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.
STENUM Environmental Consultancy and Research supports companies in increasing the resource efficiency and the continuous improvement so that they contribute to sustainable development.