European Commission


What do elections in Greenland, permanent magnets, wind turbines and EVs have in common? These are all linked to Rare earth elements (REEs) – critical raw materials essential for the European Green Deal as well as Europe’s digital transformation, with widespread applications in clean, high and consumer-tech as well as in manufacturing industry sectors. Extracting and processing  of REEs comes with considerable environmental challenges: China, currently dominating global production, stated in 2019 “it had shut down more than 1,300 heavy metal enterprises since 2016 to curb widespread chronic soil pollution”. The recent Greenland elections also highlighted environmental concerns about REE mining developments.

Life Cycle Assessment refers to the process of investigating and evaluating environmental impacts of a product over its entire life cycle. This roundtable discussion brings together experts from Europe and beyond to share knowledge and best practices in life-cycle assessment approaches, in particular in rare earths. We will discuss and tackle questions such as:

  • How to quantify environmental and climate impacts in rare earth value chains through life-cycle assessment (LCAs)? What are the best practices in these methodologies?
  • What are the current benchmarks in those LCAs? What data is available and what is missing?
  • What should a global standard or sustainability framework for rare earth value chains look like?

Our panelists driving the conversation are:

  • REIA
    • Dr. Badrinath Veluri, REIA
  • SecREEts
    • Pauline Chrobot, Quantis
    • ​​​​​​​MaXycle
      • Prof. Dr. Spomenka Kobe, Scientific Adviser, Jožef Stefan Institute​​​​​​​ 
      • Erik Emilsson, Project Manager and Researcher, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
      • Prof. Dr. René Kleijn, Leiden University
      • Sander van Nielen, Leiden University
      • Brenda Miranda Xicotencatl, Leiden University
      • Dr. Robert Pell, Founder & Director, Minviro
      • Dr. Mauro Cordella, Senior Researcher Tecnalia
      • Elisabet Amat Guasch, Senior Technologist, Tecnalia

    ​​​​​​​The event consists of an interactive session, with presentations from our panel speakers, as well as discussions between the panelists and audience members.

    Our moderators are:

      • Maëva Pratlong, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum
    • SecREEts
      • ​​​​​​​Clara Boissenin, Prospex Institute

    About the organisers: 

    SecREEts and SUSMAGPRO are two flagship R&I projects funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Our goal is to establish a resilient, sustainable and competitive European supply chain for REE – SecREEts based on a sustainable REEs extraction from fertiliser production, and SUSMAGPRO by recovering them from end-of-life permanent magnets.





    SecREEts and SUSMAGPRO have received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 776559 and No 821114.

    This event is supported by the Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA): REIA is an international non-profit organisation representing the global rare earth element (REE) industry with active members worldwide. ​​​​​​​