Assessment of Macro-Scale Strategic Decisions in Materials Sourcing
The focus of this project will be the assessment of macro-scale strategic decisions that go beyond individual products and may be contextualized in global environmental impact assessments. Examples of such large-scale changes are the shift from petro-based chemicals to bio-based chemicals or large scale switches between agricultural raw materials that can be used interchangeably to provide the same function within individual products across a given product portfolio. Thus, this project is differentiated from the other individual research projects in that it is interested in sector-level shifts rather than incremental improvements in specific products. The sources of variability and uncertainty in this case are possibly even larger as they include sectors competing for land and water, and the availability of land and water. Increasing our understanding of these sources of uncertainty/variability and developing methodologies to decrease this uncertainty will help companies and policymakers make more strategic and better informed decisions on a macro level.