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Bioenergy on Marginal Lands


seemla logo22.04.2016 In early 2016, the SEEMLA project for the sustainable exploitation of biomass for bioenergy from marginal lands in Europe was launched. Receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, the project puts together eight partners from Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Italy and is coordinated by the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR). The three-year project is focussing on the reliable and sustainable exploitation of biomass from marginal lands, which are used neither for food nor for feed production and which are not posing an environmental threat. Within the project, ifeu will be responsible for the sustainability assessment of the investigated bioenergy chains including environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Further information...

Further information ...

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Life Cycle Environmental and Resource Assessment of Electric Vehicles


Graphik30.03.2016 The ifeu study „Advancement and Deeper Analysis of Electric Vehicles Life Cycle Assessment (in German)" on behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry is available by now. The study investigates the environmental impact of electric vehicles through the entire life cycle (“from gradle to grave”) and compares the impact with results of conventionally propelled vehicles. A variety of factors such as climate zone, driving profile, charging behavior and electrical utility factor are taken into account. In particular materials used in battery manufacturing were evaluated and new approaches were developed to assess resource usage.

Scenarios address possible future changes for 2030. According to those scenarios electric vehicel environmental benefits will increase over the next years (especially by expansion of renewable energies) and disadvantages will decrease (through better specific battery characteristics and reinforced recycling also because of economic reasons). Preconditions are a more consistent energy industry transformation as well as incentives for a resource-efficient product design and an encompassing waste disposal and recycling industry.

Study Download (in German - UBA Texte 27/2016, pdf 5 MB)

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GHG Mitigation Potentials of fuel-saving Truck Tyres in Europe and China


12.01.2016 Truck transport is increasing worldwide contributing substantially to GHG emissions. Use of truck tyres with low rolling resistance can reduce GHG emissions of truck transport considerably. In the GIZ project ‘Transfer of Climate Friendly Technologies and Measures’ (TRANSfer), ifeu has analysed GHG savings potentials of efficient tyres in both, the EU and China, and has recently published two studies to support further development of low rolling resistance tyre regulations in China.

Furthermore, a monitoring methodology for GHG and non-GHG impacts of legislative regulations on characteristics of truck tyres has been developed, illustrated with experiences in the EU. This “MRV blueprint” is aimed to support the development of suitable methods for evaluating mitigation success (MRV - Measurement, Reporting and Verification) of transport related GHG mitigation measures under the NAMA framework (NAMA - Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action).

Studie “GHG Mitigation Potential of European Rolling Resistance Labelling and Phase-out Scheme for Heavy-Duty Truck Tyres”

Studie “GHG Mitigation Potential of a Green Tyre Programme for Road Freight in China”

“Monitoring emission savings from low rolling resistance tire labelling and phase-out schemes - MRV Blueprint based on an example from the European Union”,
Study and Presentation

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Sino German Exchange on Emission Modeling and Measures in Transport





09.12.2015 Beijing: Emissions from transport are a major source of local air pollution and increasingly also for greenhouse gas emissions in China. ifeu experts carried out several workshops with different Chinese institutions about measures in transport and their mitigation effects. The GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) commissioned and coordinated the workshops within the context of the „Sino-German Environmental Partnership“ by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB).

The main focus was the exchange of methods for emission quantification and analysis of measures in scenarios. Hinrich Helms and Christoph Heidt presented the models TREMOD und TREMOD-MM (for mobile machinery) which were developed by ifeu. Further workshops aimed at the discussion of strategies to reach climate targets and an energy transition (Energiewende) in transport in Germany and the potential of electric busses in urban transport.

Further information on TREMOD and TREMOD-MM

Quelle: TPRI (Transport Planing and Research Institute)

(click to enlarge photo)

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Domestic oil crops for the oleochemistry





cosmos logo23.11.2015 As the host of the first progress meeting, ifeu welcomed almost 40 delegates of the COSMOS project (Camelina & crambe Oil crops as Sources for Medium-chain Oils for Specialty oleochemicals) from 17.-19.11.2015 in Heidelberg.

This EU-funded 4.5-year project aims at reducing the dependence of Europe’s oleochemical industry on imported plant oils by developing the currently underutilised domestic oil crops Camelina (Camelina sativa) und Crambe (Crambe abyssinica). Both plants are species within the cruciferous plant family (Brassicaceae), to which also rapeseed (Brassica napus) belongs. The European oleochemical industry currently relies on imported coconut, palm kernel and castor oil as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer building blocks.

Further information ...

Cosmos Heidelberg Group

(click to enlarge photo)

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Plant Proteins for Human Nutrition





protein2food logo19.11.2015 Protein2Food is a new research project funded by the EU in the framework of Horizon2020. The project’s aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient, healthy plant proteins for human consumption in the form of new, attractive protein-rich food products and new recipes which can substitute products with animal-based ingredients and by such contribute to more sustainable food consumption patterns.

More information ...

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„Showcase - Made in Germany“: Award for the Xingfubao Passive House





Urkunde30.10.2015 Beijing: Xingfubao (happiness castle), the first certified passive house in China‘s extreme cold climate zone was completed in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, in September 2014. The project was coordinated by ifeu. Today, Xingfubao received an award as a Showcase – Made in Germany by German Industry & Commerce Greater China, as part of the export initiative energy efficiency of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). Regarding Sino-German cooperation in energy efficiency of buildings, a jury evaluated according using the following criteria: energy efficiency, degree of innovation, modernity, quality as best practice project, potential media interest and degree of German contribution.

Bernd Franke project director at ifeu, and Ms. Xiong Bo, coordinator of the Chinese partner Dacheng International received the award. Mr. Franke declared: „The interest in the Xingfubao project as a milestone in Sino-German cooperation remains strong. The building has been visited by many experts from all regions of China. I am happy the more passive house projects are funded in Urumqi and that the China Passive House Alliance facilitates the exchange of experience from many new projects.” Ms. Xiong added: „Passive houses are economically viable as well; the demand in high-quality and energy efficient buildings is growing in China.“ The work of ifeu was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Future Megacities research programme. Coordination was provided by the Xinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Sciences for Chinese partners and by the University of Heidelberg for German partners.

Brochure for the Showcase Projects (German/Chinese, pdf)

More information….

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Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns





Cover Studie29.10.2015 „Pedelecs have great potential to substitute car trips. This accounts especially for commuting trips up to 10 kilometers. Also for other common daily trips the pedelec had been the preferred vehicle choice instead of the former chosen car." These are the main findings of the recently conducted research project PEDELECTION.

The project had been funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. It was aimed to analyze shifting effects between the different vehicles types caused by pedelec use patterns. In cooperation with the Institut for Transportation Design (ITD, University of Braunschweig) ifeu investigated daily mobility use patterns in a field test. Additionally, an environmental assessment based on collected mobility data compares the climate effects before and after the test persons were introduced to pedelecs. Following the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach for different vehicles, further environmental effects caused by production, disposal and upstream emissions of the use phase could be considered.

The achieved results are a good starting point to develop incentives for a stronger integration of pedelecs into general mobility patterns and commuting patterns in particular.

