CLF is definitely a key player in facilitating these relationships by (1) disseminating knowledge/resources online and through local hubs, (2) fostering connections between industry stakeholders, (3) providing policy guidance, and (4) incubating initiatives like SE 2050, to name a few. Academics in this field must understand the state of the practice in industry to identify knowledge gaps worth tackling and then make sure their important research is heard and put to use. My favorite framework for prioritization is to identify the problems that are big, solvable, and neglected.
Embodied carbon is a much bigger conversation now than it was a few years ago, but it still has a long way to go. There’s a small group of industry professionals who are sprinting but many more who have barely started crawling. While academics might often support best practices for the sprinters, there’s also considerable work to be done for the crawlers, so it’s obviously not ‘one-size-fits-all’. But how can we best reach the most people?
Take biogenic carbon in LCA as an example. There’s obviously a lot of nuance to the conversation, as outlined by this overview of LCA methods by Hoxha (2020), but if we want to dramatically expand LCA as a practice, that doesn’t necessarily involve convincing everybody to read this paper and go down that rabbit hole. If we make sure the right people get this info (LCA tool developers, influential industry professionals), then it can hopefully get put to use in the right ways, even if the message is pared down. Maybe most people need to hear the ultra-trimmed down version of it: “all biogenic carbon models are wrong, some are useful when you use them correctly”. I think some of the best ways to put this research to use are through policy, tool development, and case studies that highlight how to put valuable findings into practice.
I’m starting my PhD with Wil Srubar next year so I’ll see you in Boulder! Looking forward to connecting.