Industrial Decarbonization: The Role of Material Efficiency Strategies
Mitigating industrial emissions is highly critical to achieving the net-zero emissions target. However, the fact that this sector is a part of a carbon-intensive production process makes it difficult to reduce emissions resulting from material production and use. The purpose of this study is to emphasize the importance of material efficiency for industrial decarbonization and to discuss the strategies that can be implemented in this direction. To this end, this study first discusses why the industrial sector is considered a “hard-to-abate” sector, industrial mitigation options, and the critical role of material efficiency from the mitigation policy perspective. Secondly, this paper discusses the material efficiency strategies and in which stages of product life cycle these strategies can be implemented. All these discussions are based on the findings obtained from the studies in the literature and the reports published by international leading institutions and organizations. The findings show that there is a great potential for industrial decarbonization, and efficient use of materials can significantly contribute to the sustainability and circular economy in the process from the design stage to the end of its life. Moreover, it is found that the design and use stages have the highest emission reduction potential. Unlike the other studies in the literature, with paying special attention to the industry sector, this study discusses material efficiency, material efficiency strategies, and the stages in which these strategies can be implemented. In this regard, this study is believed to significantly contribute to the literature.