Towards A Low-Carbon & Circular Economy

Node Leaders

Paul Dargusch

Research Hub Deputy Director; Node Leader - Towards a Low-Carbon & Circular Economy

The University of Queensland


Integrated development of product-level and system-level carbon footprint methods can generate internally consistent assessments that support the multiple users of such information – environmental product declarations (EPDs) for manufacturers and building clients; accounting metrics to support investment in forestry; and system-wide hotspot analysis for policy makers and corporates wishing to prioritise environmental improvements. Coupling this with manufacturing (Node – Manufacturing Innovation), construction (Node – Value-Chain Innovation) and operational performance (Node – Timber Building Performance for Occupants) assessments can deliver an unprecedented quality of insights on the greenhouse-gas (GHG) mitigation benefits of novel EWPs. Australian methodological innovations in multi-region input-output (MRIO) analysis [1] provide a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between environmental and socio-economic analysis (Node – Socio-Economic Opportunity), also providing a framework for demonstrating the implications of changes in pursuit of a more circular economy.


Assess and incorporate data on materials and energy use over multiple product-specific supply chains, identifying the sensitivity of carbon footprint and materials flow distributions to data uncertainties, assumptions on waste management and recovery practices, metric and other methodological choices. Generate systems-level hotspots and long-term scenarios analysis using physical inventories, MRIO and hybrid approaches, characterising the strengths and weaknesses of different analytical frameworks.


Metrics, models and datasets that support future industry assessment of how best to couple timber systems innovation  with  decarbonisation,  waste  management  and  economic  dematerialisation  benefits.  Demonstrated implications of using different metric alternatives for Australia’s official carbon accounting and carbon pricing schemes. Product- and system-level GHG emission inventories would underpin carbon pricing analysis of Node – Socio-Economic Opportunity, and inform design of building (Nodes – Timber Building Performance for Occupants and Design for Extended Building Life) and manufacturing (Nodes – Manufacturing Innovation and Value-Chain Innovation) systems.


Robert Crawford

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

University of Melbourne


  1. Lenzen M, Geschke A, Wiedmann T, et al (2014) Compiling and using input–output frameworks through collaborative virtual laboratories. Science of The Total Environment 485–486:241–251.