Cooperation event of Recycling Technologies Bayern, bifa and the Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce demonstrates solutions taken from practice
More than 90 percent of all wastes in the EU member states are landfilled. For Professor Dr. Wolfgang Rommel, Managing Director of bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH, these are resources which are being removed from human access. As a speaker at the cooperation event held by Recycling Technologies Bayern and the Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, he pointed out how important it is to create secondary raw materials through recycling. Thomas Kreuzer, State Minister and head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, was also able to contribute a lot to the motto of the event "Developing countries and emerging nations as target markets for German environmental technologies". He made it clear that technology and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. Rather, research and engineering especially, help to protect the environment. Tanja Gönner, Executive Board spokesperson of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, is certain that commitment in environmental technology is an investment in growth markets. Because the challenges that await all emerging nations are those which Germany had to face around 50 years ago. As a founding member of the Recycling Technologies Bayern network, Dr. Peter Kulitz, President of the Baden-Württemberg Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce, also took part in the event. In view of the rate at which other countries were fast catching up with regard to recycling technologies, he called for a change up in gear – so that the lead that German companies had worked hard to acquire in this sector was maintained in the future.
Around 80 visitors were also given insights into the various development fund and cooperation opportunities available and a network member's current project in China, they found out about relevant initiatives, how to safeguard investments, and about export promotion. Rudolf Erhard, a presenter and journalist of the Bayerischen Rundfunk broadcasting company, was the moderator for the event.
There was one thing that all speakers agreed on: Environmental technologies "Made in Germany" are in demand worldwide. Nonetheless, it is astonishing where they are now in use. From South America across the African continent to Asia, emerging nations are developing the need for environmental and climate protection. For example, in the next few years, China will be investing the equivalent of around 330 billion euros in water treatment and air cleaning projects. It is recognised that climate protection and recycling are sustainable. Because recycling management is a logical answer to continuously rising raw material prices. Peter Mayer of the network member S+S Separation and Sorting Technology GmbH ventured to go to China several years ago with sorting systems for PET bottles. In his report on his experiences he explained why recycling really made sense in China: Around 30 percent of all PET bottles used worldwide are in circulation there. However, Mayer also made it clear that the shortage of skilled personnel and the language barrier are hurdles that have to be overcome, especially at the start of a commitment in emerging nations.
Climate protection = orders for SMEs
For companies in the Bavarian Swabian region, this is a market with enormous growth potential. Thomas Kreuzer speaks of 10.6 percent and more in the environmental industry. Most of these companies are not large corporations: The majority of the firms involved in developing countries and emerging nations are typical small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are not only one step ahead when it comes to research and development, but also have years of experience. The aim is not only to take technology to a foreign country, but also to find a solution that is typical for the country concerned. Development partners such as the "Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit" - GIZ GmbH are available to provide the companies with support. Together, numerous projects are already underway, for example, in Brazil. There German technologies will be used during the next ten years to properly dispose of up to 30 million old fridges. Another effect of work in developing countries and emerging nations is: Through the practice-orientated qualification of their personnel on site, companies create a competitive advantage for themselves on the worldwide market.
Safeguards provided by the government and financial institutions
There is large demand, but the levels of development of infrastructure in the individual developing countries and emerging nations are as varied as the political situations. Yet how are investments protected even in crises? Together with the Federal Government, the trade credit insurance firm Euler Hermes not only guarantees the promotion of exports but also guarantees worldwide protection for goods. This ensures equal opportunities of exporters in international competition. SMEs are also particularly well represented here: 75 percent of orders are with small and medium-sized enterprises. Each year, the German KfW development bank supports development projects all over the world with around 4.5 billion euros.
Large need to talk
The speeches, talks and field reports given were met with a great deal of interest from the professional audience. Not only did they ask questions during these organised talks but also used the breaks as an opportunity for discussions and for exchanging experiences. At the end the visitors also agreed that developing countries and emerging nations provide many and extensive opportunities as target markets for German environmental technologies. The associated risks can be reduced significantly by working with experienced partners.
About "Recycling Technologies Bayern"
Started up in 2010 by bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH, Recycling Technologies Bayern is a network for the recycling industry. The network now has 14 members. Its focal purpose is to concentrate experiences and know-how in all areas of recycling technology. Through cooperation between research, development and industry, Recycling Technologies Bayern can provide comprehensive consultant services from a single source, even for complex tasks. The aim is to market jointly produced solutions internationally. The following companies are members of the network:
- AVA-Huep GmbH u. Co. KG, Herrsching
- bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH, Augsburg
- BHS-Sonthofen GmbH, Sonthofen
- Erdwich Zerkleinerungssysteme GmbH, Kaufering
- ESTA Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG, Senden
- Entsorgungstechnik Bavaria GmbH, Unterschleißheim
- Finsterwalder Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Bernau a. Chiemsee
- Hamos GmbH, Penzberg
- Huber Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Erding
- HOSOKAWA ALPINE Aktiengesellschaft, Augsburg
- Luft- und Thermotechnik Bayreuth, Goldkronach
- RUF Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Zaisershofen
- S+S Separation and Sorting Technology GmbH, Schönberg
- TRENNSO-TECHNIK Trenn- und Sortiertechnik GmbH, Weißenhorn