On 31 August 2006 a conference on "Resource Efficiency - Innovations for the Environment and Job Creation", jointly organised by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment and IG Metall (Industrial Trade Union of Metalworkers), was held in Berlin. Central in the discussion was the intelligent use of energy and raw materials as a key component of increased employment and economic success. Participants agreed that only a linkage between economy and ecology through the use of energy-efficient products and procedures will both provide chances for the future and preserve natural resources. Ecologic supported the organisation of the conference.
It became clear that using resources efficiently in ways that improve the environment and conserve raw materials can both lower costs and develop new markets. In many firms, the overwhelming focus is placed on work productivity, with too little attention paid to resource efficiency. But paying attention to the efficiency of material inputs makes sense both economically and environmentally. If German firms can become engines for innovation, then the economic competitiveness of the German economy can be secured, creating new employment opportunities in the future.
Sigmar Gabriel, German Environment Minister and Jürgen Peters, Chairman of IG Metall
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