Project Description

Tim Fields, Senior Vice President at MDB, chairs the Sustainable Materials Management Coalition, a diverse multi-stakeholder private-public partnership that aims to develop new national policy direction on sustainable materials management in the United States.

Sustainable materials management involves using or reusing materials in the most productive and sustainable way possible, across their entire life cycle. This approach reduces waste, conserves resources, and lessens the impact that materials have on the environment.

In June 2012, the Sustainable Materials Management Coalition issued the report “Sustainable Materials Management: A New Materials Hierarchy, Solutions to Barriers, and Recommendations for a Path Forward,” which provides practical advice to various groups on how to incorporate life cycle thinking into materials management decisions. This 44-page report was the result of a yearlong effort by representatives of business and industry, academic institutions, environmental and community organizations, and state and local government organizations to create a greater path forward for sustainable materials management. Waste Management, a national leader in recycling and materials management, was a primary supporter of the effort.

The Sustainable Materials Management Coalition has done a great job of assessing the current waste hierarchy, defining ways to overcome barriers to extracting value from discarded materials, and identifying a path forward for sustainable materials management in the future. We appreciate the insights these experts brought to our project to envision a more sustainable use of materials in the U.S.

–Barry Caldwell, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Waste Management

Download the June 2012 report – Sustainable Materials Management Coalition