PEDELECTION - Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns - Final Report (in German, pdf 11.5 MB)

More information… (Website ITD)

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Concept Energy Transition across Sectors developed





Cover Report13.10.2015 “To achieve climate protection goals in the most economical and cost-efficient manner, wind and solar energy ought to be developed into the most important primary energy sources across all sectors, including heat supply and mobility", researchers of two Fraunhofer Institutes, the ifeu Heidelberg and the Umweltenergierecht Foundation recently concluded. The three-year research project “Interactions of RE electricity, heating and transport” is based on a resolution of the German Bundestag and was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The study infers “optimal structural development pathways for the heating and transport sectors." According to the authors during the presentation of results, “heat pumps and power-to-heat both in local and district heating systems, battery-electric vehicles and catenary trucks provide examples for future key technologies for the integration of the energy sectors electricity, heating and transport. This integration is associated with economic benefits and opens up a range of flexibility options for the maintenance of a reliable and safe energy supply.”

Interactions of RE Eletricity, Heating and Transport
Final Report (pdf 5,7 MB)
+ Short Version (pdf 924 KB) (in German)

More information… (in German)

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Start planning from the Goal Definition - Sufficiency as an important Field of Action in Municipalities




Foto / Quelle: Lizenzfrei09.10.2015 Sufficiency measures and policies in municipalities

The importance of sufficiency for reaching local climate change objectives was detected in numerous municipal climate action plans and “Masterplan 100 % Climate Change Mitigation” projects. And there are already existing ideas and recommended policy measures to facilitate and encourage sufficiency in municipalities.

This is carried out by the extensive analysis of climate action plan in 32 municipalities and regions as well as “Masterplan 100 % Climate Change Mitigation” projects in 19 municipalities and regions, published in the working paper "Suffizienz-Maßnahmen und -Politiken in kommunalen Klimaschutzkonzepten und Masterplänen – ein Überblick" (in German).

The analysis also reveals that mainly the mobility sector’s measures are influenced by sufficiency approaches. In the sectors of housing and construction, nutrition and private consumption sufficiency is not systematically anchored. According to the authors, high potentials in designing and implementing sufficiency measures and policies are existing for an absolute reduction of energy consumption in a significant scale.

More information ...

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Transparent Information on Fuel Consumption urgently required for Electric Vehicles as well





Logo29.09.2015 User-specific and accurate fuel consumption data may actually be more important for electric vehicles than for conventional combustion engines. The official data from type-approval tests presented in advertising materials and sales brochures provide little information on the actual situation under real-world conditions. Moreover, individual user behaviour strongly influences the energy consumption of dedicated battery-electric passenger cars and hybrid-systems with combustion engines, so-called plug-in hybrids.

To provide a realistic assessment of potential savings associated with a switch to electric vehicles, ifeu is currently developing the web application ‘My eDrive’ in collaboration with the German Automobile Association ADAC. My eDrive will allow interested drivers of conventional cars a free virtual test drive of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A smart phone app initially monitors and records the driving habits of the driver in his current vehicle. Based on these real-world data, costs, environmental impacts and mileage of current electric vehicle options are calculated.

We intend to test My eDrive in a trial period shortly and we would like to invite you to participate. Application materials and additional information may be found here ...

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Increasing Divergence betweenType Approval and real-world Fuel Consumption of Passenger Cars





Cover28.09.2015 It has been widely known for a number of years that both the fuel consumption of passenger cars and the associated greenhouse gas emissions are considerably higher on the road than under the type-approval test conditions reported in sales brochures. According to a recent analysis of the fuel consumption of approx. 600,000 vehicles registered in the EU between 2001 to 2014, carried out by the ICCT in collaboration with ifeu Heidelberg and TNO, the discrepancy between test results and real-world conditions has increased from about 8 % in 2001 to a present average of 40 %.

This finding indicates that our national climate goals are in serious jeopardy. Moreover, the loss in vehicle tax revenue amounts to hundreds of millions of Euro. The discrepancy between car manufacturer data and real-world conditions also puts the consumer at a disadvantage. On average, an additional annual investment of 450 € per user is required to bridge the gap between reported and actual fuel consumption. Reasons for the divergence between official data and real-world conditions may be found in the exploitation of loopholes in the type-approval process by car manufacturers and the omission of auxiliary consumers. To rectify the situation, a realistic new test procedure and the introduction of post-hoc tests are required.

Additional information and the study „From Laboratory to Road (icct-Website) may be found here... (Click to enlarge cover)

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Eco-profiles of PVC and VCM updated


01.09.2015 Commissioned by PlasticsEurope, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe, and by the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), ifeu recently updated the Eco-profile of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and its monomer vinyl chloride (VCM). For this reason, production data concerning material and energy input as well as emissions to air and water was collected from 38 European VCM and PVC producers. Collected data was combined with data describing resource input and emissions occurring during the production of energy and materials needed for PTA production resulting in a mathematical model.

This led to a detailed description of environmental impacts caused by the production of 1 kg of VCM and PVC in Europe, respectively. Eco-profiles focus on the production phase of a product "from cradle to factory gate", whereas in a full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) the complete life cycle of a product "from cradle to grave" is investigated. Thus, Eco-profiles represent important building-blocks for the calculation of a LCA. The updated Eco-profile for PVC therefore gives rise for updates of downstream products, for example of PVC pipes.

More information ...

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Taking over of Scheme Ownership and Updates of the Greenhouse Gas CalculationTools for Biofuels


15.07.2015 It is essential that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the production of biofuels and bioliquids are calculated in a standardised way. This is a requirement under the current biofuels sustainability ordinance. For that purpose, the ifeu participated in the development of two calculation tools: the BioGrace I tool at European level and ENZO2 as a German national tool.

After the completion of the EU financed BioGrace project in March 2015 ifeu took over the scheme ownership, i.e. the management and updating of the BioGrace I tool. An update of the BioGrace I tool is now available (Version 4d). For guaranteeing further harmonisation also for the ENZO2 tools updates have been prepared (version 1.4).

To the tools and further information …

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Assessment of the Socio-Ecological Potentials of Private Lending, Swapping, and Selling





PeerSharing Website30.06.2015 Cars, clothes, accommodation – many products and services can be lent and borrowed, swapped and sold between private individuals or peers. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project "PeerSharing". This transdisciplinary research project analyses the socio-ecological potentials of peer-to-peer-sharing. Four pioneers of the sharing community cooperate with the project: the platforms Kleiderkreisel, flinc, Drivy, and Airbnb. ifeu and the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) are teaming up with the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW, lead). Further collaborators and partners are the German online platform for sustainable consumption Utopia, and the international network Ouishare. The main task of ifeu is the life cycle assessment of shared products and serviced, as well as the comparison with suitable reference and alternative scenarios.

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Efficiency Transition requires stronger Citizen Support






Cover Broschüre Energiesparen19.06.2015 New study on "Citizens conserving energy" commissioned by the Citizens’ Energy Alliance Bürgerenergie e.V. and the Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND) indicates considerable potential.
The concerted efforts of citizens supporting efficiency projects, i.e. citizens conserving energy, may be a decisive factor in the energy transition (Energiewende). Citizen support may effectively address major problem areas. Only the participation of local citizens allows for the full realisation of the numerous decentralised and small-scale opportunities for energy conser­vation, e.g. in sitting rooms, basements, garages and in office space of small businesses. There, on the ground, local knowledge, responsibility and networking interact most successfully.
However, to date, the enormous potentials of citizen energy conservation have barely been tapped. The recent study "Citizens conserving energy" commissioned by the Citizens’ Energy Alliance Bürgerenergie e.V. and the Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND) illustrates the considerable potential of citizen support in energy conservation. Moreover, the study proposes solutions to overcome existing obstacles

More information (in German) ... (pdf 1.14 MB)

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SETAC - Annual Conference





Poster Hemeroby08.05.2015 Hemeroby approach as impact category indicator for the integration of land use into LCA presented at the 25th annual conference of SETAC Europe in Barcelona.

