- Sustainable Materials Management
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the state of Iowa plan to transition from a traditional waste management policy approach supported with the solid waste management hierarchy to a system focusing on sustainable materials management. Sustainable materials management focuses on the full life cycle of materials and products and their impacts on natural resources and the environment, as opposed to only the end-of-life disposal of discards.
We are assisting with the development of a Sustainable Materials Management Vision for Iowa. The vison will provide a road map supported by policy priorities, strategies and actions for the state to achieve this policy and program transition.
Our team facilitated discussions with key stakeholders throughout the state using a unique data-driven planning process. This process included having stakeholders complete a survey reflecting program understanding and preferences, applying unique data visualization tools to characterize stakeholder preferences, and collaborating with other stakeholder meeting participants as a Think Tank to identify preferred future sustainable materials management scenarios envisioned for Iowa.
The project team also assisted the DNR with the benchmarking of sustainable materials management programs throughout the U.S., provided input on the facilitation process and composition of the Think Tank and focus groups, led the stakeholder engagement meetings, and documented the outcomes of the planning process. Overall, the planning process resulted in support from key stakeholders to make the transition, provided informed feedback on issue priorities and strategies, and offered a foundation for creating the preferred sustainable materials management vision for the state of Iowa.