Climate and environmental protection potentials

Waste management in Germany has undergone considerable change since the early 1990s. Both the policy and legal framework, as well as voluntary commitments and declarations of the industry, have allowed a paradigm shift from a disposal economy towards a circular economy..

This paradigm shift allowed a considerable contribution of waste management to climate protection. For instance, after the landfill ban for untreated waste adopted in 2005,  generation of methane emissions effectively ceased altogether. Municipal solid waste is increasingly source-separated and recycled or recovered in Germany since the ban came into effect. This avoids the consumption of primary raw materials for production or energy purposes, and makes an additional important contribution to climate protection as well as resource conservation and environmental protection.

All contributions of waste management to climate and environmental protection are modelled and quantified with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which allows a holistic evaluation of waste management activities. Both direct emissions and emissions avoided by substitution of primary products and energy factor into a model. The results represent mitigation potentials. They offer decision-making aids in politics, for public authorities andthe industry. Moreover, LCA results transparently identify opportunities for substantial emission mitigation.


Further projects

Consulting for Emissions Quantification Tool Development under the CCAC MSWI. On behalf of the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) MSW Initiative, under subcontract to IGES Japan, July 2015.

Accounting systems for Short-lived Climate Pollutant and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in the Waste Management Sector. Consulting project on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), January 2014.

Organic Waste in India. Decision tree for sustainable management of organic waste. Aid to Decision Making (ADM) Tool. In Zusammenarbeit mit Paradigm Environmental Strategies, Bangalore, Indien. Im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Dezember 2011.

Climate protection and energy efficiency potentials in the waste and waste water treatment sector (Klimaschutz- und Energieeffizienzpotenziale im Bereich Abfall- und Abwasserwirtschaft). Report (in German, pdf 1,31 MB) in the context of the project „scientific accompanying research on interdisciplinary technical, economic, environmental and strategic aspects of the national part of the climate protection initiative“, Project No. (FKZ) 03KSW016A und B, July 2010.


Regine Vogt

Dipl. Ing. Technical Environment Protection
Phone: +49 (0)6221 4767 22