Hemeroby means distance from nature or from natural conditions. This ecological term is denominated as the negative environmental impact on focus. ifeu is applying this concept in LCA to assess land-use effects. This concept is also recommended by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). All types of land-use areas (e.g. forest land, agricultural land, built-up area) are assigned to a system of seven hemeroby classes according to the results of the systematic approach via defined criteria and metrics. This approach has been recently updated and shall contribute to the on-going discussion on land use and biodiversity in LCA, as performed at the SETAC conference in Barcelona. Within this activity ifeu is cooperating with Prof. Dr. Birgit Grahl.

More information ...

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Highest Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg bestowed to Ulrich Höpfner





MP Kretschmann, Dr. U. Hoepfner, source STM_BaWue27.04.2015 Minister President Winfried Kretschmann bestowed the Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg on Dr. Ulrich Höpfner, Honorary Chairman, Co-founder and Executive Director of ifeu from 1977 to 2009. This order is the highest award of the state. It is bestowed for great merits for the State of Baden-Württemberg, especially in social, cultural, economic and political affairs. The number of award holders is limited to 1,000 living persons.

The Minister President declared at the ceremony: "Dr. Ulrich Höpfner is the pioneer of critical sustainability research in Germany. In 1977, together with like-minded people, he founded the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg. Independent from political parties and companies, the Institute creates positions to environmental policy issues based on sound science and promotes the public debate. Important studies on nuclear energy, on waste management and resource issues, on questions related to climate protection, energy, environment and transport have strongly influenced policy-making in Germany.” For many years, Höpfner also served as member of State and Federal Committees, such as the Sustainabiliy Advisory Committee of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

More information…

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New Logo for ifeu


On April 26, 2015 we introduced a new logo for the institute.
The new logo combines the new and the proven: we kept the color green but used a fresher shade. The small font in the acronym was also preserved. The bouncing dot above the “i” signals our curiosity, enthusiasm and constant presence in all areas of environmental research. It also echoes the measuring points in the old logo.
Our logo thus reflects central elements in the work of the ifeu: creativity and continuity, scientific integrity, and our main goal, which is to contribute to improving environmental quality while raising awareness of sustainability in society.
The new logo is being introduced 25 years after the last logo change and on the anniversary of the disaster in Chernobyl, which had a significant impact on the work of the ifeu.

Download the new ifeu logo ...

Logo IFEU new
Logo IFEU old
new logo
old logo
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Technological GHG Reduction Potentials of heavy-duty Vehicles and related Costs


Cover Report20.04.2015 Heavy-duty vehicles account for about a quarter of the GHG emissions in road transport at present. Current projections expect substantial increases of HDV transport in the future. Therefore, compliance with climate change mitigation goals and the minimisation of final energy consumption require a substantial reduction of the fuel consumption associated with heavy-duty vehicles.
ifeu Heidelberg in cooperation with Graz University of Technology have analysed fuel savings and GHG reduction potentials of technological measures (e.g. powertrain, aerodynamics, rolling resistance) using VECTO the designated simulation-based approach for the standardised quantification of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Europe.
Based on fuel savings of each measure and related changes of vehicle costs (investment and fuel costs), payback periods as well as specific GHG abatement costs have been estimated for the single technologies and for technology packages.

Download of the study (in German) and English summary ...

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Eco-Profile for PTA updated


Cover Report16.03.2015 Commissioned by the Committee of PET Maufacturers of Europe (CPME), ifeu recently updated the Eco-profile of purified terephthalic acid (PTA). PTA is an important precursor for the production of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). For this reason, production data concerning material and energy input as well as emissions to air and water was collected from five European PTA producers. Collected data was combined with data describing resource input and emissions occurring during the production of energy and materials needed for PTA production resulting in a mathematical model. This led to a detailed description of environmental impacts caused by the production of 1 kg of PTA in Europe.
Eco-profiles focus on the production phase of a product "from cradle to factory gate", whereas a in full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) the complete life cycle of a product "from cradle to grave" is investigated. Thus, Eco-profiles represent important building-blocks for the calculation of a LCA. The updated Eco-profile for PTA therefore gives rise for updates of downstream products, for example of PET bottles.

More information ...

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New Energy Consultancy Studies


09.02.2015 The ifeu has completed two new studies on energy consultancy. For the Consumer Advice Centre North Rhine-Westphalia (VZ NRW), the energy consultancy project "Climate change mitigation and energy transition in detail" (KEK) was evaluated. The evaluation revealed a distinct positive effect on local energy consultancy and thus, on achievements in final energy savings and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
For the ASEW (Working Group for rational use of Energy and Water in the Association of Municipal Companies), existing energy consultancy services for private households were investigated with the aim to identify opportunities for improved coordination to optimise quality control in energy consultancy. One crucial point revealed by the study was the lack of sufficient distinction between different energy consultancy services. This lack of distinction impedes efficient interlocking and networking of services. In consequence, the establishment of adequate quality control systems is hampered. The study proposed a number of measures for categorisation of consultancy services for improved clarity.

More information on the Evaluation for VZ NRW ...

Further information on the study for ASEW ...

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Milestones for Bioenergy


Cover Endbericht09.02.2015 The final report of the project “Milestones 2030 - Elements and Milestones for the Development of a Sustainable Bioenergy Strategy” is now available. The project was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and had a duration of about two years. The research consortium could simulate different developments of bioenergy use by means of scenario-based modeling and analysed the impacts on climate, biodiversity, environment, infrastructure and food security. Within the project, ifeu was responsible for the life cycle assessment of the bioenergy scenarios
On basis of the results important milestones could be identified and recommendations for action could be derived, which should be achieved by 2030 to facilitate a long-term sustainable bioenergy strategy.

English summary (pdf 2.0 MB)

More information (in German) ...

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Waste Prevention by use of Flexible Packaging


Cover of the Report26.1.2015 The principal aim of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is the prevention of packaging waste.
On behalf of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE), the ifeu analysed whether the substitution of non-flexible packaging by flexible packaging solutions would lead to waste prevention and an overall decrease in resources consumption. The analysis revealed that the reduction in primary packaging waste associated with a switch to flexible packaging amounted to over 60 % of the total annual amount of primary packaging waste in the EU. A potential substitution of all non-flexible packaging used for non-beverage fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by flexible packaging solutions would improve total Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Abiotic Depletion (ADP) results of all European FMCGs packaging, regardless of the various recycling rates modelled in a number of different scenarios. In consequence, the benefits of the substitution of flexible packaging for non-flexible packaging may distinctly exceed those of an increased recycling rate.

More information:
Executive Summary of the Study ( pdf 37 KB)

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Calculation Tool for Milk - presented on the International Green Week


foto Dr. Guido Reinhardt19.1.2015 During the International Green Week, the world's major consumer fair on foods, ifeu director Dr. Guido Reinhardt presents the first publicly accessible calculation tool for the environmental impacts of dairy products. ifeu developed a publicly available greenhouse gas calculation tool for milk, yogurt, cheese and further dairy products in a research project supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. For the project, in addition to greenhouse gases and energy, all other relevant environmental parameters were investigated, as targeted by a life cycle assessment. Also a comprehensive final report was compiled.

