Resource efficiency has been facing an increasing interest in Germany during the last years because of e.g. increasing prices of energy and resources, a shortage of certain resources and the growing relevance of sustainable economic activities due to global warming. There is a common awareness in the Federal Republic of Germany that technology and product innovations are able to contribute to an increase in resource efficiency, it has however not yet been put into practice in a large scale. Internationally, there are strong tendencies towards using resource efficiency as a main strategic topic of technological development e.g. in the European Union (Technology Platforms); in the Cleaner Production Center of UNEP; in countries like Japan (R3 Initiative) and the USA.
The aim of this project is to identify highly relevant key products and technologies in terms of resource efficiency, especially outside Germany. The potential contribution of these technologies and products to an innovation policy for sustainable development is elaborated and a strategy mapped out in order to facilitate the application of the technologies and products identified in the German context. The results will be presented, discussed and benchmarked at an expert workshop with professionals of research and industry. At a stakeholders' workshop the recommended actions and steps of conversion will be discussed and completed. The result of the project is an atlas of innovative, resource efficiency products and technologies including an estimation of their resource efficiency potential. Additionally, a strategy for converting the technologies and products identified into practice in Germany will be included containing actor-specific recommendations to encourage the further application and development of these products and technologies.
The Wuppertal Institute is the coordinator of the project.