Material efficiency and supply-critical materials
This study was carried out by bifa on behalf of the Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology (Bayerischen Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft und Medien, Energie und Technologie). Among other things, bifa conducted 40 in-depth interviews with business practitioners and research and consulting experts. The study focussed on the applications: alloy metals, low-density structural metals, regenerative raw materials, rare earth metals, pigments, paints and lacquers as well as catalysts. bifa's project partner for the study was the Paper Foundation ("Papiertechnische Stiftung" - PTS).
The gist of the interviewees' answers is: Many companies have already done most of their homework. Above all, most companies with high material costs are already very efficient. Nonetheless, it is important to work on this topic continuously, because there are always new opportunities to further reduce the use of materials. Improved material efficiency helps to cut costs, and it reduces strategic risks caused by critical price fluctuations. These risks are particularly large for materials with limited resources.
Especially in small and medium-sized enterprises, the systematic recording of material consumption and losses and their causes are often a way to achieve further improvements for clear, manageable costs. In larger companies advances can be achieved through more intensive cooperation along the value-added chain and through fundamental changes to products.
The brochure provides information on how measures to increase material efficiency are hindered and which factors have a useful effect. Information on possible grants and subsidies and on fundamental measures and the "perfected art of material efficiency" rounds off the brochure.
The 48-page brochure entitled "Material efficiency and supply-critical materials in the production industry in Bavaria - Guidelines" ("Materialeffizienz und versorgungskritische Materialien in der produzierenden Wirtschaft in Bayern – Ein Leitfaden") can be downloaded now as a pdf, free of charge, from www.bifa.de/publikationen.
We are very sorry that this publication is not available in English language.