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IRTC 2023

Workshops descriptions

There are limited spots for the workshops, so register soon!

Part I: Rare Earths – Assessing the permanent magnet motor sustainability with an integrated tool

15 February, 10:30 – 12:00

Rare earths are widely considered as critical metals, which various green technologies heavily depend on. How to assess the sustainability of rare earth-based products or how can the industry trace the materials from mine to product is a challenge. At present, there is no single environmental footprint representing the rare earth sector. Thus, when the industry and its consumers wish to market themselves as environmentally friendly, they face a confusing range of choices and methods for environmental evaluation. In the workshop, the Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA) along with its partners Minviro, Circularise, Grundfos and BEC Magnetics will demonstrate its state-of-the-art method as a common way of measuring environmental performance of rare earths with a blockchain based traceability tool.

During the workshop, first of its kind in nature, REIA and its project partners will provide a hands-on training on the tool we developed to overcome the sustainability and traceability challenges including practical sessions on developing a metrics for sustainable mining, sourcing and the establishment of the global sustainability standard for REEs.

The key outcome of the training session would be you get familiar with:

  • An assessment system to enable the calculation of REE supply chain data with integrated measuring and improving socio‐environmental impact
  • A blockchain digital ledger with inbuilt data security via cryptography, featuring the ability to identify supply‐chain vulnerabilities and opportunities.

Please join us for a training workshop featuring leading researchers and practitioners  from around the world sharing their insights into these increasingly significant issues for modeling REEs in Life Cycle Assessment and a blockchain tool for material traceability

Part II: Battery and data centre equipment (with CEDaCI project)

15 February, 13:30 – 15:30

The E-mobility and rechargeable battery market are significantly growing, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.5% during the forecast period 2022-2027. In this context, the Haut-de-France (HdF) region is expected to become a significant actor in the battery sector by installing three new gigafactories of batteries. The HdF region has several strengths (e.g., strategic localization, solid automotive industry, strong R&D actors, and battery gigafactories) and weaknesses (e.g., lack of recycling plants). Herein lies the relevance of managing sustainable regional development and the need to support the regional actors of the battery sector in implementing circular economy strategies. This session aims to present market analysis, today and considering technological development, and circularity linked to a robust regional strategy for the circular battery industry.  

The Data Centre Industry (DCI) has grown rapidly and generates a large volume of eWaste/ WEEE. The current infrastructure for dealing with this waste is underdeveloped; consequently, there is a real and urgent need to address this now. The project CEDaCI will build a Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry by bringing together stakeholders from all equipment life cycle stages to turn this waste into a useful resource and support the ongoing rapid growth of the DCI. In this session, we aim to demonstrate the Circular Data Centre Compass (CDCC) developed in the frame of the CEDaCI project. CDCC is a unique, free online resource designed to guide the Data Centre Industry (DCI) in choosing more circular options during the procurement, refurbishment, and disposal of servers by assessing the environmental, social, economic and criticality of raw materials.

Participation in this workshop is free of charge. The number of participants in is limited; priority will be given to a balanced mixture of stakeholder groups.

Part I: Open stakeholder consultation workshop

15 February, 10:30 – 12:00

The project IRTC-Training is developing certified training courses in material risk management that allow industry professionals to evaluate their companies’ specific risks, and to take actions to reduce those risks. IRTC-Training aims to i) provide the required knowledge to comprehend the theory and application of criticality concepts, and ii) equip  the learner with the competencies to select appropriate criticality mitigation strategies for the raw materials used in their organisation, and adapt those to the organisation’s needs.

This workshop brings together stakeholders from different areas to discuss the educational concept of the project IRTC-Training. In an interactive way, we will present the progress of the training development together with the expert group that is guiding the accompanying ISO certification. Workshop participants will be asked to provide their feedback on envisaged contents and structure of the trainings and give input on the competencies they wish in future raw material risk managers. Through this workshop, we want to actively involve different perspectives and expectations in the training development process.

We encourage stakeholders from industry, NGOs, universities, policy-making, and civil society to participate and have an active voice in the education of future raw material risk managers.

