Resource Efficiency, Innovation and Lifestyles

Part of the ‘Towards Sustainable Product Design’ series of conferences

17th International Conference
29th-30th October 2012
Alanus University


Rio +20 in June 2012 will focus on the ‘green economy’ with resource consumption, innovation and behavioural change being central to discussions. Resource productivity and efficiency in production and consumption are moving up the global agenda as increasing raw material costs and emerging concern associated with security of supply of critical metals essential for the production of eco-innovative technologies has increased. Discussions in Europe have shifted towards the practicalities of transitioning to low carbon and resource efficient economies and societies. Materials and water alongside energy and food are now being positioned at the heart of the resource productivity debate. The need to radically change consumption patterns has gained increased visibility and enabling higher levels of demand and supply side innovation will be the linchpin in moving forward. The ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ published by the European Commission in September 2011 consistently highlighted the need for accelerated innovation in materials, products, services and technologies as key to enabling smart, sustainable growth. Developing an improved framework to accelerate the flow of good ideas for products, services and technologies through R&D to the market is essential to enable resource efficient, low carbon innovation. New business models will be required that catalyse innovation across and beyond the life cycle. Developing systems to ensure ‘closed (materials) loops’ are receiving increasing attention and various approaches are being developed e.g. ‘cradle to cradle’, Product Service Systems (PSS), re-use and sharing models. ‘Designing out’ waste and designing for ‘closed loops’ will be of growing importance as waste gets more expensive and resources get scarcer. Therefore developing products, services and technologies to enable recycling, remanufacturing, reconditioning, product extension and dematerialisation will become an essential element of innovation.


Sustainable Innovation 12 will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to resource productivity, innovation and lifestyles related to products, services, technologies, infrastructures and business models. Sustainable Innovation 12 will include invited and refereed papers from academics, consultants, entrepreneurs, investors, technology providers, designers, innovation, sustainability managers as well as other business functions. The event will create a unique space for learning, networking and thinking. Delegates will come globally from large companies, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as academia, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The conference is supported by an international Advisory Board.

Conference Topics

Sustainable Innovation 12 welcomes conceptual and research-based papers focused on sustainable innovation related to resource productivity and lifestyles. Papers should cover sustainability, product, service and technology design, development and commercialisation issues related to the following topics:


Sustainable Innovation 12 will provide a range of benefits to speakers and delegates:

Forum for new thinking, ideas and concepts
Presentations from international researchers, practitioners and policy-makers
New research, results and thinking
Opportunities to meet business, government and academia
Over 2000 delegates from over 50 countries have attended previous events

Submission details

Conference papers: please email, fax or post 500 words describing your proposed paper by 30th April 2012 .  The paper will then be sent to the Advisory Board for evaluation and authors will be given feedback by 30th June 2012.  The highest rated papers will be invited to present at the conference.  Please only submit abstracts if you have budgets to attend the conference.  Email your abstract to Ros via


For more information on Sustainable Innovation 12 please contact:

Martin Charter
The Centre for Sustainable Design
University for the Creative Arts
Farnham Campus
Tel: + 44 (0) 1252 892772
Fax: + 44 (0) 1252 892747

Organised by:

Strategic partner:

UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Germany

Venue partner:

Alanus Univrsity Logo


UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Germany UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Germany eco-innovation observatory logo world resources forum logo