Edited by Robert U. Ayres and Leslie W. Ayres
Chapter 23: Industrial ecology: analyses for sustainable resource and materials management in Germany and Europe
23. Industrial ecology: analyses for sustainable resource and materials management in Germany and Europe Stefan Bringezu Industrial ecology comprises the analysis of the industrial metabolism and the implementation of appropriate instruments and measures for materials and resource management on diﬀerent levels. This contribution will focus on analyses for public policy support. Policy development in Germany and Europe since the mid-1990s has been inﬂuenced by material ﬂow-related goals, such as resource eﬃciency factor 4 to 10 and the eco-eﬃciency debate. These concepts in turn have gained momentum from the availability of data on the material throughput and resource requirements of industrialized countries. The study Sustainable Germany (Loske et al. 1996) was based on the ﬁrst comprehensive material ﬂow accounts of the German economy (Bringezu and Schütz 1995). It found widespread resonance among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and inspired similar work by governmental agencies (UBA 1997b). The German environmental ministry prepared a draft environmental policy program (BMU 1998) which proposed concrete targets for an increase in energy and raw materials productivity. Parallel to the policy debate, the Federal Statistical Oﬃce (FSO) developed a material and energy ﬂow information system (MEFIS) (Radermacher and Stahmer 1998). On the European level, studies from NGOs also stimulated political action. Inspired by the study Sustainable Netherlands (Buitenkamp et al. 1992), data on selected materials consumption were provided and targets for sustainable development were proposed in studies such as Sustainable Europe (FoE 1995). These studies were rooted in the concept of environmental space...
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