Community Colloquium: Roland Clift

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Roland Clift
Emeritus Professor, University of Surrey, England
President, International Society for Industrial Ecology

Monday, Nov. 1, 2010
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"The Sustainability of International Supply Chains:
Quality, Luxury, and Supply Chain Equity."

Hosted by Roland Geyer



Sustainability has come to be interpreted widely in terms of three “pillars” or constraints:  techno-economic, environmental or ecological, and societal. Applying this approach to consumption suggests that the sustainability of supply chains should be assessed by examining the distribution of positive benefits and negative impacts along the supply chain. The economic dimension can be addressed by Value Chain Analysis and the environmental dimension by Life Cycle Assessment; juxtaposing the results from VCA and LCA immediately gives useful insights into the sustainability of supply chains. Tools for assessing the distribution of social benefits are still in development but are equally important in a market where consumers and, even more significantly, retailers require suppliers to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility. This approach to assessing sustainability is explored by examining some specific supply chains. The results show both the possibilities and the challenges of attempting to improve the sustainability of international supply chains.


Roland Clift is emeritus professor of environmental technology and founding director of the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey, where he previously headed the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. His research is concerned with systemd approaches to environmental management and industrial ecology, including life cycle assessment and energy systems. He is president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, a vice president of Environmental Protection UK, and a member of the Rolls-Royce Environmental Advisory Board. From 1996 to 2005, he served on the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and from 2004-2005, he acted as Expert Adviser to a House of Lords Select Committee enquiry into energy efficiency. He is a past member of the UK Eco-labelling Board, the Royal Society/Royal Academy Working Group on Nanotechnology and a working group that drafted the BSI/Defra/Carbon Trust standard on carbon labelling, PAS 2050.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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