Dr Heinz Schandl

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My research over the past two decades has focused on providing a knowledge base on natural resource use and resource efficiency including its history, the socioeconomic drivers, and its likely trajectory. I address questions including: What is resource efficiency? Why is it important for national economies? How to achieve it? My background in sociology has enabled me to simultaneously identify the determinants of accelerating resource use and to describe potential institutional and governance responses to expand the global economy and human well-being within environmental limits. Additional emphasis was given to equity issues that emerge in the domain of natural resource use and ways in which benefits can be shared. In this research I employ a whole of life cycle perspective on natural resource use (extraction – manufacturing - use – to disposal) and the potential for resource efficiency along the whole supply chain. In such way, multiple entry points for reducing, reusing and recycling of resources can be identified.

My research over the next 5 years will focus on extending the theory and analytical framework, new data-sets and indicators, and devising models to test policy alternatives for their impact on future resource use and economic development. My past research has been instrumental in reaching methodological agreement on how to measure natural resource use of national economies and which indicators to use for the reporting of national resource use. Measuring and modelling of resource use and relating it to socioeconomic determinants to develop options for sustainable development has now become a major objective for many national governments (including the UK, the European Union, Japan, and China) creating exciting opportunities for impact-driven research. My research findings inform policy formulation in the domains of sustainable consumption and production, resource efficiency and green economy an help monitor progress and to evaluate policy outcomes. The potential for science innovation in the domains of industrial ecology and ecological economics are enormous.

Current Roles

  • Chair
    Gordon Conference for Industrial Ecology

  • Adjunct Professor
    Graduate School of Environmental Studies, University of Nagoya, Japan

  • Adjunct Associate Professor
    School of Sociology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

  • Expert Member
    United Nations International Resource Panel

  • Expert Member
    UNCRD Expert Group of the Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific

  • Chair
    Socio-Economic Metabolism Section of teh Intyernational Society of Industrial Ecology

  • Associate Editor
    Journal of Industrial Ecology

  • Editorial Board Member
    Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

Academic Qualifications

  • 2001

    PhD in Sociology
    University of Vienna, Austria

  • 1997

    MA in Social and Economic Sciences
    University of Vienna, Austria

Professional Experiences

  • 2011-2014

    Council member
    International Society of Industrial Ecology

  • 2009-2011

    Adjunct Associate Professor
    Crawford School for Economics and Government, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

  • 2001-2006

    Assistant Professor
    Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University, Vienna, Austria

  • 2005-2006

    OECD for Material Flows and Resource Productivity

  • 2004-2005

    Visiting Professor
    Department of Economics and Economic History, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

  • 2003-2006

    Material Flow Analysis Methods Task Force of the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT)

  • 1994-2001

    Researcher and Lecturer
    Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University, Vienna, Austria

  • 1994-1996

    Research Fellow (part time)
    Institute for Legal and Criminal Sociology, Vienna, Austria

  • 1986-1994

    Primary School Teacher
    Free School Hofmuehlgasse, Vienna, Austria