Gordon Research Conference in Industrial Ecology 2024, Les Diablerets Switzerland

Gordon Research Conference in Industrial Ecology 2024, Les Diablerets Switzerland

At the end of May, four members of the Resource Efficiency Collective journeyed to the Swiss Alps to present research posters at the 2024 Gordon Research Conference and Seminar in Industrial Ecology. Industrial Ecology is the study of systemic relationships between society, the economy, and the natural environment. Natanael presented a poster on mapping the UK resource flows of foundation industries; Ana B on her PhD work on circular business models for building retrofit; Luke on greenhouse gas emissions accounting; and Ella on the fundamental disparities between combustion-based and electricity-based energy systems.

Before the main conference, Ella attended the Gordon Research Seminar for young researchers. This was an excellent opportunity to get to know other PhDs and Postdocs in the field, and share research in a supportive atmosphere. There was a big contingent from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who are intent on getting Refficiency members out to visit in Trondheim!

The main Gordon Research Conference began on the Sunday. Each day there were long-format presentations, a poster session, and free time for exploring the beautiful mountain scenery. The topics ranged from the role of Industrial Ecology in empowering corporates for low-carbon transition to digital platform innovations for scalable sustainability solutions. Industrial Ecology is a wide-reaching and interdisciplinary field, which makes for active and engaging discussions around many topics. The team all came away with many new ideas about their own research and beyond.

There was plenty of time each day for exploring the mountains. The group went on many excursions: hiking up to glacial lakes, trail running in sheeting rain, taking a cable car up to a 3200m high glacier, and even braving an icy shower in a waterfall at 1800m altitude!

This was a great week for the group. Learning lots, meeting new people for collaboration, breathing in some fresh mountain air, and 3rd prize in the student poster competition for Cambridge’s own Alice Bennett. We will be back for the next GRC in Maine 2025!

Images: Ella Jennings