Share of regrowing raw materials amounted to 16% in Germany in 2018
The use of regrowing biotic raw materials such as cereals and wood accounted for 16 percent, or 224 million tonnes, of Germany’s 1,373 million tonne total raw material footprint in 2018, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Wednesday (7 July). This footprint indicates how much raw material is used globally for the production of goods to meet domestic consumption and investment demand. According to Destatis, there was a miniscule -1% change in the overall footprint compared to 2017. However, the share of biotic (or renewable) raw materials decreased by 3 percentage points to 16 percent in 2018, compared to 2017. These materials are frequently required for the production of food and animal feed and, in the case of wood, for construction or furniture and for the production of paper and chemical products, as well as energy supply. The most important raw material group in terms of volume is “other mineral raw materials”, which includes sand, gravel, crushed natural stone, limestone and gypsum. This accounts for just under half (45%) of the raw material footprint (+1 percentage point compared to 2017). Fossil fuels such as oil, lignite and hard coal are the second largest raw material group, accounting for a quarter of the raw material input for domestic use (-1 percentage point compared to 2017).
Having set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045, Germany is not only looking to decarbonise its energy system but is facing the challenge of establishing a circular economy to minimise the CO2 footprint of goods consumption and industry. A circular economy, as a recent industry study stressed, focusses on the lowest possible use of raw materials; product designs that emphasise durability, reparability and recyclability; the most efficient use of products including the adoption of sharing economy elements; and on the development of extensive recycling systems.