Universiteit Leiden

CML, the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden) is an institute within the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. Research at the Industrial Ecology Department of CML (CML-IE) addresses environmental problems in the industrialised world, in their socio-economic and political context. There is one other departments at CML, Conservation Biology, which focuses at sustainability of agricultural and horticultural practice, including pesticide use and co-use of nature in developing countries. CML has a positive gender policy.

The goal of research in the Department of Industrial Ecology (CML-IE) first is to acquire knowledge about ecological transformations in order to understand how changes in production, consumption, and waste management processes may contribute to sustainability, and secondly to support sustainability oriented decision making by public bodies and private persons and organisations. Research at CML-IE covers areas of societal interest, such as energy and climate change, chemicals, heavy metals, and agriculture, but mainly focuses at Industrial Ecology method and tool development. Two key areas of research within the department are substance and material flow analysis (SFA/MFA) and life cycle assessment of products (LCA). Both main forms of chain analysis have been developed in combination with policy instruments for chain management. Research in industrial ecology now covers environmental systems analysis, with a focus on different types of economy-environment modelling involving not only LCA and SFA/MFA, but also environmentally extended Input-Output Analysis (IOA) and related economic models and tools like LCC (Life Cycle Costing) and CBA (Cost-Benefit Analysis). As operational models cover limited aspects of reality, research at a meta-level on the toolbox for sustainability analysis is also core business of CML-IE, aimed at reasoned combinations of the several analytical models and tools. CML has been and still is involved in the creation of a framework of tools for the analysis of environmental impacts of product(groups) and life-styles, eco-innovation, technology assessment and indicator development. This has been done in a series of projects in several European Framework Programmes and for several EC-DGs. Examples are EIPRO, EXIOPOL, CALCAS etc. Furthermore, the developed tools have been used to perform case studies in different domains. Currently there is an important focus on resource policy and new (bio) energy pathways.

Research is conducted on the basis of university funding, National Science Foundation funding, and to a large extent external funding on an often international project basis. External project funding for example originates from UNEP, several EU DGs, national governments in Europe, N.-America and Asia, and from the private sector.

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