Sustainability of materials

The Sustainability of materials research group investigates the sustainability of materials over their entire life cycle. The mission of the team is to provide suitable methods, metrics, tools, and accurate sustainability assessments of materials to guide the transition from a fossil-based economy to a biobased economy and from a linear to a circular economy.


Consistent and full sustainability assessments are needed to evaluate and enhance the sustainability performance of materials. It is important to address multiple sustainability issues at the same time over the full life cycle of a material, to avoid shifting (instead of improving) sustainability impacts. The multidisciplinary research team uses and advances environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), LCA-derived methodologies and other quantitative approaches to investigate the environmental, economic and social impact of materials. The applied LCA methodologies include attributional and consequential LCA, Life Cycle Costing, Social LCA, and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment.

The projects of the team focus on different parts of the materials value chain, from the resources and their supply chain, to the production of materials, different applications and end-of-life scenarios. The main areas of research are:

  • Materials made from renewable resources: biobased materials
  • Greener production routes for manufacturing of materials and chemical intermediates
  • Sustainable materials applications
  • Materials with improved end-of-life scenarios to prevent waste generation: circular materials


  • BBM1001 Biobased Materials, Master Biobased Materials
  • BBM1005 Process Technology, Master Biobased Materials
  • BBM1013 Sustainability of Biobased Materials, Master Biobased Materials
  • BBM5000 Master Thesis supervision, Master Biobased Materials
  • Member Educational Programme Committee Master Biobased Materials
  • Academic Advising Master Biobased Materials
  • CEN1001 Engineering in a Circular Economy, Bachelor Circular Engineering
  • CEN2022 Biobased Materials, Bachelor Circular Engineering
  • CEPRO1110 Life Cycle Assessment Project, Bachelor Circular Engineering
  • ENG3014 Biotechnology for Sustainable Processes, Bachelor Circular Engineering
  • BENC2015 Biobased Materials, Bachelor Business Engineering
  • BENP1002 Circular Economy Project (Life Cycle Assessment), Bachelor Business Engineering
  • BENP2004 Bachelor Thesis Supervision, Bachelor Business Engineering
  • INT3005 Biobased Materials & Technology, Bachelor Maastricht Science Programme
  • Supervision of Bachelor project periods, Bachelor Maastricht Science Programme
  • Academic Advising Bachelor Maastricht Science Programme
  • Assessment Platform Science Masters FSE
  • EBC2187 Sustainability and Social-Ecological Systems, Minor in Sustainability
  • Online training module “Life Cycle Assessment: Basic Principles and Uses”

Materials for a Sustainable Society

Head of the Sustainability of biobased materials-group Associate. prof. Yvonne van der Meer tells about materials for a sustainable society.

Sustainable? green? eco-friendly? Do you also care about the environment and like to learn how to determine if a product/process/service is sustainable? Join our Chemelot InSciTe LCA course next year to find out more!

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