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94 David Peck – navigating the risk of Critical Raw Materials

Circular Economy Podcast - 94 David Peck – navigating Critical Raw Material risks

Catherine Weetman talks to David Peck, Associate Professor at TU Delft. David explains why we need to know more about Critical Raw Materials – what they are used in, and how we might navigate the future challenges they present.

David Peck is Associate Professor, Climate Design & Sustainability, Circular Built Environment and Critical Materials, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).

David researches and teaches in the field of circular design, focusing on remanufacturing and critical materials. He is a founding member of the Circular Built Environment Hub and works cross disciplinary on circular challenges, in particular on digital, ICT, mobility and renewables fields.

David explains how Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are defined, helping us understand why they are ‘critical’ from the perspective of different countries or regions, and how they are assessed and scored.

We discuss the pressure on CRMs, particularly from the perspective of low-carbon technologies, and how this presents ethical dilemmas around ‘fair shares’ for countries, and even across different industry sectors.

I ask David about the conversations he’s having with businesses and policymakers, and whether he’s noticing positive trends towards a good understanding of CRMs, and a recognition of the complex issues and risks.

We discuss the ethics and other issues around mining, and David unpacks the dangers of over-simplifying the arguments for avoiding more mining.

Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer.  Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started.  Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).

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About David Peck

David Peck is Associate Professor, Climate Design & Sustainability, Circular Built Environment and Critical Materials, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).

David researches and teaches in the field of circular design, focusing on remanufacturing and critical materials. He is a founding member of the Circular Built Environment Hub there. David works cross disciplinary on circular challenges, in particular on digital, ICT, mobility and renewables fields.

David is also Honorary Associate Professor with University College London – The Bartlett and an adjunct Professor at MIP Politecnico di Milano, Graduate School of Business. David sits on the executive board of KIC EIT Raw Materials.

David also works with ad hoc committees in the EU, Brussels, and is a Horizon Europe reviewer. He is the TU Delft lead scientist for EU Horizons 2020 projects Pop Machina, ProSUM, ERN and FP7 CRM_Innonet, and now Horizon Europe Widening project CiRCLETECH.

David is TU Delft representative for the EU KIC EIT Raw Materials and represents the university in the programme, along with projects in EU KIC EIT Manufacturing. He leads a number of projects in this important programme that has a focus on critical materials and circular economy, in particular Remanufacturing.

Interview Transcript

Click here to open the transcript…

Want to find out more about the circular economy?

If you’d like to learn more about the circular economy and how it could help your business, why not listen to Episode 1, or read our guide: What is the Circular Economy

To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy.  Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable. 

Please let us know what you think of the podcast – and we’d love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts.  Or send us an email

Podcast music

Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’.  Or, follow them on Twitter.

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