Back 06.02.2015

Gaia and Outotec develop tools for measuring resource efficiency in the metallurgical industry

Outotec is cooperating with Gaia to develop a new, comprehensive method for evaluating resource efficiency in the metallurgical industry. Resource efficiency is key to future economic growth, as it saves costs, creates jobs and contributes to sustainable business.

The European Union is currently addressing the depletion of natural resources for example by promoting circular economy and resource efficiency, which is a central pillar of the EU’s growth strategy Europe 2020. However, current tools for measuring resource efficiency are limited. Outotec and Gaia are therefore developing tools for more accurate and comprehensive analysis within the metallurgical industry and its relevant value chains.

“Our mission statement ‘Sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources’ requires us to estimate the environmental impact of our technologies and solutions well. We are developing indicators that are scientifically based and material to our industry. We believe that the collaboration between Gaia and Outotec will create a methodology and tool for estimating these impacts,” says Chief Technology Officer Kari Knuutila from Outotec.

“Outotec’s existing process simulations and life-cycle inventories provided a good basis for further developing resource efficiency indicators. The framework and methodology needed for benchmarking the resource efficiency of metallurgical processes can also be tailored for other industries,” says Business Director Pekka Pokelafrom Gaia.

The indicators take into account various sustainability aspects – water, energy and material efficiency, resource depletion, and unrecovered materials among others. The indicators will be piloted in an evaluation of a copper production process. First results are expected to be ready for public release at the end of 2015.

Based on the cooperation with Outotec, Gaia will also develop a new solution, Gaia Refiner, a practical tool for assessing and benchmarking the resource efficiency and environmental sustainability of different value chains. It will be linked as an add-on to Outotec’s HSC Sim tool that lies at the core of this methodology. This provides the rigorous basis for many of the indicators shown in the figure below.

More information:

  • Tiina Pursula, Business Director, Gaia Consulting, tel. +358 40 514 9507, email:
  • Markus Reuter, Director Technology Management, Outotec, tel. +358 40 178 6868, email: