Sustainable use of resourcesEver since the start of industrialisation - or in fact, even before that - there has been a constantly growing use of finite resources. If we continue at the same rate, it will soon be another planet that we shall be needing. Sustainable use of resources is therefore absolutely vital for the future.
SP utilises its technical skills and systems analysis tools and methods to contribute to more sustainable use of resources in fields such as energy, agriculture, foodstuffs, recycling and construction. Applying a systems science perspective, we deliver environmentally and financially viable sustainable solutions, from outline idea to realisation.
Agriculture and land use
Agriculture and land use applications are working areas in which we develop, demonstrate and evaluate techniques and systems for the cultivation of arable crops for production of heat, electricity and motor fuels, with the emphasis on the chain from field to conversion plant. We are also involved in work on the processing and combustion of energy crops, water and effluent treatment, and the return of ash to source land.
Energy system modelling
In future energy systems, biomass will be a limited resource that must be used in the most efficient manner, both environmentally and in cost terms. Using system analysis tools such as GET, we model and analyse scenarios of future energy systems in order to identify where various types of energy sources provide the most benefit. In practical terms, this means that we can, for example, assess the risks, cost efficiencies and environmental benefits of different technologies, such as for renewable motor fuels.
Food, environment and climate
We possess world-leading expertise in life cycle analyses in the foods sector, where we develop foodstuffs-specific methods of analysis, such as for marine products and other areas. We also possess an extensive data base of environmental data for a large number of products, giving us unique abilities not only to analyse production systems in order to see where they can be improved, and to investigate the effects of different choices of raw materials for industry, but also to investigate the effects on patterns of consumer use. Coupling LCA data with a systems approach means that we can improve the efficiency of foodstuffs production systems from earth to table, considering both environmental and cost aspects.