Edgar Hertwich researches life-cycle assessment, sustainable production and consumption, trade and environment, plus risk analysis. He explores how activities in society produce environmental pressures, and investigates alternative courses of action to reduce those pressures. He is Professor of Energy and Environmental Systems Analysis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Professor Hertwich was the lead author of the IRP’s 2009 Panel report, The Environmental Impacts of Production and Consumption: Priority Products and Materials, and leads the Working Group on the Environmental Impacts of Products and Materials. He also leads the Panel’s assessment of the environmental and resource impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation technologies.
Together with Associate Professor Anders Hammer Strømman, Hertwich leads a research group focusing on: life-cycle assessment of energy technologies; modelling and accounting of emissions and resource use related to consumption and international trade; and the development of methods, models and databases for this purpose. He is lead analyst for the Global Energy Assessment of the International Institute of Systems Analysis, which is used to help decision-makers provide sustainable energy services while reducing emerging risks and threats.
Professor Hertwich supervises work on the adoption of technologies and life-cycle impact assessment in the marine environment. His most significant research has been the improvement of toxic impact assessment methods in life-cycle impact assessments, by introducing fate and exposure modelling plus uncertainty analysis. He has also undertaken important studies on greenhouse gas emissions embodied in international trade and the carbon footprint of nations.
He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Industrial Ecology and has co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, many which have appeared in leading journals. Hertwich earned a PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, in the USA.