More information ...

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Change of the ifeu Executive Board


Foto Schluesseluebergabe; Fotograf: U. Höpfner
from left:
Markus Duscha, Dr. Martin Pehnt, Andreas Detzel, Lothar Eisenmann, Jürgen Giegrich

(with future ifeu-Logo)

15.12.2014 This year’s Christmas party at the ifeu provided the suitably festive setting to bid farewell to the current executive directors stepping down and to welcome the new executive board. Markus Duscha and Jürgen Giegrich had been at the helm of the ifeu for about five years. Now they look forward to a break from primarily administrative duties and the return to their scientific roots at the ifeu. "You have done a brilliant job. Under your leadership, the ifeu substantially expanded its staff and diversified in topics. Our most heartfelt thanks for that", Bernd Franke applauded the parting directors while the entire ifeu staff expressed their appreciation. At the same time, the new executive board – Andreas Detzel, Lothar Eisenmann and Dr. Martin Pehnt – were given a warm welcome. "Come 1st of January 2015, it will be your turn. Together, you are looking at more than 50 years of experience at the ifeu, so you’ll know what to expect. You have prudently divided the workload of the executive management so that it will be in able hands. We wish you the best of luck!"

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Blue Angel for Printed Products


10.12.2014 On their annual meeting on December 9th 2014 the independent "Jury Umweltzeichen" adopted the new German environmental label "Blue Angel" for printed products. Under the guidance of oekom Verlag München, IFEU Heidelberg and Ökopol Hamburg, in partnership with "Frankfurter Buchmesse" developed - under active involvement of the stakeholders - criteria for low-emission and natural resources sparing printing products.

The core criteria are

  • the only use of "Blue Angel" UZ14 und UZ72 certified recycled paper
  • restriction of VOC-emissions in the print shop
  • use of mineral oil free and low-polluting links
  • imperative of high grade recyclability of the used products
  • need of energy- and waste management in the print shop

For the first time digital and rotogravure printing was included in the awarding criteria.

More information ... (Website BMUB, in German)

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Successful kick-off of Rapid Planning in Kigali, Rwanda


29.11.2014 The first field mission of nine scientists to Kigali as part of the 5-year research project Rapid Planning was coordinated by Bernd Franke (IFEU). Rapid Planning targets the sustainable development of urban growth centers in Africa and Asia and is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF. The initial focus in Ruanda’s capital Kigali (pop. 1.2 million) is the upgrading of Agatare, an 80 hectare informal settlement area with 3,000 households. There, the trans-sectoral approach of Rapid Planning supports ongoing local efforts with the goal to develop suitable infrastructure improvement options. The IFEU team is responsible for the development of a material flow assessment tool and the local coordination of 12 research organizations in close collaboration with the City of Kigali, Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure and the University of Rwanda.

More information …

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GBEP-Indicators for Sustainable Bioenergy


Cover of the Report14.11.2014 The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) as a globally relevant intergovernmental platform adopted a set of 24 indicators to assess and monitor the sustainability of modern bioenergy. The indicators shall provide a tool for policy-makers and other stakeholders that informs on the development of the bioenergy sector and that allows monitoring the impact of related policies and programs.

The indicators are now being pilot tested in different countries. The pilot testing in Germany is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and assigned to IFEU in cooperation with IINAS (Darmstadt). Its objective is to assess the feasibility of evaluating the 24 indicators in Germany. The assessment reveals which of the indicators are difficult to be applied and where the methodologies may need adaptation. A focus is put on describing deficits and on deriving proposals on how to deal with them. These lessons learned are mirrored back into the GBEP process. The recently released report has been presented at the GBEP-meeting on 12 November 2014 in Rome.

More information ...

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Dr. Ulrich Höpfner was appointed Honorary Chairman of IFEU


Foto Dr. Hoepfner27.10.2014 In October 2014, the scientific board of IFEU and its shareholder meeting appointed Dr. Ulrich Höpfner, one of the founders and long-time executive director of the Institute, honorary chairman. This made him not only the first emeritus in the meanwhile 36-year-old history of the Institute, but also the first employee to whom this title had been awarded. Markus Duscha, current executive director, is pleased to be able to honor the dedicated scientists in this way: "The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research would not be what it is today, without Ulrich Höpfner. We have to thank him a lot!" Ulli, as his friends and colleagues call him, was executive director of IFEU and member of its scientific board from 1978 – 2009. He was also the scientific director of the department "Transport and Environment".

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First Passive House in West China Certified


photo of the passive house25.09.2014 Urumqi, Xinjiang Province/China
The certification ceremony for West China’s first passive house in Xingfulu (Happiness Rd.) in Urumqi was attended by the vive governor of the Xinjiang province, the vice mayor of Urumqi and Ms. Kundermann, first counsellor for science and technology from the German embassy in Beijing. The winters in Urumqi are extremely cold. Together with the investor Dacheng International and the Urumqi Construction Committee the goal to lower the heat demand by 80 % compared to the requirements for new buildings was achieved. The architectural design of the 8.000 m2 building with offices, shops and restaurants was prepared jointly by Culturebridge Architects Grünstadt and the Xinjiang Architectural Design Institute; the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt/Germany provided ongoing review. The demands on building quality were high; passive house windows were produced for the first time by REHAU, a German company with a production facility in China. IFEU’s work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Future Megacities research programme.

Foto: from left: Dr. Berthold Kaufmann (Passivhaus-Institut), Christian Hennecke (Culturebridge Architects), Xiong BO (Dacheng), Bernd Franke (IFEU)IFEU project director Bernd Franke declared: "This is the first passive house in China’s extremely cold climate zone. The technical and economic challenges were great. I am very pleased that our Sino-German team created a lighthouse for the sustainable development of Urumqi. With IFEU support, a passive house standard for Xinjiang is currently being developed. This guarantees many more projects like this one will follow."

More information… (Website RECAST Urumqi)

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IFEU further extends Research Focus on Algae


Fig. Jar of Fish, Flax & Borage Oil: Udo Lambrecht12.09.2014 For more than two decades, IFEU has been involved in various projects regarding bioenergy, biorefineries and renewable resources. Now IFEU further extends its research on algae by two new algae projects called D-FACTORY and PUFAChain that are funded by the European Commission. Both projects focus on the industrial cultivation of microalgae and their processing to high-value products such as omega-3 fatty acids, carotinoids or bioenergy. Within these projects, IFEU performs an integrated sustainability assessment, which evaluates the sustainability of the entire life cycle – from algae cultivation to the use of the end products. That way the most sustainable product portfolios and production techniques for microalgae biorefineries can be identified.

More information on the subject and the individual projects can be found here...

