UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Combating material leakage : a proposal for an international metal covenant

(c) UCL Creative Media

1 January 2012

This paper addresses future perspectives for the management of resources on an international level. Failures of international open markets result in significant material leakage. Here, taking the example of material used vehicles, we develop elements of an international metal covenant that should allow for a more sustainable management of global material flows in that area. Our proposal is based on two principles: any regulation should actively seek industry participation, taking advantage of business interest in supplying a sufficient quantity of materials while lowering materials costs; and it should also address public issues such as sustainability of recycling and waste. In this paper we first analyse contracts as a tool for bridging gaps in knowledge when multiple actors are involved. We then give empirical evidence for material leakage in the case of used vehicles from Germany, before outlining the elements of a proposed international metals covenant. Finally, we analyse potential impacts and discuss legal and institutional issues.

Combating material leakage : a proposal for an international metal covenant. SAPIENS, 4 (2) 53 - 61. 

Bleischwitz, R; wilts Claas Henning, ; (2012) 

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