Socio-economic Metabolism and Industrial Ecology: Connecting environmental impact to societal outcomes
Sustainable wellbeing is to live better lives while regenerating nature. To do this, we connect the origin of resources and their environmental impact to their uses in society. Are material flows and stock of consumption and built capital delivering better societies? How could we use resources more wisely to decrease impact while increasing wellbeing?

This project applies quantitative modelling under a philosophy of 'deep sustainability' to inform agendas such as de-growth, sustainable consumption, SDGs and fundamental human needs. We harness datasets on material and resource productivity such as the IRP Global Database and Environmentally-Extended Multiregional Input-Output Models, such as EXIOBASE. Complementing with datasets on lifestyles, values, well-being and bottom-up environmental monitoring. Depending on the interest, the student can apply 'Systems Thinking' by modelling through Stella or similar.

8a. Food security and bio-demographics

What are the implications of short-term human evolution for food security? Individuals are getting taller and heavier while societies are ageing. The current assessments by the Food and Agriculture Organization overlook such dynamic effects. The student will assess malnutrition by comparing top-down data on food supply with bottom-up estimations on feed demand based on physical data. We will evaluate trends across countries and time. The student will contribute to Global Food Security by comparing the traditional FAO method and proposing a modified approach that views population as a dynamic stock constituted by heterogeneous individuals with different needs based on a previous model.
Food Security for an Aging and Heavier Population

Contact: Dr. Gibran Vita

8b. Reduced Inequality and Environmental Outcomes

Globally, the top 10% consumers drive 45% of the emissions. While over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day, 1.6 billion people live without electricity, 1.1 billion have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. This research would simulate scenarios to explore whether income redistribution leads to worse or better environmental outcomes. 

Contact: Dr. Gibran Vita

8c. Economy-wide Resource Footprints

What are the resource implications of different economic sectors? The student will calculate consumption-based footprints of industrial sectors in Europe, accounting for imported resources, to better understand the opportunities and barriers towards a low-carbon circular-economy in the light of European Green New Deal. 

Contact: Dr. Gibran Vita

8d. Sustainable wellbeing and lifestyles

Sustainable wellbeing and lifestyles: Leverage points to encourage sustainable lifestyles are not sufficiently characterized The student will harness current databases and frameworks to provide clear policy guidelines on the co-benefits of sustainable lifestyles. The student could integrate novel datasets such as citizen driven reporting and bottom-up monitoring to provide a monitoring dashboard of opportunities and challenges. Example: Connecting global emissions to fundamental human needs and their satisfaction.

Contact: Dr. Gibran Vita