Part II: IRTC-Business Decision Tool training: Understand raw material risks in the supply chain

15 February, 13:30 – 15:30

For a transition to a low-carbon future, it is of crucial importance to have a secure material basis for the deployment of electromobility, renewable energy production, and related sectors. Companies must be empowered to spot material risks in their supply chains and possess the tools to effectively mitigate them.

During this workshop, participants are introduced to the concept of raw material criticality from the perspective of a company. Participants will use the IRTC Decision Tool, which was developed by the project IRTC-Business. The training  provides the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the concept of “criticality” from the perspective of a company
  • Identify different factors that contribute to raw material criticality (e.g. concentration of supply, environmental impacts, etc.)
  • Understand how these factors contribute to company risks
  • Identify different mitigation measures to decrease criticality
  • Name advantages and disadvantages of the different mitigation strategies
  • Analyse raw material risks by the use of a newly developed webtool

Participation in this workshop is free of charge.

Part I: Navigating the Challenges of Critical Raw Materials: An Overview of UNFC and UNRMS

15 February, 10:30 – 12:00

Understanding the challenges of managing CRMs, including climate change, food, water, and geopolitical conflicts. An overview of UNFC and UNRMS and their role in addressing these challenges and promoting sustainable management of CRMs.

  • Critical Raw Materials and Climate Change: A Global Perspective
  • UNFC and UNRMS: A Blueprint for Managing Critical Raw Materials Sustainably
  • Systems Approach in the management of Critical Raw Materials – Plugging into the Renewable, Electric Vehicle/Battery and Hydrogen Economies
  • Corporation vs Competition in the management of Critical Raw Materials: Addressing the ESG challenges through a global CRM dashboard
  • Lithium industry perspective.

Part II: UNFC and UNRMS in Action: Best Practices and Case Studies

15 February, 13:30 – 15:30

Implementation of UNFC and UNRMS in managing critical raw materials, including best practices, case studies, and practical examples to promote sustainable management of CRMs in different contexts.

  • Lithium Resource Management using UNRMS in UK: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
  • Integrated Resource Management of CRMs using UNFC/UNRMS-AMREC in Africa
  • Critical Raw Materials Management: Challenges and Opportunities in the Phosphate industry
  • Promoting Sustainable Resource Management of Critical Raw Materials in China
  • Hydrogen/ammonia industry prespective.

The critical issues currently facing our planet, such as the climate emergency, extreme weather, food, water, and geopolitical conflicts, are interconnected and reinforce one another as a poly-crisis. The availability of critical raw materials (CRMs) underpins a total transition to low-carbon sustainable energy, transport and digital economy. CRMs are important because they are essential to the functioning of modern economies but have limited availability and high environmental impacts.

Food and water crises are also linked to the management of CRMs. The increasing demand for water in mining and extracting raw materials can exacerbate water scarcity, particularly in regions already facing water shortages. Additionally, converting land to mine raw materials can lead to food insecurity and displacement of local communities.

Concentrating CRMs in certain regions can lead to competition and conflicts over access to these resources. The control and ownership of CRMs can be used for geopolitical influence and power. Therefore, managing critical raw materials is a complex and multifaceted issue linked to a range of issues and requires a holistic and integrated approach that considers the interconnectedness of these issues and promotes sustainable resource management.

The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS) can be valuable tools to support companies in identifying, classifying and managing their resources and developing a better understanding of their environmental and social impacts, which can help them to set targets, track progress, and identify opportunities for improvement.

The workshop will discuss how UNFC and UNRMS can be used to promote the sustainable management of CRMs. The workshop will explore the system challenges associated with transitioning to renewable energy, hydrogen and battery-based low-carbon economy and how UNFC and UNRMS can support this transition, specifically concerning CRMs. The major objectives of the workshops will be to:

  1. Examine UNFC and UNRMS as the transition pathway towards a sustainable future, specifically focusing on managing CRMs.
  2. Increase knowledge and understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with the sustainable management of CRMs.
  3. Explore a systems approach to CRM management by addressing the interconnectedness to renewable, battery and hydrogen economies.
  4. Exchange ideas and best practices for using UNFC and UNRMS to promote sustainable management of CRMs.

Present case studies on the application of UNFC and UNRMS in the management of CRMs.