SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Carbon neutrality and life cycle thinking

Ming Xu
Ming Xu, Professor and Director of China Programs, School for Environment and Sustainability Professor, University of Michigan

Date: 8 November 2021Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 8 November 2021Time: 2:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar



Carbon neutrality has become mainstream worldwide. Many countries have established timeline to achieve carbon neutrality, mostly around 2050. In 2020, China, the largest fossil fuel CO2 emitting country, announced to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Life cycle thinking considers the entire supply chain of a product when evaluating its environmental impacts including impacts on the climate caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, also known as carbon footprint. In this talk, I will discuss the landscape of carbon neutrality commitments around the world including in China, and the roles that life cycle thinking plays in carbon neutrality. Specifically, life cycle thinking can help achieve carbon neutrality by 1) identifying critical processes with great contributions to the carbon footprint to guide emission reduction, 2) assessing the true GHG emissions from all processes of the product’s supply chain to avoid emission shift among these processes, and 3) informing consumers to help make climate conscious purchase decisions.

Event Recording

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Carbon neutrality and life cycle thinking

About the speaker

Ming Xu is a Professor in School for Environment and Sustainability and a Professor in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also the inaugural Director of China Programs in School of Environment and Sustainability and Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial Ecology at University of Michigan. His research focuses on industrial ecology and environmental systems engineering. He received the 2015 Robert A. Laudise Medal from International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE), the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2016, and the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2021. He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Engineering for its Environment & Light and Textile Industries Engineering Section. He has been serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling since 2015 (2020 Impact Factor: 10.204). He was elected Chair of the 2024 Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology and President of International Society for Industrial Ecology for 2023-2024.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register.

Chair: Dr Huan Zou, Reader in International Management, SOAS School of Finance and Management.

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

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