Monique Retamal is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, with ten years’ experience in urban sustainability research. She recently completed an interdisciplinary PhD at ANU regarding the prospects for emerging business models such as the sharing economy and collaborative consumption to contribute to sustainable consumption goals in Southeast Asia.
Prior to her PhD studies, Monique specialised in urban water and sanitation planning for sustainability, both in Australia and overseas. She holds a 1st class honours degree in Environmental Engineering, a Masters in Water Resources and a Graduate Certificate in Political Economy. Monique has a keen interest in the development of policies and programs to foster sustainable lifestyles.
- Sustainable consumption and production, industrial ecology, sustainable lifestyles
- Business models for sustainability
- Policy and institutional arrangements for sustainability
- Integrated resource planning – particularly for water and energy
Dominish, E., Retamal, M., Sharpe, S., Lane, R., Rhamdhani, M.A., 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: 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...
© 2018 by the authors. Lead and zinc are used extensively in the construction and automotive industries, and require sustainable supply. In order to understand the future availability of lead and zinc, we have projected global supplies on a country-by-country basis from a detailed global assessment of mineral resources for 2013. The model GeRS-DeMo was used to create projections of lead and zinc production from ores, as well as recycling for lead. Our modelling suggests that lead and zinc production from known resources is set to peak within 15 years (lead 2025, zinc 2031). For lead, the total supply declines relatively slowly post peak due to recycling. If additional resources are found, these peaks would shift further into the future. These results suggest that lead and zinc consumers will need to plan for the future, potentially by: seeking alternative supplies (e.g., mine tailings, smelter/refinery slags); obtaining additional value from critical metals contained in lead-zinc ore deposits to counter lower grade ores; identifying potential substitutes; redesigning their products; or by contributing to the development of recycling industries.
Retamal, M. & Schandl, H. 2018, 'Dirty Laundry in Manila: Comparing Resource Consumption Practices for Individual and Shared Laundering', Journal of Industrial Ecology.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017, Yale University. Summary: Changing lifestyles in developing and emerging economies entail a shift in technology use, everyday practices, and resource consumption. It is important to understand the sustainability consequences of these changes and the potential for policy to guide practices toward more sustainable lifestyles. In this study, we investigate laundry practices in the City of Manila, the Philippines, and compare the resources consumed in three different modes of laundering. We examine (1) traditional washing by hand, (2) washing by machine at home, and (3) using a laundry service. In addition to comparing the consumption of water, energy, and detergents, we also examine the social aspects of laundering using the lens of social practice theory. We use empirical data gathered in interviews with laundry service operators and people laundering at home to undertake qualitative and quantitative analyses of laundry practices and resource consumption. We find that hand washing uses the least water and energy, but large quantities of detergents. Machine washing and laundry services are comparable for water consumption, but energy use is much higher for services as they use dryers. Social changes, such as an increase in work available for women and the nature of future housing, are likely to influence the dominance of either shared or individual laundering methods. These findings illustrate the social complexity of transitions to product-service systems and the interdependencies between their social and environmental impacts.
Retamal, M. 2017, 'Product-service systems in Southeast Asia: Business practices and factors influencing environmental sustainability', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 143, pp. 894-903.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 Product-service system (PSS) business models are now more widely used for business to consumer exchanges due to the popularity of the 'sharing economy' or 'collaborative consumption'. While there are claims that PSS offer more sustainable consumption alternatives, there is a shortage of literature regarding PSS business practices and the factors that may influence their environmental performance. In addition, few studies have investigated PSS in emerging economies. In this paper, we examine PSS business practices in relation to environmental sustainability for twenty businesses in Hanoi, Manila and Bangkok. Our aim is to understand business practices in this emerging economy context, and to determine the factors that enable or inhibit PSS businesses from achieving environmentally sustainable outcomes. We identified six sustainability criteria from the literature as the basis for analysing business practices: 1) using durable, quality goods; 2) intensifying use of goods; 3) enabling repair, take back and recycling of goods; 4) ensuring rental replaces purchase; 5) minimising transport and disposable packaging of goods; and for transport – 6) reducing private vehicle kilometres travelled. Through qualitative analysis of interviews we found that business participants generally performed well in criteria 1–2, but performance across the remaining criteria depended on the context such as: market conditions, public infrastructure, housing form, customer behaviour and the nature of the product. Our findings highlight the need for policy interventions to facilitate more sustainable outcomes, including: guidelines and green accreditation; planning regulations/incentives to provide space for PSS businesses; and policies to encourage multiple passengers for transport sharing.
