Organized sessions

EcoBalance 2020 welcomes proposals for Organized Sessions!

This year's conference will be held online.
The due date for submission of proposals is January 31st, 2021. Session proposals will be reviewed in the order they are received. We will make every effort to send out decision notifications regarding the acceptance of organized session proposals by no later than February 7th, 2021.

Organized Sessions represent an opportunity to bring together a group of scholars to present and discuss work focusing on a particular issue or research topic. Examples of structure for the organized sessions are given:
Discussion based on some of the video-presentations (with/without discussant(s))
A panel of experts on a given topic
A roundtable discussion

We will prepare one Zoom room for no more than two hours for each session. Session organizers have to pay 200,000 JPY for a session. Organized sessions will be highlighted and given a specific webpage on our website.

Proposal Submission Form

- Session title
- Name and affiliation of organizer(s)
- The description of the organized session (free form, less than 500 words)
Please send your proposal to:
ecobalance [at]
* Please change [at] to "@" if you contact.
  1. Organized Session 1:
    Roles of metal refining in sustainable circular economy
  2. Organized Session 2:
    Challenges and opportunities of sustainable consumption and production
  3. Organized Session 3:
    Can we use a life cycle inventory analysis for material selection? -- allocation methodology for the burden avoided by recycling among multiple products' life cycles
  4. Organized Session 4:
    Opportunities and challenges for plastic recycling
  5. Organized Session 5:
    EcoBalance tools for Carbon Recycling Technologies and Policies

Organized Session 1

Roles of metal refining in sustainable circular economy

Session organizer: Akihiro Yoshimura (Chiba University, Japan)

Base, rare and precious metals are important for the human society. However, the process of metal production causes heavy environmental impact and health hazard like mercury pollution or tailings dam failures. In addition, the demand of metals will increase by the economic development of the developing countries, and more "sustainable" metal production or recycling are required. With the aim of discussing the impact of metal refining or recycling, we call for studies addressing, but not limited to, technologies/environmental impacts/a convention or system related to metal refining or recycling.

Real-time webinar (Tuesday 2 March 2021, 09:00-11:00 (JST))
The detailed information: will be announced by e-mail.

Session Keynote: Marcello M. Veiga
Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering

Biography: Dr. Marcello Veiga has worked for the past thirty one years, as a metallurgical engineer and environmental geochemist for mining and consulting companies in Brazil, Canada, US, Venezuela, Chile and Peru. He has worked extensively on environmental and social issues related to mining.

From 2002 to 2008, he has worked as an expert and Chief Technical Advisor of the GEF/UNDP/UNIDO Global Mercury Project for UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in Vienna. This includes the implementation of Environmental and Health Assessment of mercury pollution in artisanal gold mining in Asia, Africa and South America. The project also included the implementation of procedures to reduce mercury emissions and local fabrication of pieces of equipment to reduce exposure of miners to mercury vapors and increase gold recovery.

Organized Session 2

Challenges and opportunities of sustainable consumption and production

Session organizers: Yusuke Kishita and Eri Amasawa (The University of Tokyo)

Descriptions: Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is key to transform the conventional linkage between consumers and producers in order to decouple economic growth from environmental impact while creating new values and bringing a better quality of life. This session will bring together researchers and practitioners to share the state-of-the-art research related to SCP. Speakers from different countries and diverse disciplines are welcome to join to exchange various approaches in addressing SCP issues, thereby deepening our understanding of challenges and opportunities in SCP context. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, circular economy, sustainable design, consumer lifestyle, behavioral design, sharing service, product service system, policy design, and ecolabelling.

Real-time webinar (Wednesday 3 March 2021, 20:00-22:00 (JST))
The detailed agenda can be downloaded here (

Organized Session 3

Can we use a life cycle inventory analysis for material selection? -- allocation methodology for the burden avoided by recycling among multiple products' life cycles

Session organizers: Ichiro Daigo and Daryna Panasiuk (The University of Tokyo)
Kiyotaka Tahara (AIST, Japan)

Descriptions: Energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources contributes to reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mitigation of climate change, and sustainability. This transition is relying on the material use for new technologies, and in turn causes environmental burdens such as GHG emissions. Although energy sources can replace each other at an equivalent calorific value, materials alternatives are more diversified. Particularly in transportation sector, light-weight materials can contribute to the reduction of energy consumption during operation. Furthermore, the differences in recyclability of candidate materials have to be taken into consideration. In a general life cycle inventory analysis, secondary resources consumed for production and recovered at end-of-life treatment do not tend to carry and avoid any environmental burden, respectively. This approach is called a "cut-off approach." However, in conducting a life cycle inventory analysis for material selection, the analysis should consider the consumption of secondary resources, use phase, and material recovery at the end of product lifetime. In the cut-off approach, the avoided burdens from the avoided natural resources and disposal are always allocated to the processes consuming and supplying the secondary resources, respectively. So far, several allocation approaches have been proposed, e.g., end-of-life recycling approach and waste mining approach. Amidst the theoretical developments of these methodologies, the time has come to apply those allocation methodologies to the actual cases. One of the major topics of this session becomes the material selection in automotive sector. In this session, we would like to have theoretical and empirical discussions about the evaluation of the environmental burdens associated with the use of different materials.

