common interests of global sustainable