Planted Forests and Circular Economy
The circular economy is an emerging concept to minimize waste, close material loops, and maximize the utilization efficiency of natural resources. Forests can support a circular economy by supplying wood for creating renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable materials. The principles of circular economy can be applied to the forest sector for enhancing resource efficiency and waste management (e.g., management of forest residues in planted forests). Assessing the potential environmental, economic, and societal implications of circular economy strategies in the forest context is critical to supporting forest management, investment, and policymaking. This talk will discuss circular economy principles, their applications to the forest sector, and the role of forests in supporting the development of a circular economy. The talk will also overview industrial ecology tools such as life cycle assessment that can evaluate the potential sustainability implications of circular economy strategies.
Yuan Yao - Assistant Professor of Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems, Yale School of the Environment, Yale University
Dr. Yuan Yao is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems in the Yale School of the Environment at Yale University. Before joining Yale, she was an Assistant Professor of Sustainability Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Yao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. She uses interdisciplinary approaches in industrial ecology, green engineering, and systems modeling to support the sustainable development of biomass-based materials and products. Dr. Yao received the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her research on sustainable biochar, and Laudise Medal from the International Society of Industrial Ecology for her outstanding achievements in industrial ecology. She has been named to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers “35 Under 35” list for emerging chemical engineering leaders. Yao serves as the associate editor for the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling. She also served on the Technical Advisory Group for LEAP Partnership in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Yao published papers in leading journals such as Science, Nature Sustainability, and Environmental Science and Technology.