Date and time: 8 pm - 9 pm (JST) [= 12 am - 1pm (GMT)] on 2nd March

Please watch the following presentations in advance prior to participating in this organized session. Your Feedbacks and comments are very much appreciated.

202: Ichiro Daigo, et al.
217: Junxi Liu, et al.
200: Daryna Panasiuk, et al.
199: Pasan Dunuwila, et al.

Organized Session 4

Opportunities and challenges for plastic recycling

Session organizers: Jun Nakatani (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Hajime Ohno (Tohoku University, Japan)

Descriptions: Plastic production and consumption are increasing worldwide. Plastic products, in particular single-use plastics, impact the environment over their life cycles not only by entering the ocean but also by influencing climate change through greenhouse gas emissions from production to waste treatment. There have been wide-ranging discussions regarding approaches to solve and alleviate such problems, including the reduction and recycling of plastics. To reduce plastic usage and increase the amount of recycling, it is essential to quantitatively identify who uses and discards what types of plastics. Moreover, as the demand for recycled resin produced by mechanical (or material) recycling is constrained by quality deterioration and contamination by foreign substances such as plastic additives, recently chemical (or feedstock) recycling is attracting attention around the world.
In this organized session, three topics including seven studies will be presented. First, emerging technologies and environmental implications of chemical recycling are discussed. Second, input-output modeling is applied to reveal material flows and environmental impacts of plastic packaging as typical single-use plastics. Furthermore, a substance flow study and a comprehensive database are presented for plastic additives including brominated flame retardants.

session outline

Session keynote

Dr. Martin Baitz (Senior Life-Cycle-Sustainability Expert, Sphera Solutions GmbH)

Biography: Martin Baitz graduated in Chemical Engineering (PhD) and until 2002 he was Research Engineer and Head of Department at the LCA-Department IKP at University of Stuttgart. From 2003 until 2010 he was Director Process and Material Sustainability at PE INTERNATIONAL, Germany working as Consultant mainly in the Chemical, Plastics and Automotive industry. From 2011 to 2019 he was Director Content at thinkstep AG, responsible to develop and maintain the GaBi Databases for Life-Cycle Assessment and Sustainability applications. Since 2020 he is responsible for Quality Assurance, Innovation and thought leadership of the GaBi Databases and Content at Sphera and an Expert for Critical Reviews. He is member of German LCA standardisation body AA3 of DIN- ISO, Co-Editor of the International Journal of Life-Cycle Assessment for Data Quality and Availability and Associate Lecturer for Life Cycle Assessment at University of applied sciences Esslingen. Martin Baitz is consulting the European Commission DG Environment, DG Energy and DG Joint Research, is member in the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and in the Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation.


Topic 1: Emerging chemical recycling of plastics

  • [Session keynote] LCA of chemical recycling (pyrolysis) in Europe
    Martin Baitz (Sphera Solutions GmbH, Germany)
  • [Invited] Latest trends and challenges in chemical recycling (tentative)
    Shogo Kumagai (Tohoku University, Japan)

Topic 2: Input-output modeling for plastic packaging

  • Intersectoral material flow of plastic packaging in Japan (tentative)
    Jun Nakatani (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • Plastic packaging in the EU from production to waste management and back again
    Ciprian Cimpan (NTNU, Norway)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential of Taiwan's plastic packaging circulation goals: scenario analysis based on waste input-output modeling
    Chang Chien (NCKU, Taiwan)

Topic 3: Plastic additives as constraints for recycling

  • Revealing bromine flame retardants flow in Japan with input-output approach
    Mayu Sasaki (Tohoku University, Japan)
  • A comprehensive plastics additives database and its potential application for plastics recycling scenario investigation
    Magdalena Klotz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Organized Session 5

EcoBalance tools for Carbon Recycling Technologies and Policies

Session organizers: Yasuhiro Fukushima (Tohoku University, Japan)

Descriptions: To tackle global environmental and resource challenges at the same time, LCA can be a vital tool. To what extent the current EcoBalance tools (LCA, technoeconomic assessment, MFA, etc.) can be useful? In this organized session offered by a NEDO funded project, we will start exploring answers to this question so that our community can play vital roles in formulating a sustainable future through technology and policy design and development.