Turner, A.J., Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C., Chong, J., Retamal, M., Murta, J., Carrard, N. & Delaney, C. 2016, 'Recycled water – lessons from Australia on dealing with risk and uncertainty', Water Practice and Technology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 127-138.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Much can be learned from the numerous water recycling schemes currently in operation in Australia, especially with respect to making investment decisions based on uncertain assumptions. This paper illustrates through a number of case studies, that by considering the contextual and project related risks, a range of business related risks become apparent. Shifts in the contextual landscape and the various players' objectives can occur over the life of a project, often leading to unforeseen risk and uncertainty. Through a thorough consideration of the potential risks presented in this paper, proponents as well as owners and managers might make better recycled water investment decisions, enhancing the benefits and minimizing the costs of water recycling schemes. This paper presents an overview and discussion of seven key factors to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Wallis, P.J., Ward, M.B., Pittock, J., Hussey, K., Bamsey, H., Denis, A., Kenway, S.J., King, C.W., Mushtaq, S., Retamal, M.L. & Spies, B.R. 2014, 'The water impacts of climate change mitigation measures', Climatic Change, vol. 125, no. 2, pp. 209-220.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Healey, M., Tyrrell, S., Retamal, M.L., Mitchell, C.A. & Devi, B. 2012, 'A decentralised water master plan for the City of Sydney - developing the baseline', Water Practice & Technology, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The City of Sydney is working to realise its vision to be a GREEN, GLOBAL and CONNECTED city, a vision articulated in their strategy Sustainable Sydney 2030 by undertaking a bold and ambitious project. The project will showcase how inner suburban areas can be retro?tted with innovative water systems to achieve integrated, resilient and sustainable water cycle outcomes. The baselining process is a major step in the development of a suite of plans that constitute the Decentralised Water Master Plan, including: a Water Ef?ciency Plan, a Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Plan, a Water Sensitive Urban Design Plan and a Decentralised Non-Potable Water Network Plan. Signi?cant community consultation is being undertaken to ensure the community and stakeholders have opportunities to input into the project. The ?nal plan will not be a ?xed document but will be an evolving document to take into account changing contexts and additional data as it becomes available.
Carrard, N.R., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A., Paddon, M. & Retamal, M.L. 2011, 'Selecting sanitation solutions for Peri-urban areas: A case study of Can Tho, Vietnam', Water Practice & Technology, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In peri-urban areas where infrastructure investments have not yet been made, there is a need to determine the most context-appropriate, fit for purpose and sustainable sanitation solutions. Decision makers must identify the optimal system scale (on the spectrum from centralized to community to cluster scale) and assess the long-term costs and socio-economic/environmental impacts associated with different options. Addressing both cost-effectiveness and sustainability are essential to ensure that institutions and communities are able to continue to bear the costs and management burden of infrastructure operation, maintenance and asset replacement. This paper describes an approach to sanitation planning currently being undertaken as a research study in Can Tho City in southern Vietnam, by the Institute for Sustainable Futures and Can Tho University in collaboration with Can Tho Water Supply and Sewerage Company. The aim of the study is to facilitate selection of the most context-appropriate, fit for purpose, cost effective and sustainable sanitation infrastructure solution. As such, the study compares a range of sanitation alternatives including centralized, decentralized (at household or cluster scale) and resource recovery options. This paper provides an overview of the study and considers aspects of the Can Tho and Vietnamese regulatory, development and institutional context that present drivers and challenges for comparison of options and selection of fit for purpose sanitation systems
Retamal, M.L. & Turner, A.J. 2010, 'Unpacking the energy implications of distributed water infrastructure: how are rainwater systems performing?', Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 546-553.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Drought and concern over climate change has led to the increased use of distributed water systems in Australia to supplement centralised supply systems. A literature review carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) into the energy consumption of water infrastructure found that very little data on energy consumption exists, particularly for distributed systems. This paper reviews the findings of the literature review and presents results from a preliminary monitoring study on the energy implications of household rainwater systems. Typical household systems that are currently being installed in houses cross Australia use approximately 1.5 kWh/kL.
