Germany

germany

Germany is an export-oriented nation with a strong manufacturing industry and well established eco-innovation areas and markets. Since 2013 the Germany’s performance in the Eco-innovation Scoreboard has dropped by one place and ranks fourth in 2014-2015. This is mainly attributed to a downshift in the socio-economic and resource efficiency outcomes. Germany performs particularly well in the subcategories eco-innovation patents and exports of products from eco-industries.

With respect to a circular economy, Germany is characterised by very good waste infrastructures and recycling rates. The present focus on technical waste management and end-of-life measures is simultaneously signalling further demand for innovative waste instruments at the interface of material cycles and new business models. A first step was taken by introducing the Waste Prevention Programme in 2013. A strengthening of the regulatory framework and a better alignment of responsibilities, competencies and approaches towards a circular economy seem important for the increase of secondary input rates and a closing of the loops. The demand for high-tech and waste technologies is expected to remain high in the world and–as one of the market leaders– Germany has a strong standing in exporting innovative waste management solutions.

The German green tech sector is expected to further develop dynamically. The early implementation of the Renewables Energies Act (in 1991) and the introduction of the German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess) in 2012 serve as important and drivers for energy and resource efficiency, eco-innovation and the energy transition in Germany.

The framework conditions for innovation are generally well developed and include both supply and demand-side instruments while there is a pronounced reliance on voluntary and informational approaches at the consumption side. An eco-innovation action plan is under development. Nevertheless, Germany will probably not meet its sustainable development strategy targets for raw material and energy productivity, energy consumption, biodiversity, land use, mobility and farming .

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Germany

Germany

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   Database

Service eco-innovation - Services to optimise production processes in terms of resource efficiency - production integrated environmental protection (e.g. PIUS-Check®)

Labels: Germany

productionThe PIUS-Check is a process-oriented material flow analysis of the efficiency agency (EFA) North Rhine-Westphalia for the determination and use of economic and ecological potential in production. The EFA has a team of 10-20 engineers who conduct the initial audit in order to identify material and resource efficiency potentials. External process experts are used to conduct the technical audits and make suggestions for potential changes. The total costs of an audit are EUR 10-15,000. Up to two-thirds of these costs can be covered by the national clean production programme Verbesserung der Materialeffizienz (VerMat) organised by Demea (Deutsche Materialeffizienz Agentur) under the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Since the PIUS-Check was initiated in year 2000, more than 500 PIUS-Checks have been conducted. 216 of the companies involved have implemented measures (which corresponds to more than 40%).

Determinants

Barriers

○      funding procedures are complex

○      total time spent on the PIUS-Check from the initial meetings to planning of potential measures requires at least six to nine months

Drivers

○      The EFA assists SMEs in applying for funding

○      The EFA presents the potential of the programme and further information in the Internet

○      The EFA approaches companies that may benefit from the PIUS-Check

Sustainability effects

Services and technological approaches aim to optimise the different manufacturing processes (such as forming, forming, cutting, drying, degreasing, bonding, joining, surface treatment, etc.). They include the reduction of scrap, yield loss and waste, in-house recycling of raw materials, operating and auxiliary materials, the substitution of polluting or harmful substances, minimising the need for downstream environmental protection technologies that increase energy efficiency and the reduction of expenses for transport and storage (logistics). At the same time, the measure contributes to the dissemination of the material- and resource efficiency approaches and material flow analyses.

Promising topics for future services are resource cost accounting, operational LCA or zero-loss methods enlarged by new components, e.g. software solutions for the chemical industry for the prediction of processes and material properties. Services in combination with technological solutions that are tailored to specific requirements in the target countries are considered to have great export opportunities.

Further Information

piuscheckrzhttp://www.efanrw.de/index.php?id=40

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Germany

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