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The Center for Industrial Ecology at the Yale School of the Environment was established in September 1998 to provide an organizational focus for research in industrial ecology.

The Center brings together Yale staff, students, visiting scholars, and practitioners to develop new knowledge at the forefront of the field. Research is carried out in collaboration with other segments of the Yale community, other academic institutions, and international partners.

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Current Projects

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Masanet PI, Marian Chertow Co-PI

The recycling of recovered fibers results in significant resource and CO2 emissions savings compared to primary feedstocks.  With recent dramatic changes in the global recovered fiber markets, triggered in large part by Chinese import restrictions, considerable focus is being placed on process innovations to improve both U.S.

Principal Investigator: 
Marian Chertow, Barbara Reck Co-PIs

During a four-year research project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), an interdisciplinary team of researchers will examine whether a collaboration between humans and robots can improve the quality of these recyclables and the profitability of this vital yet struggling sector. At the same time, they will evaluate opportunities to create new human jobs that complement these automated systems.

Principal Investigator: 
Thomas Graedel

The Critical Materials Institute is an initiative by the Department of Energy to establish for the United States a more sustainable supply of rare and/or difficult to obtain materials. The Yale contribution to this project is to generate material flow analyses and future scenarios for a selection of critical materials.

Principal Investigator: 
Thomas Graedel

“Criticality” is the quality, state, or degree of being of the highest importance, and is of particular interest in the case of metals and other resources. A comprehensive methodology comprised of three dimensions – supply risk, environmental implications, and vulnerability to supply restriction – has been created to quantify the degree of criticality of the metals of the periodic table.

Principal Investigator: 
Reid Lifset

Among their functions, cities are an important locus for the production, consumption and disposal of products. Traditionally, manufacturers bear the responsibility for the impacts of making products, consumers for the usage-related consequences and local government bear the responsibility for the waste that results when products are discarded. This is changing.

Principal Investigator: 
Marian Chertow

The Yale Program on Industrial Ecology in Developing Countries was launched in 2007, with the following mission:  To work with international colleagues to adapt industrial ecology theory and practice to the realities faced in industrializing countries related to co-mingled problems of energy access, water quality and quantity, waste and material management, and global warming and to gather and disseminate useful knowledge, including indigenous