Background and activities
Edgar Hertwich is International Chair in Industrial Ecology at NTNU and professor at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering. He serves as leader of the research area Circular Economy of NTNU Sustainability. He also serves as an Executive Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment. He leads the work on resource efficiency and climate change of the International Resource Panel. This work has been used in many policy processes. It informed the EC's Circular Economy Action Plan and the Renovation Wave, part of its climate policy for the building sector. Hertwich is ranked among the top 100 researchers in the world in the fields of environmental science and climate change, according to separate assessments conducted by researchers at Stanford University and Reuters.
Hertwich was a lead author of the energy systems chapter and the methods annex of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC 5th assessment report, as well as a contributor to the Technical Summary and the Summary for Policy makers. He contributed to the Global Energy Assessment and serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Science & Technology, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and the Journal of Economic Structures.
Hertwich was born in Salzburg, Austria. He has an engineering degree from the HTL Braunau, an Bachelor in physics (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton University, and an MSc and PhD in energy & ressources from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked at the Austrian Energy Agency, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and served as chair of the board of MiSA - a start-up founded with former students. From 2015-2019, he was professor of industrial sustainability and director of the Center for Industrial Ecology of Yale University. He served as president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology in 2017-2018.
Hertwich's research addresses climate mitigation, low-carbon energy supply, sustainable consumption and production, trade, resources, and the environment. He is interested in understanding how activities in our society produce environmental pressures, the dynamics in our development that affect these driving forces and their resulting environmental pressures, and alternative courses of action that can reduce these pressures. What is the connection between human activities on the one hand and emissions and resource use on the other hand? What are the implications of our current development path? What do we need to change, both in terms of individual actions and policy frameworks, to achieve a more sustainable development? His methods include life-cycle assessment, input-output economics, dynamic product cohort models, and statistics.
- Resource Efficiency and Climate Change (repository)
- Sustainable Development Pathways SHAPE
- Norwegian Center for Energy Transition Studies NTRANS
- Research Center on Zero-Emission Neighbourhoods FME-ZEN
Previous NTNU Projects
- GLAMURS: Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability
- DESIRE: Development of a System of Indicators for a Resource-Efficient Europe
- ADVANCE: Model development and validation for climate policy analysis
- Carbon CAP: Consumption-based accounting and policy
- CENSES: Center for sustainable energy studies
- TEP4222 - Input-Output Analysis, Trade and Environment
- EP8119 - Industrial Ecology and Input Output Analysis
- TEP4550 - Energy and Process Engineering, Specialization Project
- TEP4225 - Energy and Environment
- EP8108 - Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Systems Analysis
- EP8114 - Industrial Ecology and Sustainability
- TEP5100 - Industrial Ecology, Project
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2022) Analysis of the Li-ion battery industry in light of the global transition to electric passenger light duty vehicles until 2050. Environmental research: infrastructure and sustainability.
- (2021) Drivers of change in US residential energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2015. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 16 (3).
- (2021) Linking Housing Policy, Housing Typology, and Residential Energy Demand in the United States. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (4).
- (2021) A comprehensive set of global scenarios of housing, mobility, and material efficiency for material cycles and energy systems modeling. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) Increased carbon footprint of materials production driven by rise in investments. Nature Geoscience. vol. 14 (3).
- (2021) Factors influencing the life-cycle GHG emissions of Brazilian office buildings. Buildings & Cities. vol. 2 (1).
- (2021) Global scenarios of resource and emission savings from material efficiency in residential buildings and cars. Nature Communications. vol. 12.
- (2021) Linking service provision to material cycles: A new framework for studying the resource efficiency–climate change (RECC) nexus. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) A mechanistic model to link technical specifications of vehicle end-of-life treatment with the potential of closed-loop recycling of post-consumer scrap alloys. Journal of Industrial Ecology.
- (2021) Energy system decarbonization and productivity gains reduced the coupling of CO2 emissions and economic growth in 73 countries between 1970 and 2016. One Earth. vol. 4 (11).
- (2021) Copper Recycling Flow Model for the United States Economy: Impact of Scrap Quality on Potential Energy Benefit. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (8).
- (2021) Potential Climate Impact Variations Due to Fueling Behavior of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Owners in the US. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (1).
- (2021) Material efficiency and climate change mitigation of passenger vehicles. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) Pricing indirect emissions accelerates low—carbon transition of US light vehicle sector. Nature Communications. vol. 12 (1).
- (2021) Linking the Environmental Pressures of China's Capital Development to Global Final Consumption of the Past Decades and into the Future. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (9).
- (2021) Individualism and nationally determined contributions to climate change. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 777.
- (2021) Consideration of culture is vital if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. One Earth. vol. 4 (2).
- (2020) Capital in the American carbon, energy, and material footprint. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 24 (3).
- (2020) Carbon fueling complex global value chains tripled in the period 1995–2012. Energy Economics. vol. 86.
- (2020) Happier with less? Members of European environmental grassroots initiatives reconcile lower carbon footprints with higher life satisfaction and income increases. Energy Research & Social Science. vol. 60.