When the only way to implement a satisfactory future in human development is holistic thinking about sustainability, why is it that we so rarely happen to come across aids for realizing this mindset? Well, it’s a good question, but they actually do appear from time to time. An outstanding example every year is practitioners from business and academia coming together at the umberto user workshop to showcase their manifold ways of tackling sustainability and efficiency challenges. In their respective companies and research projects, they each face all sorts of questions concerning their many different branches of practice. What they all have in common, though, is a dedication to an integrative approach. One of these occasions where umberto practitioners unite will happen next month in Essen, Germany. In this article, you can read about the insights that will be discussed in the user workshop on September 11/12, 2013.
To put you in the picture, umberto is a simulation software. It is capable of calculating all sorts of flows: material flows, energy flows and cost flows, for instance. To get an idea of its versatility, you might enjoy the articles on material flow modeling, material flow cost accounting, life cycle assessment, carbon footprinting or integrative energy management that have been previously published in this blog.
As is shown in the preliminary agenda, this year’s workshop lasts two days and is packed with 19 captivating presentations. They range from alternative business models like Premium Cola (“Umberto as a Key to Post Growth Economy”) to efforts by industry giants like Henkel AG (“Carbon Footprint of a French Production Site of Liquid Detergents”). The environmental evaluation of all sorts of products, both in terms of carbon footprinting and life cycle assessment, will be touched on. Eight business practitioners and 15 academic lecturers provide insights into real-world cases (“Life Cycle Assessment of China’s ‘Forest-to-Pulp’ Supply Chain”) and systematic improvements (“Energy-efficient Product and Process Innovations in Production Engineering”). Branches range from the beverage to the chemical and energy industries. Representatives from universities in Germany and from around the world, from TÜV Süd, and from Fraunhofer IML are on the speakers list. There will be examples from electronics and forestry, and applications to artificial spider silk products will be found next to ones for electric cars, photovoltaics and even the kitchen sink (its faucet, actually). “Extended Material Flow Cost Accounting” and the newest umberto version, Umberto NXT LCA, are also on the program. And this is just a short summary! Find the complete program, the venue, cost, and a registration form at the umberto user workshop page. Enjoy!
But, if you can’t make it to Essen for some weird reason, it’s no cause for despair. Presentations from previous workshops can be downloaded at ifu download center after free registration.
18th Umberto User Workshop
September 11/12, 2013 in Essen, Germany
Article image edited by Moritz Bühner, equipping an image by teaguelabs with the sankey diagram of a cat food life cycle found on the umberto demo pages. Yes, this is making energy-saving reuse of last year’s image 😉