Material Flow Analysis

Material flow analysis (MFA) is a systematic valuation of the flow and stock of materials within a system, defined in both space and time. Aimed at controlling pathways for materials use and industrial processes, MFAs create loop-closing industrial practices. Dematerialising industrial output, by using patterns of energy use to balance industrial input and output to an ecosystems natural capacity. MFA aims to delineate the system of material flows and stocks by reducing system complexity. This is done by assessing relevant flows and stocks quantitatively. Once the system is in place MFAs can still be used to monitor accumulation or depletion of stocks, even changes in future environmental requirements. This can lead to a re-design for more environmentally-beneficial goods, processes and systems.

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013
XEROX

Xerox conducted extensive reports on their products, concluding that the common model of retail industry was too detrimental to the environment. Changing their business model, Xerox no longer sells any products apart from printer cartridges. All printers are distributed under a lease licence, allowing for Xerox to ensure that obsolete products are remanufactured and recycled in-house. All collections of used cartridges and printers are done free of charge to the consumer at a 99% success rate.

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013
KIBBUTZ LOTAN

Kibbutz Lotan is a community who has developed permaculture systems that recycle and reuse 90% of all materials their residents use. To recycle water, they use filtration pools and water bed gardens, taking grey and brown water to irrigation standard and a small amount to drinking quality. Food waste is composted for use in gardens or fed to livestock. All other waste is either sent to recycling facilities or used to build structures. For example, their educational facilities are made entirely of old tires, un-recyclable waste and mud. They even reconstruct metal waste as artistic structures, to give some personal culture to their landscape.

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013