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First Passive House in Tianjin: with IFEU Support


Starting in July 2014, IFEU supports the Technological Development Center of Beijing Uni-Construction Group Co., Ltd. (BUCC) in planning for the construction of a passive house in Tianjan, a major harbor city East of Beijing. For this project, IFEU cooperates with the Passive Hause Institute/Darmstadt and Culturebridge Architects/Grünstadt. The 14-storey residential building with an area of 7.000 m2 will be completed by the end of 2015. The heat demand of 15 kWh per m2 and year represents only about 20 % of the requirement for new buildings according to the Chinese standards and will be supplied by electric heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Staff of BUCC and the local construction committee was trained at a recent 3-day workshop in Tianjin where many technical details were resolved. Following the Xingfubao passive house in Urumqi/Xinjiang this is the second project where a passive house is realized in China with IFEU support. IFEU project director Bend Franke declares: "The interest in building passive houses increases rapidly in China. These projects are a clear signal that increasing the energy efficiency in buildings is a high priority for Chinese construction companies and decision makers alike."

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Air Pollution from Mobile Machinery – IFEU Studies and Symposium


31.07.2014 Pollutant emissions from mobile machinery, i.e. construction machinery, agriculture and forestry equipment or petrol-fuelled tools for private households, have long been considered negligible in air quality monitoring and efforts for improvement. An IFEU study commissioned by the German Federal Environ­mental Agency (UBA) has tackled this preconception to test its validity (completed in 12/2013; now available as UBA publication 24/2014). "Particulate matter emissions from mobile machinery currently amount to the equivalent of the combined exhaust emissions of the entire road transport sector. For nitrogen oxides, mobile machinery emissions are equivalent to a quarter of overall road transport emissions. The limits for particulate matter and NOx stipulated in the European air quality standards are frequently exceeded in many German cities, thus mobile machinery has to be considered in air quality monitoring. Mobile machinery may play a minor role in overall background pollution levels, yet it could be responsible for considerable local pollution peaks."

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg (MVI) was eager to learn further details. Although pollutant levels in Baden-Württemberg are generally decreasing from year to year, several municipal monitoring facilities are reporting that limits are frequently exceeded. At present, IFEU is analysing the share of emissions from mobile machinery out of the overall pollutant emissions in Baden-Württemberg and how to approach regulation and avoidance of these emissions. In addition, the IVU Umwelt GmbH modelled emission dispersion for specific locations with known high pollutant loads. The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg is thus encouraged to reduce emissions from construction machinery, especially particulate matter, in the near future.

Results from the IFEU study were presented at the MVI symposium in Stuttgart on 17 July 2014 (Photograph: project leader Hinrich Helms) where a forum of about 100 experts in the field critically discussed the findings in context with other relevant talks. The debate focussed on the modification of official regulations in Baden-Württemberg to accelerate the introduction of particulate filters for construction machinery. State-of-the-art filter application has been shown to be the most effective measure to improve air quality for construction workers and local residents.

IFEU-Study for the German Federal Environmental Agency (Texte 24/2014)

IFEU-Study for the MVI-Baden-Württemberg (July 2014)

MVI Symposium July 17, 2014 – Press Release

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Workshop "Building Renovation Strategies",


photo Martin Pehnt30.05.2014 Building Renovation Strategies. From Directive to Delivery - Presentations available

Out of the 28 expected renovation strategies (required by the article 4 of the Energy Efficiency Directive), only 10 were submitted to the European Commission as of May 16. Some lack ambition, some have no commitment to new policies and some are non-compliant: this proves the challenge to produce long-term, ambitious and impactful strategies.

BPIE, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the German Institute for Energy and Environment (IFEU) jointly organised at May 16, 2014 a conference on building renovation strategies. The event showcased notable national and regional examples which were the subject of a lively debate between the speakers and 100 participants. BPIE intends to undertake a more detailed critique of the national strategies over the coming months to identify shortcomings and best practices.

More information ...

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Biofuels in Aviation


cover of the sudy26.05.2014 The aviation sector is growing faster than any other transport sector. However, in contrast to road and rail transport, there are few opportunities for climate change mitigation in aviation. In addition to energy efficiency optimisation, the focus of the aviation industry is primarily on the replacement of fossil kerosine with biofuels. The protestant development and relief agency "Bread for the World" (Brot für die Welt) is tackling the issue of tourism causing climate change. In consequence, the question of climate-friendly and sustainable air travel arises. Is the aviation industry in the position to maintain its claims for responsible travel that is fair to the environment? Bread for the World commissioned IFEU to explore the sustainability of biofuels in a short study with a focus on the following questions:

How valid is sustainability certification? Which requirements are relevant, what are the legal obligations, how may these be put into practice?

What is the role of core issues, such as securing nutrition given competition between food and fuel production, impacts on the climate or environmental impacts that go beyond climate change mitigation alone?

More information ...

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How to design sustainable multifeedstock, multiproduct biorefineries


Pictures: Courtesy to BIOCORE (left) / CIMV (right)08.05.2014 After four years of work, the FP7-funded project BIOCORE (BIOCOmmodity REfinery), which developed an advanced lignocellulose-based biorefinery concept, has recently been successfully completed. The project focused on the production of a wide range of products from non-food biomass feedstocks using an innovative Organosolv technology. Within the project, IFEU led the work package on „Integrated Sustainability Assessment“.

It was found that the most sustainable of the assessed scenarios focus on material use of biomass fractions, e.g. producing the polymer precursor itaconic acid, lignin-based resins and the sweetener xylitol. However, such advanced biorefineries are not sustainable per se but can instead also result in creating additional burdens, which is e.g. crucially influenced by the product portfolio.

Read more in the report on environmental assessment (containing LCA results, among others) and in the report on integrated sustainability assessment.

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LCA of two sandwich packs


Abbildung27.03.2014 In a LCA study for the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), IFEU examined the environmental impacts of two different ways to safely pack a sandwich. The two different packages were a household aluminium foil and a reusable rigid plastic box that is cleaned in a dishwasher after each use.

The results of the study show that the environmental impacts related to the use of an appropriate amount of aluminium foil are not higher than those caused by the cleaning of a reusable box.

The present LCA is a good example that it can be worthwhile to examine allegedly easily assessed issues by the application of the scientific instrument LCA.
The study was performed in accordance with the relevant ISO standards (ISO 14040 & ISO 14044) and accompanied by an external critical review process.

Download of the Executive Summary (233 KB) …

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Material use: a better option?
A research project analyses the potential environmental and economic effects of increased material use of biomass


Cover25.03.2014 Bio-based products often have both environmental advantages and disadvantages, and as such show many similarities to the use of biomass for energy. This has been profoundly analysed by a study for the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). In cooperation with nova-Institut, Öko-Institut and FiFo, IFEU concludes that the environmental advantage of these uses over conventional fossil fuel-based materials are at least equal to the benefits of switching from fossil fuels to biomass for energy. Pathways applying cascading use of biomass show significant advantages.

IFEU’s contribution to the study encloses a comprehensive LCA as well as the development and proposal of sustainability criteria for material use of biomass.

More information ...

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India's Future Resource Demand – Resource Efficiency as a Reasonable Approach


photo cover of report15.01.2014 Every society depends on natural resources like biogenic and mineral raw materials, on energy sources like fossil fuels and solar and wind energy, and on clean water. The issue of resource efficiency is gaining more political attention since global population growth and limited resource availability is advancing. Industrialized countries already have high levels of resource consumption per capita, while emerging and developing countries still need increasing resources to provide appropriate living standards for their populations. Coordinated and collaborative efforts are required to ensure both availability and conservation of natural resources.