This paper provides an overview of the innovative One to One Water Savings Program implemented in the South East Queensland (SEQ) region of Australia in 2007. The program aimed to assist households classified as high water users (HWUs) to reduce their water demand during the worst drought on record. The program consisted of sending out a survey to over 79,000 HWUs using more than 800 L/household/day (L/hh/d) and for those that completed the survey, a personalised plan was provided on how to save water. The program had a unique combination of: a very large sample size (over 70,000 respondents); access to individual customer water meter readings; and availability of detailed household survey responses on water using practices. Due to this unique combination it was possible to investigate the suite of reasons why HWUs have above average water consumption. It was also possible to analyse how HWUs could save water to inform future water saving policy initiatives. The analysis outlined in this paper draws on an extremely important water usage dataset, of a size that has never been collated and analysed before in Australia. The research is of significant importance at a regional, national and international level and will be of significant interest to those water resource managers facing a drought situation and those involved in water forecasting and demand management interested in understanding how water is being used and could be saved.
The energy intensities of a range of household rainwater systems were monitored in Sydney and Newcastle as part of a study carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) in collaboration with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific Investigation and Research Organisation (CSIRO). The study found that the energy intensity of these rainwater systems varied depending on system configuration, rainwater end uses and the water efficiency of the household. Preliminary results indicate that the energy intensity varies between 0.9 and 4.9 kWh/kL with a 'typical' household rainwater system using approximately 1.5 kWh to deliver each kilolitre of rainwater.
The energy intensities of a range of household rainwater systems were monitored in Sydney and Newcastle as part of a study carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) in collaboration with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific Investigation and Research Organisation (CSIRO). The study found that the energy intensity of these rainwater systems varied depending on system configuration, rainwater end uses and the water efficiency of the household. Preliminary results indicate that the energy intensity varies between 0.9 and4.9 kWh/kL with a 'typical' household rainwater system using approximately 1.5 kWh to deliver each kilo litre of rainwater.
Retamal, M.L., Turner, A.J. & White, S. 2010, 'The water-energy-climate nexus: systems thinking and virtuous circles' in Howe, C., Smith, J. & Henderson, J. (eds), Climate Change and Water: International perspectives on mitigation and adaptation, American Water Works Association and IWA Publishing, Denver, USA and London, UK, pp. 99-109.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mukheibir, P., Turner, A.J., Mitchell, C.A., Chong, J., Murta, J., Retamal, M.L., Carrard, N.R. & Delaney, C.C. 2014, 'Shifts happen: Making better recycled water investment decisions', Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, IPWEA, Tweed Heads.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
ABSTRACT: Recycled water has increasingly been considered as a means to deal with water supply-demand imbalances, treated wastewater disposal and stormwater management. It contributes to the sustainability of urban water systems and the regeneration of the urban landscape. However, recycled water schemes are not mainstream, and are often confronted with numerous challenges. By considering the contextual and project related risks associated with a diverse selection of recycling projects in Australia, a range of business related risks have become apparent. There is now evidence that shifts in both the contextual landscape and the objectives of the various players involved can occur over the life of a project, resulting in risk and uncertainty often not foreseen. Many guidelines on recycling have been produced which focus mainly on technical risk. Drawing on the experiences of a diverse selection of case studies in Australia, this paper contemplates the additional risks and uncertainties, often not initially considered at the inception of a recycling scheme. This paper presents an overview and discussion of six key issues to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Mitchell, C.A., Murta, J., Retamal, M., Turner, A., Carrard, N. & Chong, J. 2013, 'Recycled water investment decisions: case studies in balancing the costs, benefits, and risks', Asia Pacific Water Recycling Conference, pp. 1-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Carrard, N.R. 2011, 'Comparing household water end-use data from Vietnam and Australia: Implications for water and wastewater planning', Proceedings from Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water, Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water. Water Demand Management: Challenges & Opportunities, International Water Association, Dead Sea, Jordan, pp. 1-12.
