Summary of Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air

Making Buildings, Vehicles and Products Efficiently and with Less New Material

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Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air book summary
Recycling aluminum cans won’t save the environment. Its massive problems demand large-scale solutions.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


This unusual book on halting global climate change addresses increased “material efficiency” and the recycling, reuse and extended use of “steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminum” in industrial production. Engineers – including Cambridge professor Julian Allwood and Cambridge lecturer Jonathan Cullen – worked with their associates to produce this clever, entertaining, wide-ranging treatise on applying common sense to manufacturing and industry to prevent environmental degradation and to attempt to slow global warming. getAbstract recommends their original, implementable solutions to those who employ, make or shape materials and to those who influence these processes, including policy makers, risk managers, standards experts, investors, materials buyers and entrepreneurs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How producing “steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminum” contributes to harmful industrial emissions;
  • What can be done to mitigate this problem; and
  • What the five “E’s” of a “sustainable development strategy” entail.


Massive Harmful Emissions
Production of “just five materials” – steel, cement, plastic, paper, aluminum – “accounts for 55% of industrial emissions.” Yet, manufacturers have improved their production processes to increase energy. These processes pollute less in 2015 than at any earlier...
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About the Authors

Julian Allwood, PhD, is a professor at the University of Cambridge, where Jonathan Cullen, PhD, is a lecturer. Mark Carruth, Daniel Cooper, Martin McBrien, Rachel Milford, Muiris Moynihan and Alexandra Patel are associates in the Low Carbon Materials Processing group, part of the WellMet2050 project to find ways to cut global carbon emissions from the production of steel and aluminum goods.

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