Facts & Figures

Lead Market Resource Efficiency

81,086 employees worked in the main market of resource efficiency in 2019, which corresponds to 4.6 % of total employment in the Metropolitan Ruhr Area. The energy production and distribution sector is of particular importance, accounting for about one quarter of all employees. Compared to the rest of Germany, the Metropolitan Ruhr Area is highly specialised in the main market of resource efficiency with a location coefficient of 1.4. In addition to energy generation and distribution, the waste management and recycling sector is also above average.

The main market of resource efficiency also developed positively with an increase of 2,251 jobs (+2.9 %). The increase in employment took place in almost all areas of the main market with the exception of the processes, production and other materials sector (-4.3 %).

The core sector of energy production and distribution (+5.3 %; +1,097) was primarily responsible for the increase in employment. Growth in the Metropolitan Ruhr Area in the main market of resource efficiency is well above the state and nationwide trends (+2.2 %; +2.2 %).

In detail

Lead Market Resource Efficiency

81,086 (+2.9%)


6,796 (+2.9%)


74.69 bn. € (+2.3%)


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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