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The project „Material Efficiency Laboratory“ was initiated in 2019 by the Austrian Ministry of Climate, Environment, Innovation and Technology to support pilot SME companies in increasing resource efficiency. As a result, a strategy to reach out to a large number of enterprises. „Resource efficiency“ includes all raw and auxiliary materials, as well as the energy and water. At first, a tool was developed and a manual providing supporting information. The 47 questions address key elements of strategy, business models, management system, processes, products, and services. Secondly, 10 assessments were carried out with manufacturing companies from different sectors. The share of wasted materials ranged between 5% to 70% of material input. 10 to 15% of the waste could be avoided or recycled by awareness raising for optimum use of equipment, process control, better equipment, and recycling. The companies appreciated concrete suggestions and were open to discuss the use of alternative materials. Most of the companies were already using product-related services. A total of 87 measures were identified. A number of communication activities were carried out. Strategies were developed to further roll out resource efficiency to reach a critical mass.
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