Facts & Figures

Lead Market Resource Efficiency

The careful and efficient use of raw materials and other resources has become a central issue in politics and business. In the area of energy production, for example, the trend towards renewable energies continued nationwide in 2020, with strong growth recorded in solar and offshore wind energy in particular.910 This is evident in a closer look at the lead market, especially in terms of turnover. There is a particular focus on energy production and distribution, which employs about one third of the total workforce. 81,787 people were employed in the lead market resource efficiency in 2020, which corresponds to a share of 4.6 % of total employment in the Metropole Ruhr.

In detail

Lead Market Resource Efficiency

81,787 (+0.9%)


6,818 (+2.0%)


80.52 bn. € (+7.8%)


In 2017, the main market of resource efficiency is the largest main market in the Metropolitan Ruhr Area in terms of turnover with 74.69 billion Euro and, measured in terms of companies, was able to record the strongest growth (+2.9 %). Furthermore, turnover continued to rise (+2.3 %).

Increases in turnover in the electricity supply, wholesale of petroleum products and wholesale of used and residual materials are the main contributors to this positive development. The turnover development is dampened by the processes, production and other materials sector: Machinery and Materials (-17.1 %). The decline in turnover particularly affects companies specialising in the production of mining machinery. The progressive withdrawal of hard coal mining from the Ruhr Area could be one of the reasons.

The efficient use of resources (water, raw materials, energy) has become an integral objective of environmental and sustainability policy, together with the reduction of greenhouse gases. The focus is not only on sustainability, but also on cost savings and competitive advantages for companies. Economic growth needs to be decoupled from rising resource consumption in order to secure technological leadership and the prosperity of future generations.

Material innovations may contribute significantly to a resource-efficient society and industry. In addition, the dependence on raw material imports may be reduced permanently and international competitiveness improved by lowering material and energy costs. For a country like Germany, which has only limited raw material reserves of its own, the careful use of resources plays a decisive role in terms of safeguarding supply. However, emphasis should not only be placed on the efficient use of raw materials, but also on their substitution and the closing of material cycles.

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