Chapter 5 - Industrial Approaches to Sustainability
Part 3 - Materials Flow Analysis
"Material flow analysis (MFA) is a systematic assessment of the flows and stocks of materials within a system defined in space and time." (Brunner and Rechberger 2004; Practical Handbook of Materials Flow Analysis)
"On the long-term view all non-renewable resources are limited. A sustainable re-source policy should establish an economy which uses natural resources efficiently and develops alternatives to the consumption of scarce resources or materials which cause high environmental impacts during extraction, use and deposition.
"In order to be able to concentrate the resource policy measures on those materials and sectors of the economy with the narrowest supply bottle necks, with the highest optimization potentials and the highest environmental impacts in the short term and in the long term it is necessary to develop a thorough understanding of material flows on different levels.
"Material flow analysis (MFA) is an established approach which allows getting this understanding. MFA can provide early warnings of problems lying ahead identify potentials for improvements show if the economy is on the right path with respect to resource productivity provide a basis for determining the environmental impact of resource use.
"provide early warnings of problems lying ahead
identify potentials for improvements
show if the economy is on the right path with respect to resource productivity
- provide a basis for determining the environmental impact of resource use."
Figure: MFA System of Steel Production in China, 2010.
- Materials Flow Analysis by D.A. Bainbridge (2009)
- Materials Flow Analysis by Sustainble Scale Project (2003)