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Amos Ncube Leverages Diverse Background in Circular Economy Oriented Research and Consulting

Amos Ncube, Senior Sustainability Analyst 

Selection for highly competitive European ReTraCE program provided experience in stakeholder-oriented LCA of biogas, brickmaking, and olive oil and wine production

Amos Ncube, a new addition to EarthShift Global’s team of senior analysts, provides our organization with a powerful combination of consulting and research experience, including stakeholder-oriented studies of circular economy principles in sectors ranging from biogas to brickmaking to olive oil and wine production.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Environmental Science at the University of Zimbabwe in his home country and a Master’s in Industrial Ecology and Resource Efficiency at Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia, Amos spent almost six years as a sustainability consultant at the Zimbabwe National Cleaner Production Centre (ZNCPC) hosted by the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre in the capital city, Harare [https://www.sirdc.ac.zw].

“After finishing my master’s degree, I wanted to upgrade my understanding of sustainability issues outside of academia, and the ZNCPC’s task of protecting the environment, meeting regulatory requirements, and making recommendations to industry, clients, and policymakers was a very good fit,” explains Amos. “In that period, circular economy was becoming a buzzword within the sustainability field and I was keen to understand the motivation for shifting away from our usual linear practices (Take, Make, Dispose).”

That interest prompted Amos to apply for a Marie-Curie Ph.D fellowship program at Italy’s University of Parthenope, which was part of a European Union training network supporting implementation of the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy. His successful bid allowed him to be part of a 15-person research team in the Realizing the Transition to a Circular Economy (ReTraCE) program [http://www.retrace-itn.eu]. His focus: understanding the environmental implications of a transition towards a decarbonized economy, with particular focus on agri-food chains, construction, and energy sectors.

That work exposed him to a very wide range of businesses as he assessed and analyzed resource/material flows and energy stocks in a systems context, while applying multiple methods including life cycle assessments (LCAs), EMergy accounting, and stakeholder engagements. It also led to a series of journal publications focused on LCA, circular economy, and bioeconomy. [https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amos-Ncube] Topics include plastic bottle reuse, integrated assessment methods for the circular economy, and use of LCA to assess waste management in fast-growing countries.

“The diversity in sectoral and geographic scope was deliberate, to get the most representative and equal coverage of circularity practices and implications,” explains Amos. “Without an expanded scope, we risk restricting our conclusions to certain markets and Euro-centric contexts.” He notes that interacting with different stakeholders during data collection, while time-consuming, allowed for broader and deeper understanding of their needs and targets.

Amos is currently based in Italy as he submits and defends his doctoral thesis; plans call for him to then return to Canada, where he recently interned with the Borden, Ladner, Gervais law firm and the Azura Associates International consulting firm. He has also worked with companies and institutions in the UK, China, Pakistan, and Southern Africa and completed circular economy courses with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and professional development studies with Washington State University/Sumy State University.

“I was very excited to learn about EarthShift Global, and now to have the opportunity to work with Lise and the team here,” says Amos. “It feels like a continuation of what I have already been working on at the intersection of practice and academia. I’m looking forward to being more involved in project management and influencing policymaking processes towards a sustainable future and net-zero carbon emissions.”