The topic of resource efficiency is gaining importance not only in Austria but also on the European and international level. This applies to the environmental policies as well as to the economic policies. Austria was the first country in Europe to introduce a "resource efficiency action plan". The long-term objective of the cction Plan is to absolutely decouple Austrian economic development from the consumption of resources and the accompanying environmental impacts. To this end, it is necessary to increase resource efficiency in Austria by at least 50% in the medium term, up until to the year 2020, and thus significantly reduce resource consumption as a whole.
An efficient handling of resources in all operational procedures leads to positive effecta on the company's economic balance, strengthens competitiveness and can also generate a benefit for the environment as a whole.
Conditions for the operational implementation of efficiency-enhancing measures
In-company resource efficiency may lead to
Energy management systems, ecodesign and material recycling also include resource-conserving processes as well as innovative service concepts (e.g. chemical leasing).
These concepts are already offered and successfully implemented by domestic environmental technology companies.
In intraplant processes, heat is often generated, which is usually released to the environment through the exhaust air. Heat recovery systems, for example, in combination with air filter elements, make the supposed rejected heat usable again (for example via district heating networks) and thus significantly increase resource efficiency.
Furthermore, a change in the use of renewable raw materials can lead
to a direct environmental impact and may reduce costs in the long term.
Resource efficiency is defined as the ratio of a particular benefit to the required use of natural resources. The lower the input to natural resources or the higher the value of the product or the service, the higher the resource efficiency.
Intranplant resource management plays a decisive role in Austria as a whole, considering that most of the material used is used for industrial production. In the last decades, resource efficiency has been significantly improved, but a further optimization of the company's use of resources is to be strived for, most notably du to the market prices of raw materials.
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