There is a multitude of methods and tools that exist for different questions and problems and can be applied for the implementation of resource efficiency in the business. The Resource Efficiency Guide helps you to tackle resource efficiency measures in your business step by step and helps you to find the right method or tool for each step.
Modern processes for recycling components and materials are an important block for improving the circularity of products. This brief analysis by VDI ZRE now presents new technologies for a resource-efficient circular economy.
The ESTEM final report contains results of the environmental analysis, discussions in workshops with the professional public, information concerning the actual development of methods and particular case studies. The final report is supplemented by the Excel®-based ESTEM tool and an associated guideline.
Lightweight construction is a prime example of demonstrating the potential of resource efficiency. Resource efficiency potentials in the utilisation phase of mobile products have already been investigated frequently and are widely known. In addition, the various lightweight engineering strategies and materials also offer opportunities for increasing resource efficiency in the production phase and in recycling and disposal.
Remanufacturing is a central measure for increasing resource efficiency. The material and energy expenditure for the manufacture of a product and the associated costs are lowered. Through remanufacturing the original high level of value added is retained and the dependence on import of critical raw materials is reduced. Remanufacturing as a key component of a circular economy is viewed as being the preferred option for closing material loops, particularly compared with recycling, and possesses a high resource efficiency potential.
Biomimetics combines biology and technology in an interdisciplinary collaboration. It is an interdisciplinary field that is not limited to a research or industrial sector. The aim of biomimetics is to solve technical problems by abstraction, transfer and application of knowledge gained from biological models. Their application in the product development process as innovation method enables innovative technical solutions. These can give companies competitive advantages.
Product development has a fundamental influence on the resource efficiency of a product. Resource-conscious and forward-looking product development can significantly influence the use of materials and consequently the cost expenditure along the entire product life cycle. With regard to finite re-sources, it should be a pillar of the strategic orientation of the business.
The efficient use of energy, materials, water and space not only saves resources, but also costs for the purchase and disposal of waste, residual materials and wastewater, for example. The networking of companies in an industrial park or with the surrounding residential areas offers many opportunities to save resources. Residential areas in particular offer high efficiency potentials as heat consumers.
Resource efficiency measures can be implemented at various points in the production process. The potentials are manifold. However, the increasingly complex networked production economy no longer requires only selective but also comprehensive resource efficiency measures, those that work across processes as well as across company and business boundaries.
More than half of the total German waste volume is accounted for by construction and demolition waste from the building industry. This is reason enough to include the demolition and dismantling of buildings in the planning of a building from the very beginning, in order to reduce the volume of waste and conserve natural resources. The brief analysis shows the current practice of demolishing buildings and describes the potential for resource conservation in the construction industry.
Both the retail and logistics sectors consume large quantities of natural resources, especially raw materials and energy. The transport of goods plays a significant role in this, but so do other factors such as the construction and operation of retail. The aim of this brief analysis is to provide companies in the retail and logistics sectors with suggestions for resourceefficient business process design. The strategies, measures and practical examples presented here are also intended to help tap additional potential in terms of resource efficiency.
The worlds of business and industry have undergone some significant changes in recent years. Established institutions are being supplanted by competitors with completely new business models. Online lexicons are replacing encyclopaedias, the largest accommodation platform doesn’t own a single one of the properties it offers. New competitors with innovative business ideas are surging into the market, largely as a result of digitisation. Alongside the challenges of a world that continues to change at an ever-faster rate, these developments can present far-reaching opportunities when it comes to industry and resource efficiency.
Cooling lubricants (coolants) are of great importance in metal cutting and forming. They increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of the processes. In companies in the metalworking industry, water-miscible cooling lubricants are used in around 90 % of machining processes. They consist of a mostly mineral oil-based base oil and an additive package.
The digital transformation in industrial production offers considerable potential for increasing material and energy efficiency in companies. At the same time, the digitisation technologies used also require resources themselves: materials, including critical raw material, are used in the production of ICT components. Furthermore, the digital transformation can lead to higher energy consumption. The study "Resource efficiency through industry 4.0 - Potentials for SMEs in the manufacturing sector" focuses on this conflict between opportunities and challenges.
Stationary energy storage systems are a necessary component of a future power supply system with high shares of renewable energies. Used in decentralized industrial applications, they help to increase resource efficiency while minimizing the costs of power supply. Storage solutions for the short to medium-term storage of electrical energy are therefore seen as a contribution to the success of the energy transition being driven forward in Germany.
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