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Mise au point d’une méthode intégrée d’analyse des impacts des filières de matières premières minérales

Abstract : The subject of the thesis is the development of an integrated method of analysis of the social and environmental costs of depletion in the metal value chains. The supported thesis is that the depletion of metallic resources, beyond the question of the economic limits of exploitation, is a multiplier of the social and environmental costs generated by our current modes of production and consumption. The thesis was carried out as part of the Bureau for Appraisal of Social Impacts for Citizen information (Basic) research and development project on the development of sustainability indicators. The thesis is part of a transdisciplinary approach, combining an approach from the management sciences, namely the analysis of global value chains (GVC), mobilized to understand the influence of the organization of globalized chains on social and environmental impacts, and an economics-based approach, that of social costs, as developed by Karl William Kapp, which looks at the costs of social and environmental damage inherent in our economic system. The thesis aims to contribute to both the reinforcement of the methodological framework of social costs developed by the Basic, but also to the emerging research on depletion within the field of development of sustainability indicators. The research aims to explore the links between depletion, increased social and environmental costs of exploitation, and the influence of globalized chains on the occurrence of these costs. This general problem is divided into two parts. A first theoretical part, composed of chapters 1 and 2, contributes to define the depletion of metals in a perspective of strong sustainability and to formalize a framework of evaluation of the social costs coherent with this definition. In Chapter 1, depletion is redefined as two joint, continuous and irreversible phenomena: 1) loss of quantity (loss of material throughout the supply chain) and quality (diminution of ore grades and difficulties of recycling) of the resource.2) as a multiplier of environmental, health and social impacts of the metal value chains. Chapter 2 proposes a new framework to account for depletion and its social costs, linking the work of ecological economics and institutional economics based on the work of Karl William Kapp. This methodology develops an approach focused on studying the causes of social costs and levers to reduce these costs. A second empirical part applies the evaluation framework to the case study of the neodymium chain used in Nd-Fe-B magnets. This case study shows that, although the depletion of rare earth reserves is not perceived as an imminent danger, the social costs of depletion are already significant and that actions could be implemented to reduce these costs. This case study demonstrates the social and ecological relevance of the analysis of social cost depletion.
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Judith Pigneur. Mise au point d’une méthode intégrée d’analyse des impacts des filières de matières premières minérales. Gestion et management. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLC093⟩. ⟨tel-03123793⟩

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