Climate Protection

Integrated environmental protection in selected industrial sectors: a cross-sectoral analysis

Investigations have been conducted into the current status, together with the prospects and limitations, of product- and production-integrated environmental protection in industrial practice. Specific sectoral results are intended to serve as a basis for the optimum matching of promotional government programmes with economic measures. 

Summary

The study aimed to gather information from selected sectors of industry with regard to their current and future activities in the field of industrial environmental protection, their attitudes towards the environmentally relevant features of their products, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s concept for supporting production-integrated environmental protection and industrial research & development activities on environmentally relevant issues.

Industrial environmental protection was to be characterised with the aid of those features which indicate a holistic, integrated pollution control system – for example environmental management systems, the development of material flow management systems, the consideration of environmentally-relevant aspects during product development, in-house research & development on environmental issues etc.

The empirical analysis took the form of a written survey.

Results:

Hereafter, the results of the study will be highlighted by, firstly, focusing on selected issues (chemical industry, food industry, construction industry) in the analysed sectors such as customer structure, Quality Management Systems, Environmental Management Systems, external consultants, focus of current and future industrial environmental protection, research & development activities and product-related issues an by, secondly, comparing the learnings of the various sectors with each other.

The results of the empirical analysis led us to draw the following conclusions, which focus primarily on the three areas listed below:

  • The general environment of the company, e.g. the customer structure, and general factors within the company, i.e. the number of employees and quality management, influence the form of industrial environmental protection.
  • The increasing pressure to rationalise and innovate has also clear impacts on the area of environmental protection. The results indicate that many areas which allow a comparatively easy integration of economic and environmental gains are already being focused on by the companies.
  • With regard to the product responsibility it was demonstrated that most companies are already aware that industrial environmental protection is a challenge which does not stop at the physical boundaries of the company.

Project Participants

Implementing Institution

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH

More Project Informations

Project title:  Integrated environmental protection in selected industrial sectors: a cross-sectoral analysis

Project number:  01RS9603/5

Project period:  1996 - 1999

Project region:  Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Project contact:

Herr Dr. Zweck

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)