© Stefan Körber - Fotolia

The environmental technology and resource efficiency industry goes by an assortment of names: clean tech, green tech and environmental technology, to name but a few. Yet for all this verbal diversity, all green markets have one thing in common: Their products, processes and services help protect the environment and minimize resource consumption. This is the defining characteristic of a cross-sector industry that overlaps with many other industrial sectors, such as mechanical and plant engineering, electrical and automotive engineering, and the chemical industry.

We define environmental technology and resource efficiency in terms of six lead markets: the environmentally friendly generation, storage and distribution of energy, energy efficiency, material efficiency, sustainable mobility, waste management and recycling, and sustainable water management. The products, processes and services in these lead markets provide solutions to preserve ecosystems while also playing a part in satisfying fundamental human needs. The technologies involved are also driving exceptionally dynamic economic development.

The breakdown into lead markets has proven to be a consistent framework for analyzing the environmental technology and resource efficiency industry. To facilitate closer examination of the many and varied trends and dynamics in this cross-sector industry, we have also added two subdivisions of each lead market: market segments and technology lines. Technology lines include products, processes and services and are grouped together to form market segments. Market segments in turn provide the basis for the lead markets.

The six lead markets for environmental technology and resource efficiency and their market segments