Retamal, M.L., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Carrard, N.R. 2011, 'Modelling costs for water and sanitation infrastructure: Comparing sanitation options for Can Tho, Vietnam', Proceedings of the 35th WEDC International Conference, 2011. The Future of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Low-Income Countries: Innovation, adaption and engagement in a changing world, WEDC International Conference, Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC): Loughborough University, Loughborough University, UK, pp. 1-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Cost effectiveness analysis is a useful tool for comparing water and sanitation infrastructure options. This method was used to compare a range of sanitation options for the rapidly developing area of South Can Tho in Vietnam. The costs of centralised, semi-centralised and decentralised sewer systems were analysed along with several different treatment and stream separation technologies. The process of estimating and modelling costs can be challenging as considerable data is required, however, by using a variety of cost estimation methods it was possible to undertake a detailed costing assessment to compare very different infrastructure options over their lifetimes and with reference to the service they provide. The results, which detail net present values and levelised costs in addition to a range of financial perspectives can provide a valuable basis for decision making.
White, S., Retamal, M.L., AbuZeid, K.M., Elrawady, M.H. & Turner, A.J. 2011, 'Integrated resource planning in Alexandria, Egypt', Proceedings of Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water, Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water. Water Demand Management: Challenges & Opportunities, International Water Association, Dead Sea, Jordon, pp. 1-8.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Mitchell, C.A., Nguyen, H., Nguyen, D.G.N. & Paddon, M. 2010, 'Cost-effectiveness analysis as a methodology to compare sanitation options in peri-urban Can Tho, Vietnam', Pumps, Pipes and Promises. Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services. A collection of papers from the IRC Symposium 2010., IRC WASH Cost Symposium, IRC (International Water and Sanitation Centre), Den Haag, Netherlands, pp. 144-159.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
It is challenging to make decisions about sanitation scale and technology choice for urban areas, however costing analyses have an important role to play in assisting determination of the most appropriate systems for a given context. The most appropriate technological system is the one that finds a locally acceptable balance between social (e.g., public health) outcomes, environmental (e.g., pollution, resource use and resource recovery) outcomes, and financial and economic outcomes (i.e. the costs and benefits for individuals, public and private organisations, and local society). There are many costing methods available. This paper describes the use of a cost-effectiveness analysis built on integrated resource planning principles. This method is suited to situations where the overall goal is already clear (in this case, that a wastewater service is required) and the analysis is conducted to identify the least cost solution to reach this goal. This costing method was used in conjunction with a deliberative sustainability assessment process that addressed non-monetary factors. The paper outlines the analytical approach adopted in the cost analysis as well as providing detailed discussion of the many decisions inherent in undertaking such an analysis
Retamal, M.L. & Turner, A.J. 2009, 'Unpacking the energy implications of distributed water infrastructure: how are rainwater systems performing?', Proceedings of the 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, 'Efficient 2009': 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, International Water Association (IWA) and Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-9.
Turner, A.J., Fyfe, J., Retamal, M.L., White, S. & Coates, A. 2009, 'The one to one water savings program unpacking residential high water usage', 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, 'Efficient 2009': 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, International Water Association (IWA) and Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
McGee, C.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Retamal, M.L. 2008, 'City limits: pushing boundaries in urban infill development', Proceedings of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference, World Sustainable Building Conference, www.sb08melbourne.com, Melbourne, pp. 889-897.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mitchell, C.A., Retamal, M.L., Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R. & Davis, C. 2008, 'Decentralised water systems - creating conducive institutional arrangements (paper)', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Auatralian Water Association and Waste Management Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-9.