In this context, GIZ initiated a dialogue with Indian and European partners to understand the significance of the issue of resource efficiency for emerging countries in general and for India in particular. The perception of managing natural resources efficiently in a sustainable way is a key consideration in emerging economies in order to support both, economic growth and future resource availability. The result of this dialogue is a report which focuses on raw materials, in particular minerals critical in India’s economy, and demonstrates certain management options along selected case studies.

Download final report in English (compressed version, pdf 4.2 MB) ...

Download final report in English (print version, pdf 25 MB) ...

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Energy Efficiency of Light Duty Vehicles


Foto: Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Lizenz)09.01.2014 In an expert report for the German Federal Environment Agency, IFEU examined how the energy efficiency of future cars can be evaluated (with a large proportion of alternative drive systems).
Currently, environmental evaluation of cars is mainly based on tailpipe emissions. As emissions of alternative technology vehicles largely occur in the energy supply stage (rather than during vehicle operation), a paradigm shift towards an energy-based efficiency rating is necessary. The report highlights some options how this could be achieved.

Download the Report (in German with English Summary) ...

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Ecornet Welcomes a New Member


18.12.2013 Ecornet, the Ecological Research Network welcomes its eighth member: IZT - Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung) Berlin.

More information ... Press Release
(in German, pdf 429 KB)

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Empowerment of Migrants for Climate Protection (EMIGMA)


Grafik Transdisziplinärer Ansatz 30.09.2013 IFEU The attitudes, environmental awareness and the related greenhouse gas emissions of Germans with a migrant background were investigated in a BMBF-funded research project carried out by the IFEU in collaboration with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Prof. Hunecke, Prof. Toprak).

Central finding of the transdisciplinary project: Germans without a migrant background are more environmentally aware compared to those with migrant roots. However, the lifestyle choices of non-immigrant Germans on average place a greater burden on the climate. An important reason for this is the more frequent use of a car.

For further results, including findings on the level of involvement in environmental or migrant organisations of the groups of people under investigation, please see the related press release (Website FH Dortmund, available in German only).




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35th Anniversary of IFEU


foto of IFEU staff, fotografer: Ole Hoepfner

13.09.2013 We have celebrated our 35th anniversary where Dr. Ulrich Höpfner (front row, 7th from left)) was honoured. He was one of IFEU’s co-founders and served as executive director from 1978 to 2009. Dr. Höpfner retired at the end of 2011 and continues to support IFEU in a consultant capacity.

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Greenhouse Gas Savings by Using Oil Palm Trunks


Foto Ölpalmstamm12.09.2013 The palm oil industry constantly attempts to increase the sustainability along the entire palm oil value chain. IFEU recently published a study in cooperation with the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) on a promising optimisation strategy: oil palm trunks, which become available upon replanting of existing plantations, represent an important and increasing flow of underexploited biomass. Their utilisation for producing furniture or bioenergy can lead to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, especially if the process energy demand is met by energy recovery from processing residues of oil palm wood. Guido Reinhardt, co-author of the study and head of the Biomass Department at the IFEU, says: "Usage of oil palm trunks of course cannot solve all problems in palm oil production but it is a practicable step forward that can be implemented throughout palm oil producing countries."

More information:

Nils Rettenmaier, Heiko Keller and Guido Reinhardt (2013):
Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of furniture and bioenergy production from oil palm trunks, (online ahead publication)

Downolad of a related talk at World Biofuels Market Congress 2013
(pdf, 1.2 MB)

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Third Project Newsletter SUPRABIO



Logo suprabio20.08.2013 On the road to a bio-based economy, it is widely held that biorefineries are a sustainable use of biomass producing a wide range of material and energy products from renewable raw materials. Currently, the European Commission is funding three major research projects on this topic, one of which - named SUPRABIO - is coordinated by the University of Brunel. Since February 2010, project partners from eight European countries are involved in research, development and demonstration of biorefinery concepts. These are focused on innovative biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes, process integration, as well as issues of sustainability. The work on the latter subject is lead by IFEU.

Here, you can find the 3rd project newsletter ... (pdf 2 MB)

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Video Documentation of BMBF Funded Project RECAST Urumqi


15.08.2013 Future Megacities - Resource Efficiency in Urumqi, China is the title of a 17-minute video documentation, produced by the crossDOCS film team as part of the accompanying projects of the BMBF research programme Future Megacities. The video features the lighthouse projects carried out by IFEU to increase the energy efficiency in buildings and in industry and are commented by our Chinese cooperation partners.
The video can be started by clicking on the picture.

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Reduction of Environmental Burden by
Plug-in Hybrids -
Results of "TwinDrive"
Fleet Test


Bild Elektroauto19.07.2013 Future market projections suggest a great potential for plug-in hybrids. These vehicles feature a combustion as well as an electric drive system and the battery can be charged externally at a conventional power outlet. But what are the real-life environmental advantages of plug-in hybrids in comparison to conventional car concepts?

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is funding different research projects dealing wit electric mobility as part of their focus area "Elektromobilität". The plug-in hybrid concept "TwinDrive", as one of the funded projects, was developed by Volkswagen during 2008 -2012 and tested with 20 vehicles. IFEU conducted the environmental accompanying research from a “cradle to grave” point of view. Thereby a significant potential for reduction of environmental burden by plug-in hybrids was discovered. Furthermore, it was observed that usage patterns have a considerable influence on the environmental performance of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This accounts particularly to the variable share of miles driven in electric mode. The marginal electricity mix used for charging the vehicles constitutes another influential parameter and depends heavily on the use of load balancing and intelligent charging schemes. The results of the fleet test and policy recommendations are now available in the final report (only German).

Download of the final report (in German, pdf 2,6 MB)

More information on the project...

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German Ambassador of eceee


16.07.2013 Martin Pehnt, Scientific Director at IFEU and Head of the Department “Energy“ has been appointed German Ambassador to the European council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee).

eceee is Europe’s largest and oldest NGO dedicated to energy efficiency. Its ambassadors are all people with a long experience of eceee as an organisation and energy efficiency as a concept and practice.

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European Energy Efficiency Directive


chart10.07.2013 The European Energy Efficiency Directive requires member states to implement binding policies promoting energy efficiency measures in the energy sector. The IFEU recently completed a concept for implementation commissioned by the BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany). "A systematic and consistent execution of the Directive presents a unique opportunity to coordinate and supplement the considerable existing set of energy efficiency tools in Germany. Thus, the long-term energy efficiency goals of the energy concept could be secured," says Martin Pehnt, author of the study and Head of the Energy Department at the IFEU.

Study in German (pdf, 417 KB)

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Resource Efficiency


photo of Juergen Giegrich, IFEU during his lecture24.06.2013 Resource efficiency - an issue for emerging economies or not? Jürgen Giegrich was invited to contribute on that topic as a speaker at the Eschborn Dialogue 2013 on 18./ 19. June. This year, the focus on the annual meeting of the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) was on "Raw materials and resources: growth, values, competition". Thus, first insights from a current project on resource efficiency in India provided an ideal contribution. The constantly growing material demands of a society with an emerging middle-class like India present an enormous challenge for all political actors. A workshop held in May 2013 as well as studies in a number of sectors are designed to facilitate putting the topic on the political agenda.

