Materials as a Service (MaaS) in the Minerals and Metals Sector WRF2023

Discover how resource leasing can drive the Circular Economy transition and create fair value chains

Resource leasing or Materials-as-a-Service is an innovative business model that has the potential to facilitate the Circular Economy Global North/South transition while at the same time providing long-term benefits to producer countries especially in the context of achieving fairer trade conditions. The concept of MaaS involves the transfer of the right to use a resource, rather than the ownership of the resource itself. Royalties can be generated as part of the lease agreement to support affected mining communities and co-finance proper rehabilitation of mines.

This new potential resource use trade approach raises however questions around broader topics of global trade; the just transition; land and property rights; definitions of community; the resource curse; requirements for net zero; and the role of mining companies as we aim for transition.

The session was an interactive session between experts and the audience . The event organisers first introduced the general concept of and ideas behind ‘Materials-as-a-service’ and the necessity for a just circular transition. Then, a panel of renowned experts from the field of circular economy, just transition, property rights and mining reflected on the (im)possibilities of such Materials-as-a-Service, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Panel members include Ken Webster, Visiting Professor, Cranfield University, Fellow at CISL (Cambridge Inst. for Sustainability Leadership), Christian Spano Director Innovation of the International Council of Mining and Metals, and Meyer van der Berg, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town (affiliated with the DST/NRF Research Chair: Mineral Law in Africa), with other experts to-be-confirmed.

This event was organized by a consortium of representatives from the following organisations: African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), Chatham House, Het Groene Brein, and Turntoo.

Curious for the key take aways of this event?

Innocent Onah

Innocent Onah has concluded his PhD research in Environmental Resource Management at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. The title of his Dissertation is “Estimation of Fuel-wood Induced Carbon Emission and Adoption of a National Clean Cookstoves Project in Kwara Central Senatorial District, Kwara State, Nigeria”

Ken Webster

Ken Webster is Head of Innovation at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the UK. He is the author of The Circular Economy A Wealth of Flows (EMF May 2015) and Sense and Sustainability (Terra Preta 2009). His background is in economics and business education and education for sustainability.

Christian Spano

Innovation director at  International Council on Mining and Metals (ICCM). Christian is a senior executive with eighteen years of experience in strategy design and implementation in the industry, energy and forestry sectors. While working for ICMM member Anglo American, Christian gained experience of working on innovation in a socio-economic development context. This was followed by roles at World Economic Forum and Systemic where Christian focus on business models, regulation and finance. He has also been exposed to impact investing where he has had the chance to support disruptive technologies entering the mining and metals space.

Hugo Meyer van den Berg

Meyer van den Berg is a lecturer at the University of Namibia (company law, commercial law and criminal law) and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, where he is affiliated with the DST/NRF Research Chair: Mineral Law in Africa.

He advises on the full spectrum of commercial work, including banking and project financing, competition and general corporate issues.  He also advises clients in the natural resources sector on environmental and regulatory matters.  Meyer’s clients range from banking institutions, private companies, international companies and individuals. 


July 4th 2023, 15:00 – 17:00