Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


The Journal of Industrial Ecology invites you to submit articles for a special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation.

The more we learn about the severity of climate change impacts and the difficult mitigation challenge ahead, the more it becomes clear that energy-related emission reduction options alone will not be sufficient. For industry, which generates a third of global CO2 emissions, decarbonisation options such as energy efficiency, renewable energy utilization, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) have dominated the mitigation agenda to date. However, a growing number of deep decarbonisation scenarios imply that additional industrial mitigation strategies will be required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement; namely, net-zero global CO2 emissions by mid-century. 

Material Efficiency—the delivery of goods and services with less material—is now seen as one of the most important additional strategies for reducing emissions. Material efficient solutions range from technical solutions (improving material yields, reducing waste and material recycling in industrial processes), product design (lightweight, longer-life, and reusable products, additive manufacturing) to more socio-economic factors (using products more intensely and reducing overall demand).

In fact, one of the challenges faced when assessing the emissions reduction potential of Material Efficiency is the diverse range of measures, and their application at different points along product value chains. As a result, research in the emerging field of Material Efficiency is particularly broad, exploring everything from the optimisation of industrial processes, new technologies, to understanding how consumers make decisions on their consumption behaviour. The Industrial Ecology community, with its wide range of disciplines, tools and holistic approaches, is well-positioned to make sense of this complex field and to provide clear pathways to ensure Material Efficiency solutions are used in practice.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology is an international peer-reviewed bimonthly, owned by Yale University, headquartered at the Center for Industrial Ecology of the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and published by Wiley. It is the official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.

Suggested Topics for the Special Issue

To help position Industrial Ecology to support climate change mitigation strategies and leverage the unique skillset of the Industrial Ecology community for this important challenge, this special issue will accept high-quality papers within the broad area of “Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation”. Manuscripts are invited that directly apply Industrial Ecology concepts, tools, and findings to understand material efficiency solutions and their potential mitigation impact on climate change. Papers engaging Industrial Ecology’s various subfields such as life cycle assessment, environmentally-extended input-output analysis, data envelopment analysis, material flow analysis, industrial symbiosis, sustainable consumption, and the circular economy are especially welcome.  A paper’s scope may target specific materials (e.g., cement, metals, plastics), end use applications (e.g., buildings, transportation systems, consumer products), industries, methodological advances, and/or geographical regions.  

Extended abstracts of no more than 1,000 words and one figure or table should be submitted by September 2nd, 2019. At this time the editorial team will review the extended abstracts and provide a recommendation approximately one month later as to the suitability of the proposed submission for the special issue. Submissions should be written with the diverse audience in mind. Articles from technical specialists should make the implications of their research accessible to non-specialists.  

Ancillary data relevant to articles can be posted on the journal’s web site in the form of supporting information. Please consider also that the Journal is committed to transparency in science. Reviews of relevant recent books and reports, including policy studies, are also sought to enrich the special issue.

Special Issue Timeline

Extended abstract submission deadline:  Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Full papers invited by editorial team: Friday, September 27th, 2019

Full manuscript submission deadline: Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Special Issue Editorial Team

Eric Masanet, Northwestern University, USA

Shigemi Kagawa, Kyushu University, Japan

Niko Heeren, Yale University, USA

Jonathan Cullen, Cambridge University, UK

How to Submit

Extended abstracts should represent original research, previously unpublished, in English, and between 1,000 words in length excluding the figure or table. Submission implies that the manuscript has not been submitted for publication elsewhere and that it will not be submitted elsewhere while the review process is underway.

Abstracts should be submitted electronically at the following URL:


If you have questions or comments related to this special issue, please send an email to: