As a cross-sector industry, environmental technology and resource efficiency provides impetus for sustainable growth in various areas of the economy. Green products, processes and services add value for providers and users alike. Governments, companies and private households all stand to benefit from both the economic and ecological aspects of the green tech industry's extensive portfolio.

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Environmental technology and resource efficiency creates a win-win-situation für providers and users

One indicator of the growing economic significance of the green tech industry is its contribution to overall economic output and employment in Germany. Environmental technology and resource efficiency accounted for 13 percent of Germany's GDP in 2013. The industry's contribution to overall economic output will continue to increase in the years ahead, and will probably exceed 20 percent by 2025. In 2013, companies in the six green tech lead markets employed around 1.5 million people in total.

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Environmental technology and resource efficiency's share of GDP in 2013

Services accelerate the transformation to a green economy

Green tech services play a pivotal role in driving the ecological modernization of the economy. The importance of services to environmental technology and resource efficiency is reflected in their contribution to the sector's market volume. In Germany, services account for 54 percent of the total green tech market and are worth EUR 184 billion. Yet the significance of environmental technology services goes far beyond their importance in volume terms. In the context of the green transformation, they assume a variety of functions. Here are just a few examples:

  • Green tech services accelerate the transformation to a green economy: An energy contractor, for example, advises customers on the planning, financing and operation of energy plants. In doing so, it plays a part in improving energy efficiency and, hence, reducing carbon emissions.
  • Green tech services drive innovation: Development service providers who specialize in environmental technology help improve the efficiency of wind turbines, for example, by developing more efficient rotor blades.
  • Green tech services drive market growth: For instance, the plans produced by project developers generate extra demand for corresponding technologies.
  • Green tech services promote the adaptation of existing green business models and the development of new ones. Electric filling stations that charge the batteries of electric cars in different ways are a case in point. Alternatives include rapid charging stations to "fill up" fixed batteries and the replacement of entire battery blocks.
  • Green tech services promote professionalism among companies in the environmental technology and resource efficiency sector. For example, insurers develop specific products for the sector that cover risks efficiently, thereby driving a greater level of professionalism.

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Market volume for environmental technology services and service intensity in the six lead markets in Germany in 2013 (EUR billion)