Decentralised water systems make economic and environmental sense but are only slowly being taken up across Australia. This paper discusses the points in favour of decentralisation and the drivers and enablers which have led to projects being accepted in the Australian context. Further, by comparing and contrasting experiences in Australia and the US, where decentralised systems are prevalent, this paper makes recommendations on steps Australia might take to provide more conducive institutional arrangements for decentralised systems.
Mitchell, C.A., Retamal, M.L., Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R. & Davis, C. 2008, 'Decentralised water systems - creating conducive institutional arrangements (slides)', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.
Retamal, M.L., Kazaglis, A., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'From sustainable urban water to restorative developments: applying a holistic framework for water management when renewing our cities', World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden.
Fane, S.A., Retamal, M.L., McKibbin, J.L. & May, D. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2011, Case study: Integrated resource planning for urban water - Wagga Wagga, pp. 1-78, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Kuruppu, N., McGee, C.M., Murta, J., Prendergast, J., Prior, J.H., Prior, T.D., Retamal, M.L., Usher, J. & Zeibots, M.E. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Sustainability strategy for the North Ryde Station Precinct Project: Infrastructure and subdivision, Sydney, Australia.
Fane, S.A., White, S. & Retamal, M.L. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Response to Hunter Water's submission to the Department of Planning regarding its application to build a dam at Tillegra on the Williams River, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Turner, A.J., Retamal, M.L., White, S., Palfreeman, L. & Panikkar, A. The Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation in assoc. with the Institute for Sustainable Futures 2010, Third party evaluation of Wide Bay Water smart metering and sustainable water pricing initiative project.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Paddon, M., Do, X.T.D., Nguyen, H.T.T. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Cost effectiveness and sustainability of sanitation options: A case study of South Can Tho - Technical Report, pp. 1-49, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), from the University of Technology Sydney, in collaboration with Can Tho University (CTU) and Can Tho Water Supply and Sewerage Company (WSSC) completed a 2-year collaborative research project assessing the wastewater infrastructure options for Can Tho City. The comparison of alternatives was made on the basis of cost-effectiveness and on the relative sustainability of the options, as determined through a participatory stakeholder sustainability assessment process with several government agencies in Can Tho.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Paddon, M., Do, X.T.D., Nguyen, H.T.T. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Selecting sanitation options: A case study of South Can Tho - Technical report, pp. 1-50, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Fane, S.A., Retamal, M.L. & White, S. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, Submission to the Department of Planning regarding Tillegra Dam proposal environmental assessment report, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Retamal, M.L., Glassmire, J., Abeysuriya, K., Turner, A.J. & White, S. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, The water-energy nexus: investigation into the energy implications of household rainwater systems, Sydney, Australia.
Retamal, M.L., McKibbin, J.L. & Fane, S.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, National greywater rainwater initiative: input into design of rebates for households and surf life saving clubs, pp. 1-60, Sydney.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to undertake research into the likely costs of, and potential water yields that may be achieved by, household rainwater tanks and greywater reuse systems in households across Australia. This research is being carried out to inform the design of a new rebate program that will provide an incentive for households to install these systems. The primary objectives of this research are to: determine the categories and types of household greywater systems currently available; estimate the annual water yields that might be achieved by household rainwater tanks and greywater systems; identify average costs associated with each system; and provide recommendations for the structure of the residential rebate program. In addition to the residential component of this study, ISF has been contracted to examine the potential for water savings initiatives to be implemented at surf life saving clubs (SLSCs) with the aid of federal government grants. The objectives of this research are to: collect data on the water consumption of SLSCs; identify the types of water savings initiatives that could be implemented at SLSCs; estimate the potential potable water savings (from scheme supplies) that would be achieved by these water savings initiatives and the associated costs; and provide recommendations for criteria and conditions of the grant scheme for SLSCs.