Improved Resource Efficiency and Cascading Utilization of Renewable Materials – Focus on Lignocellulosic Biomass

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Organized by the
Research Training Group ‘Resource Efficiency in Inter-organizational Networks – Planning and Implementation Methods to Utilize Renewable Resources’, University of Göttingen (Germany)

Since the industrial age up to date, mainly fossil resources provided the energetic and material basis for industrial production and household consumption. Due to limited reserves, politics and industries strive for sustainable long-term options. Thus, renewable raw materials are becoming increasingly important as an alternative resource base and influence the value chains of many companies.

Co-operations between manufacturing and processing companies allow a prolonged use of materials and better exploit by-products of the manufacturing process. By stretching the material life cycle of a resource into as many stages of utilization as possible, a cascade is started.

Cascade utilization is designed to obtain optimal use of all components of the materials, including multiple usages of chemical resources, before they are used to generate power at the end of their life cycles. An example is the use of lignocellulose: Material use, as fiberboard, can be followed by chemical use in the pulp and paper industry, and finally the fibers can be burnt for energy. Utilization of by-products is another strategy to increase resource efficiency. For companies and supply chain networks, specific challenges arise from incorporating renewable resources into their product design and production processes. Suitable planning approaches are needed. This workshop will be focused on theoretical research and applications concerning cascading utilization of renewable resources in inter-organizational networks and its marketing. Contributions to this workshop should improve the understanding of general and specific problems related to advances in resource efficiency or provide solutions for corporate decision-makers.

The workshop will provide insights into quantitative models of cleaner production in networks using renewable resources and information technology. Further topics of consideration cover the logistics and distribution of cascade utilization, as well as consumer behavior towards eco-friendly products.
The following three main areas are of interest. The example questions serve as a suggestion for topics that might be discussed.

  1. Materials and Technologies
    • Which kinds of renewable, for example lignocellulosic materials, are processed for which purpose (material, chemical, energetic usage)? Which stages of cascade utilization are possible?
    • Which by-products emerge, and how can they be used most efficiently?
    • How can the recycling of intermediate products during cascade utilization be improved and expanded further?
    • Which methods and technologies have been developed or are needed in order to increase efficiency in production and usage of renewable and lignocellulosic materials and their by-products?
  2. Planning, optimization and management of production and supply chains for renewable resources
    • How can cascade utilization of renewable resources be improved among participants  in inter-organizational networks?
    • Which models can be built-upon improved logistical networks?
    • How can risks in biomass supply chains be reduced?
    • Which models for decision-making can be used? How can different criteria, e.g. price and sustainability, and uncertainties, e.g. in quality and quantity of materials, be taken into consideration?
    • How can mathematical methods, e.g. robust, multi-objective as well as online optimization approaches, be refined and applied to improve resource efficiency?
    • How can computer-aided production planning and supply chain management be improved regarding uncertainty factors?
    • Which concepts of tracking and tracing can be applied to and refined for cascade utilization?
    • How can life cycle assessment tools be used to improve the supply chain sustainability with regard to renewable resources? What are the benefits? What are the risks? How can the risks be reduced or avoided?
  3. Governance, coordination and distribution
    • How can renewable materials and semi-finished products be more effectively described in line with consistent systemization taxonomy and which data formats could be used?
    • How can IT governance, information management and relationship management in value-generating networks for renewable resources be applied and improved?
    • Which coordination mechanisms can efficiently be used for business-to-business relationships regarding specific features of products from renewable resources?
    • Which factors determine the acceptance of products based on renewable materials? Which are the main target groups and what are their informational needs?

Format and Procedures for Submission of Responses to this Call for Abstracts:

We invite authors to prepare abstracts of 300 words maximum in English. Please submit your abstract(s) via the conference website: The pending schedule of the workshop is to give an oral presentation of approximately 20 min. per speaker with a follow-up discussion. More details will be sent to you after May 29th. If you require further information, please e-mail quoting the workshop title (see above).

After the Global Conference, scientific teams of the Global Conference will choose selected contributions to be developed for peer review and potential publication within one of several Special Volumes of the JCLP (The Journal of Cleaner Production) that will be developed based upon initial inputs to the Global Conference.

For more information, please contact the Research Training Group ‘Resource Efficiency in Inter-organizational Networks – Planning Methods to Utilize Renewable Resources’ at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany (

Jutta Geldermann, Professor; University of Göttingen, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Chair for Production and Logistics.
Annette Becker, M.A.; Research Associate, University of Göttingen, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Chair of Retailing.
Francesco Castellani, M.Sc.; Research Associate, University of Göttingen, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Chair of Production and Logistics.
Lisa Thom, M.Sc.; Research Associate, University of Göttingen, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Institute for Numerical and Applied Mathematics.

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