Austria

austria

Austria is a small and open economy with a strong export orientation. Environmental technology sectors are a particularly dynamic part of the Austrian economy and one of the drivers of export-oriented growth, performing significantly stronger compared to the overall economy since the financial crisis in 2008.

Austrian companies have established an internationally leading position in several green technology markets. These are heat generation through thermal solar systems and heat pumps, heat storage systems, smart electricity grids, technologies for biomass energy, and passive house building. Smart and intermodal (electrical) mobility management is another upcoming eco-innovation area. With its long tradition and highest recycling rates in the EU, Austrian recycling industries are well positioned to play a key role in the future transformation of Austria towards a circular economy.

With a total score of 108 in the overall Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (Eco-IS) 2015, Austria ranked eighth in the list of EU countries, located between France and Spain and slightly above the EU average. In two of the five components (eco-innovation inputs and resource-efficiency outcomes), Austria’s performance is very close to the European average performance, while performance is above EU average regarding eco-innovation activities and outputs, and below EU average in the component of socio-economic outcomes.

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

Austria

Austria_radar

 Database

Bioplastics

'NAKU' is an example of product development in Lower Austria. NAKU is both the name of a young company and an acronym for the German word - organic plastics. 'NAKU' uses natural and renewable resources for materials and manufactures them into products which are very similar to conventional plastics. The products are made from Natural Polymers that are 100% recyclable and compostable.

Natural Polymers are used in a wide range of applications. Especially everyday products with short life spans are ideally suited. The use of natural plastics ranges from shopping bags, foils, cups, party tableware, disposable items, hygiene products, fruit, vegetable and bread packaging to self-dissolving suture.

Determinants

Modern technology allows the production of Natural Polymers from locally grown plants, such as corn, potatoes or grain. The materials obtained this way are very similar to conventional plastics and can be processed with the same technologies and machines. Natural Polymers rot, when exposed to wind, weather and bacteria over a prolonged period of time (several weeks to months). Products made of Natural Polymers can be disposed through household waste after use or can be composted.

Sustainability effects

Based on a philosophy of natural and technical cycles, bioplastics can be returned to nature after being used. They are made from renewable resources, are fully biodegradable, and help to reduce CO2-emissions. They are durable and especially breathable, thus allowing food to stay fresh longer. The products were developed in the region, are manufactured locally and also try to keep the distribution channels as short as possible to improve the Life Cycle Analysis of the products. This supports the regional economy and offers an alternative source of income for farmers.

Further Information

http://www.naku.at/index.php/en

picture source: NaKu e.U.®

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Austria

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