Call for abstracts and key topics

Call for abstracts

The organizing committee is pleased to invite authors to submit papers for EcoBalance 2016. Submissions are sought on various topics related to life cycle thinking and approaches for sustainability. "Responsible value chains for sustainability" has been set as the conference theme of EcoBalance 2016.

The theme invites exploration of efforts at tackling challenges for embodying responsible value chains in business, compatible with value creation for companies and society. Solutions to such challenges incorporate scientific knowledge and evidence, involving diverse stakeholders such as industries, consumers, governments, academia, and investors.

Submissions are therefore particularly invited for papers addressing one or more of the following 10 key topics. We are calling for abstracts for oral and poster presentations.

Abstract must be submitted in plain text and should not exceed 300 words. Only poster presenters who apply for the Poster Award competition will be required for a full paper submission after acceptance notification on May 20th 2016. The full paper (within 7000 words) will be used for review only, but can be included in the conference abstract book with authors' permission. The detail format of the full paper will be announced later. Poster presenters who do not apply for the competition have no need to submit a full paper. Although not required, oral presenters may opt to submit a full paper to be included in the conference abstract book with authors' permission.

More than 300 abstracts have been submitted. Thank you for all the contributors!

Key topics

1. New business opportunities and values through life cycle thinking
Lifecycle thinking can offer new perspectives for the development of business opportunities and values that might otherwise be missed. This topic welcomes case studies as implementation of sustainable value chain management with life cycle approach in companies, methodologies and other relevant studies that aim to find or create new opportunities for sustainable business. Some sessions designed to share and learn from successful experiences would have roundtable style to allow more in-depths discussion and share.
2. Responsible investment for sustainability
Responsible investment based on improving business or supply-chain sustainability performance has become an important and growing consideration for corporations and investors in those companies. Studies considering such themes with a life cycle focus are welcomed.
3. Environmental accounting and disclosure of sustainability information
Methodologies and tools to quantify and collate environmental data from businesses and supply chains are of growing importance. In conjunction with obtaining such information is the importance of standards and policies to disclose this information. Such aspects, as well as perspectives on the use of such information are welcomed under this topic.
4. Hard and soft infrastructures for sustainable lifestyles and consumption
Cities and their supporting (hard) infrastructure have a close relationship with a shift to sustainable lifestyles and consumption as well as being the source of large demand for resources and large pressures on the environment. At the same time, (soft) infrastructure including education like ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), communication strategies and marketing is also critical for consumers and society`s leaders alike to make decisions that affect the sustainability of lifestyles and consumption. Various tools and methods can be used to help empower people with information to make appropriate decisions. This topic welcomes papers addressing hard and soft infrastructures in the context of sustainable lifestyles and consumption.
5. Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Biodiversity and ecosystem services are examples of some very important environmental aspects which are still difficult to incorporate in LCA (in part due to the localized nature of the impacts). Methods for assessment and incorporation in LCA, case studies and policy papers on such aspects are sought in this topic.
6. Advancement toward sustainable energy at the nexus
The sustainability of energy relies heavily on the provision of resources, feedstock, infrastructure and utilities across the supply chain. Energy technology options and choices and their adoption and functioning are highly dependent on the structure of climate policy. Moreover, energy is a vital input into all societal products and activities. This topic seeks papers that address such multidirectional connections (e.g. energy-minerals-water-ecosystems-policy nexus)
7. Resource efficiency: transition to a sustainable circular economy
Concerns over resources scarcity and environmental impacts of extraction are key drivers for the circular economy concept. This topic invites presentations dealing with the assessment of resource mining, resource usage/stock, resource criticality, resource efficiency and the impacts of sourcing resources for society from primary and secondary resources. Topical issues such as urban mining including e-waste recovery may be of particular interest. This topic also welcomes contributions to those issues from the viewpoint of mining engineering, material science, mineral economics and related fields.
8. Sustainability of food value chains
Food is one of the key critical resources for society, and the evaluation of the longterm sustainability of food value chains is an important consideration for viable human futures. Topics addressing all aspects of food value chain sustainability are invited.
9. Green ICT and data centers
Information and communications technology is one of the underpinning technologies for efficient and reliable infrastructure operation in modern societies. This topic invites studies addressing ICT and related technologies or components and its impact on society and environment. E-waste as one key emerging environmental issue associated with ICT could be considered, along with more operationally-oriented impacts.
10. Life cycle sustainability assessment: tools, databases, indicators and case studies
Life cycle sustainability assessment involves a variety of aspects across the triple-bottom-line of sustainability, techniques and methods are still being developed in this field. Moreover, assessment requires appropriate selection of indicators and adequate databases - this topics welcomes a broad range of theoretical papers and practical case studies.