March 2021
Accounting for firms' positive impacts
on the environment
Painted handprints and inspirational quotes greeted participants in a workshop about humans' impacts on the environment, both positive (handprints) and negative (footprints). The workshop featured a talk by MIT’s Gregory Norris.

Photo: Jenna Cramer
A new framework calculates companies' beneficial environmental "handprints" as well as their negative footprints, to encourage
eco-friendly actions.
MIT researchers in the field of life-cycle assessment (LCA) have largely gone about their work by determining firms’ negative impacts on the environment, or footprints, a term most people are familiar with. But Gregory Norris felt something was missing. What about the positive impacts firms can have by, for example, changing behaviors or creating greener manufacturing processes that become available to competitors? Could they be added to the overall LCA tally?
Homing in on longer-lasting perovskite solar cells
Researchers have developed a new way to test long-lasting perovskite formulations that could be used for solar cells. The high-throughput automated degradation test system monitors the breakdown of the material through its changes in color as it darkens.

Credit: Janak Thapa and Dr. Armi Tiihonen
A new approach to identifying useful formulations could help solve the degradation issue for these promising new lightweight photovoltaics.
An international interdisciplinary team led by MIT has come up with a new approach to narrowing the search for the best candidates for long-lasting perovskite formulations, out of a vast number of potential combinations. Already, their system has zeroed in on one composition that in the lab has improved on existing versions more than tenfold. Even under real-world conditions at full solar cell level, beyond just a small sample in a lab, this type of perovskite has performed three times better than the state-of-the-art formulations.
In other news
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Join the MRL Collegium
We invite your company to become a member of the MRL Industry Collegium. As a member, your company will receive:
  • premium access to member only briefing materials and information via our website
  • periodic publications and research activity highlights
  • invitations to workshops, conferences and symposia
  • support for research staff visits on-campus
  • facilitation of corporate meetings and events
  • customized interactions with MIT students
To join the collegium contact:

Mark Beals
Associate Director, MRL
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139