Professor Shahin Rahimifard presented a Keynote today (25 Septemeber 2017) at the 15th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing titled 'Net Positive Manufacturing: A Restorative, Self-healing and Regenerative Approach to Future Industrial Development' in Haifa, Isreal.
The Keynote focuses on the topic of Net Positive Manufacturing as well as the concept of 'Immortal Resources'. Below are some highlights:
In today’s consumer driven society, manufacturers can exert unparalleled environmental, economic and societal influence, either for good or bad. The recent uncontrolled industrial growth within both developed and developing countries has resulted in significant damage to the environment in an attempt to sustain economic growth at any cost. In response, global sustainability initiatives, due to inherent and inevitable economic barriers, have often adopted a ‘Less Bad’ approach, which is based on meeting the demands of regional and national legislation and incremental efficiency measures. The benefits of such initiatives are now perceived as too small and too slow to tackle the needs of tomorrow. In this context, when ‘Less Bad is Not Good Enough!’, what should our aspirations and goals be beyond the scope of current sustainability strategies, methods, tools and technologies ? At the heart of the proposed paradigm shift through ‘Net Positive Manufacturing’ is the ability of manufacturing businesses to adopt a restoring, self-healing, and regenerative approach and simply to put back more into society and the environment than what they take out.
At the core of Net Positive Manufacturing is the concept of ‘borrowing resources’ to satisfy a specific need through a product and/or a service, and the ability to return these resources to a near original status for further use, a concept referred to as ‘immortal use of resource’. The circularity in the use of resources, the ability to up-cycle or at least recycle (but not down-cycle) resources, the focus on only addressing ‘real needs’ of users, and choice of providing required function through a product, a service or a combination of both (whichever option supports the achievement of aforementioned objectives), are the main cornerstones of Net Positive Manufacturing upon which future industrial systems must be designed, planned and implemented.
This is not the first time the subject of Immortal Resources has been explored by Professor Rahimifard and SMART researchers. Members of the Centre for SMART participated in the 2015 Disruptive Innovation Festival (Ellen MacArthur Foundation) with a Big Top Tent.