Lecture in German (pdf, 1 MB)

Resource Initiative - Leveraging efficiency to meet India’s needs - Delhi, May 23rd, 2013 (pdf 1,5 MB)

Resource Initiative India - Brochure (pdf 3 MB)

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National Waste Prevention Programme


Studiencover21.06.2013 The aim of the research project made out by Öko-Institut, Ökopol and IFEU is to establish the fundamentals for the waste prevention programme, in a process involving the individual Länder (states) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the affected public. To this end, the goals of the waste prevention programme are discussed and indicators by which to monitor such goals are formulated. Representative measures established by the precursor project are consolidated and are placed in relation to the life-cycle stages of products. Proceeding from these examples of measures, the measures coming into question for the programme are selected, characterised and assessed.

Download of the final report (in German) and of the summary (Website UBA)

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Concepts and Strategies for Potential Measures of Waste Avoidance


Abb. Cover20.06.2013 A study commissioned by the LUBW State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation revealed a number of promising approaches for the introduction of waste avoidance measures in the commercial and industrial sector.

Best management practice case studies were employed to develop exemplary solutions for the mechanical and automotive engineering sector, the metal industry, the construction sector and the retail and wholesale industry. The particular focus of the study was on the food sector due to its distinct potential for waste avoidance.

The study (in German) can be ordered via LUBW Karlsruhe and downloaded here (pdf 3,9 MB).

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Sustainable Publishing


10.04.2013 Nowadays, advertising aspects of sustainability in the printing process is essential for any business in the printing trade. Yet, what is at the bottom of this trend? What can you do as a client, e.g. an author of a publication, or the reader of a book or magazine to avoid falling into a "green trap"?

The project "Sustainable publishing – new environmental standards for the publishing industry" was initiated by oekom Publishing and supported by the BMU (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety) to investigate criteria for sustainable printing. These included every aspect from the choice of printing paper to the composition of colours employed in the printing process. Since August 2011, a collaboration of IFEU, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research Berlin and the BMU established a consensus on uniform criteria for sustainable publishing. The findings were developed in close communication and active exchange with the key players of the printing trade, e.g. in expert workshops and discussion groups. The results are now available in the report "Sustainability requirements for printing papers and printing processes".

Download of the leporello Green Publishing (pdf 113 KB)

Download of the brochure "Ideas for Greener Pages" (pdf 2 MB)

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Wood Cascades – Regional Strategies for an Extension of the Use of Wood for Energy


28.03.2013 Using life cycle assessment, IFEU investigated the environmental impacts of the cascaded use of wood (e.g. used furniture converted to particle boards which after their use are incinerated). The project "Wood cascades – regional strategies for an extension of the use of wood for energy" was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment. The environmental impacts of wood cascades show to be lower in most cases with respect to non-wood products and direct energy use of wood.

The final report (in German) can be downloaded here.

More information ...

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Action Plan for the Implementation of Climate Friendly Waste Management in the State of Berlin


Studiencover20.03.2013 By appointment of the Environmental Administration Berlin, IFEU Heidelberg and ICU Berlin compared the management and disposal of the 36 most relevant types of waste with respect to their effects on climate change. The 2010 inventory showed that the disposal of 6.7 Mio. Mg waste in the State of Berlin produced a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of –900,000 Mg CO2 equivalents. An additional reduction of –240,000 Mg CO2 equivalents could be achieved by optimising existing waste disposal practices for half of the types of waste under study, as well as an improved capture of dry recyclable and organic materials. Based on these results, a catalogue of measures was compiled that included valuable input from the relevant stakeholders.

More information ... (in German)

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Sustainable Biofuel Production in Developing Countries - Positive Feedback for Guideline at UN Conference


Studiencover18.03.2013 More than 50 participants from 23 countries provided overall positive feedback on the Biofuels Screening Toolkit at an international conference sponsored by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) to discuss the outcome of the research project Global Assessments and Guidelines for Sustainable Liquid Biofuel Production in Developing Countries. The toolkit was prepared as part of the research project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) that was carried out by IFEU together with other research organizations.

IFEU’s scientific director Bernd Franke was in charge of the project’s scientific coordination and explains: "The project’s Biofuels Screening Toolkit assists in setting clear policies and priorities for future work and investments by the GEF in biofuel related projects. We are confident that the countries submitting proposals and the GEF both find it a useful tool based on sound science." The core of the toolkit is a GEF greenhouse gas calculator for 74 different scenarios developed by IFEU and presented at the conference by Susanne Köppen.

For details and downloads go to the project website ...

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ENZO2 – Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) Approves Greenhouse Gas Calculation Tool


Enzo2 Logo14.03.2013 It is essential that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the production of biofuels and bioliquids are calculated in a standardised way. This is a requirement under the current biofuels sustainability ordinance. For that purpose, the IFEU developed the ENZO2 tool funded by the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU). This tool was recently approved and officially recognised as a standard calculation for certification by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

ENZO2 may be employed to calculate actual emission values for vegetable oils, biodiesel and ethanol derived from cereals, palm oil, sugar beet and sugar cane. It allows the calculation from the perspective of the individual stakeholder, the accumulation over the entire production chain as well as the combination of individual data with standardised reference values. The tool is designed to comply with the EU-funded BioGrace project.

To the calculator and for more information ...

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Heidelberg Master Plan "100% Climate Change Mitigation" – First Citizen Conference


Foto Martin Pehnt24.02.2013 The City of Heidelberg is committed to reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 95 % by the year 2050. This highly ambitious and technically challenging initiative of the City of Heidelberg is being supported through "The Climate Initiative" of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU). The IFEU is guiding the proposed scheme with scientific expertise, as well as engaging and liaising with stakeholders and local citizens.

At the "1st Citizen Conference" on climate change mitigation in Heidelberg, both the mayor of Heidelberg, Eckart Würzner, and the Minister of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg, Franz Untersteller, strongly emphasised the importance of individual initiatives supporting climate change mitigation measures both at the municipal and the state level. Martin Pehnt (see photo) elaborated on the concepts that form the scientific basis of the Master Plan. Following this plenary presentation, more than 100 participants met in discussion groups to develop their vision and individual ideas of local climate change mitigation.

More information ...

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Minister of the Environment Franz Untersteller Visits the IFEU


Foto22.02.2013 How to further increase energy retrofitting of existing building stock in Baden-Württemberg? Which new concepts and ideas are being developed to advance the sustainability strategy and the resource governance of the state? Moreover, how to structure waste management in order to best support existing resource governance? These issues were on the agenda when Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of Baden-Württemberg visited the IFEU on 22 February 2013. He participated in a discussion group with IFEU experts focusing on the development of climate change mitigation measures at the municipal level. There, he emphasised the strategic importance of the individual municipalities within the overall environmental policy framework of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Minister Untersteller then proceeded to open the first citizen conference under the Master Plan "100 % Climate Change Mitigation for the City of Heidelberg" at the town hall.

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Blog "Nachhaltige Wissenschaft" on Sustainability in Sciences


19.02.2013 As of mid-February 2013, the blog "Nachhaltige Wissenschaft" reporting on sustainability in sciences is being jointly published by the Ecornet network and the Organisation for Sustainability in Sciences (Verbund für nachhaltige Wissenschaft NaWis). The blog provides an overview over the activities endorsed by both networks, as well as initiatives and current projects promoting sustainability in sciences on a national and international level. IFEU is a member of the Ecological Research Network"‘Ecornet", an association of independent environmental and sustainability research institutes, and supports the blog’s objectives, such as stimulating a reorganisation of academia to improve methods in sustainability research, teaching and training.

