IE stories: Muhammed Noor Hossain

Muhammed Noor Hossain

What are you working with?
It’s been only two months since I have formed a nonprofit organisation called Cooperation for Resource Efficiency (CORE) Foundation in Bangladesh. The Foundation was formed together with my professor Dr. M Mosharraf Hossain who sowed the seed of Industrial Ecology (IE) in me and many others. At present, I am mostly spending my time on writing interesting projects for the Foundation with an aim to form an institute of Resource Efficiency to research and utilise the generated knowledge in helping Bangladesh become a (more) resource efficient economy.

A key feature of our current activities is building IE capacities. We have so far trained more than 30 students and professionals on conducting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the form of workshops and seminars at different universities in Bangladesh. This resulted in LCAs of Indian electricity, Bangladesh electricity, Apparel supply chain (Jute and Cotton), Rice production, Tea, Fish, Coal, Natural gas, University admission system (more are in the pipeline). Moreover, we are in the process of setting up a national LCA database for Bangladesh.

Besides LCA, we are trying to plant trees in the dry period in and around the Rohingya refugee camps where Bangladesh hosts about a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The refugee shelter camps are built on the hills which are now completely barren and in the danger of landslides. We are putting together a circular solution with the FAO using the core principles of Industrial Ecology. We will be composting water hyacinth which is a severe problem faced by Kaptai hydroelectricity dam and will be converting the massive quantity of waste coconut from the touristic beach into coconut peat. These two in combination will significantly reduce irrigation during the dry periods making planting trees possible.

Furthermore, we are doing social projects with an aim to tackle the driver of intolerance – absence of critical thinking – by introducing youths with the nature.

Where can we find an occupation like yours (company/country)?

Unfortunately, there are only a handful of people practising IE principles in Bangladesh. There is no organisation working full time that would be interested to hire IE experts. However, people often find their own ways. The  Foundation we are building would be the first organisation to make use of IE expertise.

I have done three internship during my master education (MIND). First, I worked at Joanneum Research in Austria where I have conducted an LCA of biodiesel from Oil Palm. Second, I worked at ecoinvent in Switzerland where I have conducted an LCA of regionalised India electricity system. Lastly, I worked at Joint Research centre of European Commission in Italy where I have assembled 100 different LCA’s to calculate consumption footprint of an average European citizen. I can say all these three organisations provide excellent opportunities to apply IE skills.

End of 2018 I will start working a Teijin, in the Netherlands. This should bring me the opportunity to apply IE skills.

Is there a community or resource in your field you would like to share with other IE’ers?

I was awarded LCA award 2017 by UN Life Cycle Initiative which gave me a free SimaPro and ecoinvent license for a year. This is to mention that it is possible to get access to the expensive LCA resources despite being from a third world country. I would encourage to follow activities of the Initiative to have updates on the global LCA Initiatives. Besides Initiative, following the LCA discussion list of PRé consultancies helps to get answers to questions related to LCA and also to get updates on the LCA job/PhD opportunities.

Thank you so much for getting in touch with me regarding this. It is a great honor to be part of this great community. Please accept my gratitude.

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