Community Input-Output Modeling
Sustainable Materials Management
Sustainable materials management (SMM) is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycle. It represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. By looking at a product's entire life cycle, we can find new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, reduce costs and attract new industries.
About two years ago, the Center of Innovation for Energy partnered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the Georgia Recycling Coalition to develop a localized (Georgia) materials Life Cycle Tool, to be used for community economic development and to help private industry achieve their sustainability goals. As of last December, the national tool is almost complete.
Last Fall, EPA committed $150K and transferred one of their top engineers to Atlanta to work with us and develop the “Georgia” tool and work officially began on February 1st. We have also engaged Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) to help EPA develop the industry and community specific decision-making applications based on the data provided by this tool. The data is pooled from various Federal Agencies (mainly Department of Commerce).
The objective of the ‘Georgia’ tool is twofold.
- Help industries achieve their sustainability goals and improve profitability.
- Help communities understand what their assets are and use them to attract new industries.
Materials Life Cycle Tool (Georgia)
What – Tools for analyzing economic and environmental impacts in 389 industry sectors for community planning, business development and environmental education and help anticipate where technology demand is headed.
Why – To foster informed decisions while creating connections that turn waste streams into revenue streams that lower the cost of material input during production.
How – By combining local, regional and national data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. EPA Sustainable Materials Management.
Georgia is the first state using the USEEIO materials life cycle tool.