Why Recycled Materials Don’t Always Generate Greener Products’ by Karthik Ramanna and Harry Kirk was published in the Harvard Business Review on 30 November 2023. It describes how Japanese electronics giant Hitachi and three of its suppliers used a carbon accountability methodology developed by Karthik called E-Liability to understand where CO2 emissions were produced when using copper.

A key finding of the project was that using recycled copper can produce significantly more CO2 emissions than mining copper, if the recycling process is itself high-emitting and if the mining process is low-carbon. This highlights the value of applying a systematic and robust approach (such as the E-Liability method) to measuring carbon emissions.