Small and medium-sized companies in the chemical industry in particular are faced with high costs for natural resources: Nearly 51.3 percent of total costs were attributable to material and energy costs in 2017. In comparison, personnel costs amounted to only 15 percent.
© PantherMedia / PeterHofstetter (YAYMicro)Costs can be saved by reducing the quantities of materials and energy used in the production process. In addition to the resulting ecological benefits for the environment and climate, such as the conservation of natural resources and the reduction of environmental pollution, there are also economic benefits, such as the preservation and increase of a company's competitiveness or lower dependencies on fluctuating raw material prices.
In the past, various strategies and measures have already been implemented to increase resource efficiency in the chemical industry. The focus here was on the goal of reducing material and energy volumes. In a survey commissioned by the VDI Center for Resource Efficiency in 2015, 79.4 percent of the 120 companies surveyed from the chemical industry stated that the resource potential in their industry had not yet been exhausted. In addition, 50.3 percent said they knew of companies in their industry that had achieved competitive advantages through measures to increase resource efficiency.
Many companies in the chemical industry © VDI ZREhave recognised that increasing resource efficiency can also positively change the public's perception of the company: Another reason to identify efficiency potential and develop measures to reduce resource consumption.
Large companies in the chemical industry often have special departments and a fixed budget for this important task. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), on the other hand, often lack such resources.