Resource efficiency - energy, material flows and ecosystem services
The course is an introductory course in the master program Environmental Science and can also be studied as a freestanding course. The course gives an overview of the problems with resource limitations mankind are facing. Both global and local perspectives are applied. The concepts, tools and indicators used in the area are studied. An important part of the content is also what kind of measures that are available to improve the situation, and how they can be efficiently implemented. The course gives a solid base for societal environmental work.
Population growth and economic development put pressure on mankind, and a drastically increased resource efficiency is absolutely necessary! The objective for the course is to study barriers and drivers for efficiency improvements, with focus on energy, material flows and ecosystem services. The present situation, together with already implemented good solutions, is presented, area by area. Tools, indicators and concepts like e.g. Carbon footprints, Virtual water, Decoupling, Rebound effect, Carbon offset, Waste hierarchy and Circular economy are studied. Options for policy measures are analyzed and different policy instruments to promote the best solutions are discussed. Exercises will be made to practice the methods of quantification like Life Cycle Costing and the different footprints. A study visit to a major plant, with relevance for societal resource flows is a mandatory activity. A project work, in groups of three students, will be carried out, addressing one interesting resource issue that we otherwise have no time to cover in the course. The issue is chosen by the group.