Emerging Economies Learn About Resource Efficiency & Climate Action in Four-Day IKI Study Tour

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Initiative Resource Efficiency and Climate Protection
19 December 2018
Tools and Initiatives

From 26-29  November, over 25 participants from the public and private sector in 11 emerging economies gathered in Berlin for the Study Tour “Fostering Resource Efficiency and Climate Action: Examples from the public and private sector”. The tour was organized by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to implement the global project “Initiative Resource Efficiency and Climate Action”, as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Participants learned about existing activities to foster resource efficiency across Europe and Germany, and had the opportunity to engage with stakeholders from other emerging economies as well as from the Initiative Resource Efficiency and Climate Action, and identify collaboration opportunities. Among the participants, there were representatives from ministries, business associations, international organizations and research centers from Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

The tour began with two site visits to companies that have adopted resource efficient practices, organized by the Centre for Resource Efficiency of the Association of German Engineers (VDI-ZRE). The first was Procter & Gamble (P&G) – a company that produces 600 million razor heads per year. P&G has a corporate sustainability program thatincludes the “P&G Zero Loss Journey” waste management system, which aims to eliminate landfil waste and achieve material utilization rate of 96%.  The second visit was to BMW’s AG Berlin Plant, where 26 of 29 available motorcycle models are produced, with a total production of 163,000 units per year. BMW has state of the art facilities and a waste collection system, and uses a water-based solvent-free topcoat and bio-based cleaning products for vehicle components.

For the following two days, participants attended the fourth European Resources Forum (ERF), organized by the German Environment Agency (UBA). Participants listened to and interacted with European decision-makers and experts from the fields of policy development, industry, academia, civil society and the media. Sessions r covered themes including digitalization, sustainable resource use, and strengthening fiscal and financial instruments.

Dr. Harry Lehman (UBA) and Dr. Klaus Jacob (Freie Universität Berlin)  gave an “Expert Talk” where they explored the link between resource efficiency and climate change mitigation, and offered participants their insight from years of working in the field.

The study tour ended on a high note, with a very successful and enriching networking event. The event included two high-level resource efficiency expert discussions. The first session was on “Resource efficiency strategies in emerging markets” with contributions from Janez Potocnik (International Resource Panel, IRP) and Shardul Agrawala (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD). The second session was on “Supporting business in meeting resource efficiency goals” with contributions from Astrid Schomaker (European Commission), Jordana Carvallo (Chamber of Food and Beverages Industry, COPAL, Argentina) and Timotheus Lesmana Wanadjaja (Indonesia Cleaner Production Centre, ICPC, Indonesia).  After the experts shared brief opening statements, participants were encouraged to share their opinions and experiences, which allowed for an open discussion. External guests from the BMU, GIZ and the European Commission joined the participants in this lively dialogue.

Overall, the study tour was a great event for organizers and participants alike. It provided a unique opportunity for all those involved to learn how to integrate resource efficiency into approaches to achieving sustainable development and climate goals. With many countries represented, participants were easily able to find common ground, and discuss potential areas of opportunity and collaboration. Many expressed interest in sharing and applying what they had learned at their own institutions back home, which is the ultimate sign of success. The global project will also pursue activities to foster resource efficiency in the public and private sector in Argentina, Indonesia and Mexico. 

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the GGKP or its Partners.