Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2012

Apply now: “German Raw Materials Efficiency Award 2012”

Urban mining, waste export, Hindu Kush – all of these keywords are associated with raw materials. However, raw material efficiency has not yet become part of everyday life. In order to raise people’s awareness, the Deutscher Rohstoffeffizienz-Preis 2012 (German Raw Materials Efficiency Award) will again be offered this year.

Today, it is a well-known fact that, at 45 percent, raw material costs are the highest cost factors in the manufacturing industry. These costs are ever increasing, in contrast to personnel costs, which make up 20 percent of costs. The considerable potential resulting from reducing the consumption of raw materials as well as introducing recycling technologies or more resource-efficient and sustainable ways of business have still not found their way into the minds of many manufacturers; and much less into the minds of consumers, although both would benefit from lower costs and less impact on the environment and climate.

Reducing dependency

Today, outsourcing of production is interesting not because of lower wages, but, as the example of Apple shows, because of easier access to raw materials such as rare earth minerals. In Germany, as well as in Europe, which is poor in natural resources, manufacturers are especially dependent on a secure supply of raw materials. Furthermore, the global demand for raw materials as well as the challenges in using resources is increasing. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology advises sustainable exploitation and the exhaustion of existing material-saving potentials.

Award for Efficiency

Now, after 2011, the German Raw Materials Efficiency Aware is to be given to companies that implement resource-saving and practice-oriented solutions for the second time. The aim of the competition is to raise public awareness in the area of handling raw materials and commodities more efficiently. After all, raw-material-efficient companies can save approximately EUR 200,000 per year, as shown by the advice given to small and medium-sized enterprises by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). In search for innovative approaches for particularly resource-conserving products, processes, services as well as new application-oriented research results, applications are open to scientific institutes and particularly enterprises with up to 1,000 employees.

The deadline for applications is 17 September 2012. The Award will be given out on 29 November 2012. Each of the top four companies will receive EUR 10,000. More information about the Award and the conditions for participation can be found on the website of the German Raw Materials Award. 

Picture: Certain rights reserved by

Translated from the German by: Mehmed Sariyildiz (, Miriam Handrick (, Yin Yu (

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