Elsa joined the Institute for Sustainable Futures in early 2015, with experience working on natural resources and climate change projects within research, non-government organisations and the private sector in Australia and Asia.
At ISF Elsa works across the areas of resources, energy, food systems and international development. She has been involved in several projects developing future scenarios, including for resource demands for renewable energy, employment impacts for energy technologies and the transition to 100% renewable energy for Australia. Elsa is a key researcher in the Wealth from Waste Cluster collaboration, a three-year, A$9m research program led by ISF that is identifying opportunities to progress resource productivity towards a circular economy for the metals sector in Australia. Elsa was a key organiser of the World Resources Forum Asia-Pacific held in June 2015, which brought together local and regional experts in sustainable resource management.
Before joining ISF Elsa worked with an NGO in Vietnam on a capacity building project on climate change, land rights and community forest management. Prior to this Elsa worked as an analyst for a carbon management consultancy, providing technical advice on carbon markets, carbon footprint methodologies and undertaking research on the social and environmental impacts of carbon mitigation projects. Elsa’s broader research interests include social equity in natural resource management and land use change, climate change mitigation and global markets for resources and carbon.
Dominish, E, Retamal, M, Sharpe, S, Lane, R, Rhamdhani, MA, Corder, G, Giurco, D & Florin, N 2018, '"Slowing" and "narrowing" the flow of metals for consumer goods: Evaluating opportunities and barriers', Sustainability (Switzerland), vol. 10, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 by the authors. Metal resources are essential materials for many consumer products, including vehicles and a wide array of electrical and electronic goods. These metal resources often cause adverse social and environmental impacts from their extraction, supply and disposal, and it is therefore important to increase the sustainability of their production and use. A broad range of strategies and actions to improve the sustainability of resources are increasingly being discussed within the evolving concept of the circular economy. This paper uses this lens to evaluate the opportunities and barriers to improve the sustainability of metals in consumer products in Australia, with a focus on strategies that "slow" and "narrow" material flow loops. We have drawn on Allwood's characterisation of material efficiency strategies, as they have the potential to reduce the total demand for metals. These strategies target the distribution, sale, and use of products, which have received less research attention compared to the sustainability of mining, production, and recycling, yet it is vitally important for changing patterns of consumption in a circular economy. Specifically, we have considered the strategies of product longevity (life extension, intensity of use, repair, and resale), remanufacturing, component reuse, and using less material for the same product or service (digitisation, servicisation, and light-weighting). Within the Australian context, this paper identifies the strategies that have the greatest opportunity to increase material efficiency for metal-containing products (such as mobility, household appliances, and personal electronics), by evaluating current implementation of these strategies and identifying the material, economic, and social barriers to and opportunities for expanding these strategies. We find that many of these strategies have been successfully implemented for mobility, while applying these strategies to personal electronics remains the...
Grant, M.L., Dominish, E., Carrard, N., Bui, L., Ha, H., Nghiem, T. & Willetts, J. 2016, 'Reducing or increasing inequalities? The role of private water enterprises in rural Viet Nam', Development Bulletin, vol. 77, no. August 2016, pp. 31-36.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Extreme inequalities are recognised as being detrimental to
human rights and economic development (Stiglitz 2012),
and in response, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
has explicitly included addressing inequalities as one
of the 17 Global Goals. In order to reduce inequalities an
integrated approach across multiple dimensions of human
development is required, including access to safe water.
This research investigated stakeholder perceptions of
rural piped water services in Viet Nam to better understand
issues of equality, access and affordability. It asked the
question: can poor households access piped water services
provided by small scale private enterprises in rural Viet
Nam? This question is important because little is known
about whether or not poor households access piped water
services, related issues of affordability of connection fees
and tariffs, and other potential barriers. It is also important
because private enterprises are increasingly providing piped
water services in Viet Nam, supported by incentives from
Government and international donors including some civil
society organisations (CSOs)
Cordell, D.J., Dominish, E., Esham, M. & Jacobs, B. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2017, Towards Phosphorus and Climate Smart Agriculture in Sri Lanka, pp. 1-79, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Two of the biggest global challenges for food security – phosphorus scarcity and climate change – are threatening farmers' livelihoods, agricultural productivity and environmental health. Sri Lanka's agricultural sector is comprised largely of smallholder farmers, where rainfed rice is often a staple of the diet. Climate change projections indicate rice yields could drop by 40%, affecting the majority of farmers and increasing poverty levels by up to a third. At the same time, fertiliser subsidies, which represent 2% of government spending, are currently being scaled back in a country that is dependent on fertiliser imports. This exposes farmers to future price fluctuations like the 800% phosphate fertiliser price spike that occurred in 2008. The goal of this collaborative research project is to contribute to building food system resilience to climate change and phosphorus scarcity in Sri Lanka, through adaptations from farm-scale through to policy-making. This report presents the first phase of the project investigating the capacity of smallholder farmers, policy-makers, industry and other food system stakeholders in Sri Lanka to adapt to these twin challenges, via a participatory, integrated, rapid vulnerability assessment framework.
Dominish, E, Florin, N, Giurco, D, Corder, G, Golev, A, Lane, R, Rhamdhani, A, Reck, B, Graedel, T, Sharpe, S, Edwards, M, Benn, S & Brooks, G 2017, Australian Opportunities in a Circular Economy for Metals: Findings of the Wealth from Waste Cluster, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Teske, S, Dominish, E, Ison, N & Maras, K Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2016, Renewable Energy for Australia–Decarbonising Australia's Energy Sector within one Generation.View/Download from: UTS OPUS