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Pedelec - Field Test: Participants Wanted!


08.02.2013 Electric two-wheelers in the fast lane: While the number of electric cars is growing only slowly, e-bikes (pedelec: pedal electric cycle) are enjoying a rising acceptance and are already common sights in our streets. 400.000 pedelecs have been sold in Germany alone during the last year. Therefore, the spectrum of two-wheeler concepts and potential mobility patterns has been significantly broadened, which also leads to new questions for mobility research. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment funds the project "Pedelection" which is conducted by the Institute for Transportation Design (University of Fine Arts Braunschweig) and IFEU. The research objective is to analyse potential modal shifts and associated environmental impacts.

Are you already owner of a pedelec or are you planning to purchase one in the near future? Are you interested in researching a new and exciting mobility phenomenon? If so, you are welcome to participate in our Pedelection research team. You will find all the relevant information here.

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International Workshop on GHG Emission Quantification in Transport – IFEU presents new study


12.12.2012 Motorized traffic has been increasing strongly in Chinese cities. Therefore, GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit works together with Chinese partners on the development of measures to affect travel behaviour and in consequence reduce transport energy consumption and GHG emissions. Basis for the analysis of the starting situation and potentials of measures are valid GHG emission inventories for a city. For local transport activities, this can be a quite complex task. In a workshop in Beijing with inter­national experts, IFEU scientists presented a new study, which has analysed GHG emission quantification for the transport sector in German major cities.

More information ...

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German Energy Transition


logo German Energy Transiition06.12.2012 Germany has drawn a lot of international attention for its aim to switch to a renewable energy economy and leave nuclear and fossil energy behind. A lot of the international reporting about the German Energy Transition, or Energiewende, has, however, been misleading – for instance, when it comes to the role of coal power, energy price trends, and carbon emissions.
The website developed by IFEU on behalf of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung aims to explain what the German Energy Transition is, how it works, and what challenges lay ahead. It is intended to provide facts and explain the politics and policies to an international audience. The website highlights the effects of the Energiewende on the German economy, environment and society and addresses the most important questions.
All the texts and graphs are under Creative Commons License with the aim to make this information available to the public. We encourage you to use the materials in your work.

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Environmental Impact of Packaging from Bioplastics


cover of the study12.10.2012 IFEU has completed a study on the environmental impacts of packaging from bioplastics on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). The basis for this study is the 5th amendment of the German Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV), which includes a special regulation for biologically degradable plastics until the 31st of December 2012. The study is based on an extensive literature research and self-conducted assessments based on LCA approach. Additionally it includes market research, an analysis of the opinion of the relevant actors and a brief discussion on land use.
In recent years, there has been a considerable trend in Germany to utilize bio-based plastics which are not necessarily bio-degradable. For this reason the study focuses on packaging from bio-degradable plastics as well as on bio-based plastics.

More information ...

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Aachen wins first prize for the local authority energy efficiency concept


energy efficiency24.09.12 Four outstanding local authority energy efficiency projects were awarded by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena – German Energy Agency) after taking part in the competition entitled "Energy Efficiency in Local Authorities – Good Examples 2012". The exemplary energy efficiency concept by the city of Aachen that was developed by IFEU together with the city’s department of works and the city council over several years received first prize. Project leader Hans Hertle: “Many of the suggested measures have already been implemented and are saving energy every day – I’m particularly pleased about that.”

More information ...

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Optimisation of organic waste management


organic waste management13.07.2012 A new study of IFEU and ahu AG Aachen integrated data on effects of agricultural compost application that had not been quantified thus far into an ecobalance for subsequent evaluation. Based on soil science methods the increase in soil organic matter (humus reproduction and increase of humus content) was determined. Additional criteria (usable field capacity to reduce irrigation and the supply of mineral mass for erosion prevention) are included for the first time; other criteria were significantly modified (e.g. the calculation of mineral fertiliser equivalents).

A second goal of the project was to reassess organic waste management based on the new findings. From an ecological point of view separate collection and use of organic waste is still recommended. The waste management system should target at the optimal valorization of the compost components and ensure high standards for emission reductions.

More information (in German) …

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What is the view of immigrants on climate protection?


EMIGMA26.06.2012 How committed are immigrants to engage themselves in climate protection? Are there differences to Germans without immigration background? Does the level of integration matter? The ENIGMA team presented answers to those and other questions at press conferences in Berlin on 26 June 2012 and in Dortmund on 28 June 2012.

A representative survey was carried out by the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Department of Applied Social Sciences) and IFEU. For each person surveyed, the greenhouse gas emissions were calculated based on behavior patterns. For this, a greenhouse gas calculator co-developed by IFEU was used.

Press release of FH Dortmund summarizing the results (in German) ... (EMIGMA-website)

For more information (in German) …

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Further development of a European key indicator for consumption of resources


raw material equivalents21.06.2012 The "Resource Efficiency Roadmap" of the European Commission identifies Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) as the preliminary key indicator of European Resource Policy. This indicator is composed by the weight of all raw materials extracted domestically from the environment as well as the weight of all imported and exported goods.

Hence, this indicator includes the weight of domestic extraction of metal ores as well as the weight of imports and exports of the final products (for example a mobile phone containing metal). The effects from a shift of domestic to foreign production are ignored. IFEU in collaboration with Sustainable Solutions Germany (SSG) and the Environment Centre of Charles University in Prague (CUEC) developed a method to overcome this severe shortcoming, combining methods for national accounting and life cycle analysis. The research project was commissioned by Eurostat.

More information ...

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Ecological Research Network - Ecornet now online


Ecornet21.06.2012 Seven leading research institutes in Germany playing a pioneering role in research on sustainability have founded the Ecological Research Network (Ecornet) . Ecornet's mission is to further develop the scientific foundation for the transformation of societies to sustainable ones. Member institutes conduct applied and interdisciplinary research paving the way to a post-fossil and post-nuclear society. Ecornet is online now.

More information (in German) ...

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Groundbreaking for the First Passive House in West China


Xingfubao Passivehouse03.05.2012 Urumqi, Xinjiang Province/China. The groundbreaking ceremony for the first passive house in Xingfu Lu (Happiness Rd.) in Urumqi was attended by the minister of construction of Xinjiang province and the vice-mayor of Urumqi (pop. 3.1 million). The investor, Mr. Tang from Dacheng International and the Urumqi Construction Committee have committed to the goal of realizing a passive house with a heat demand of less than 15 kWh/m2*a. The design was prepared jointly by Culturebridge Architects Grünstadt/Beijing and the Xinjiang Architectural Design Institute; the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt/Germany provided ongoing review. The demands on building quality are high. The Technical University of Berlin is expected to conduct training measures at the construction site, because the Urumqi Construction Committee has the goal to increase skills of construction workers in the long-term. IFEUs work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Future Megacities research programme.
IFEU project director Bernd Franke declared: "There are still some problems to solve to ensure that this passive house will become a lighthouse for China: it should use less than 15% of the heat demand required by the current standard for new buildings in Urumqi. The technical and economic challenges are great. Currently, highly efficient passive house windows are not produced in China; that will change with this project. It demonstrates the opportunities for energy efficient products made in Germany."

More information … (Website RECAST Urumqi)

photo: Mahrin, TU Berlin

photo: Mahrin, TU Berlin

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Research for Sustainability: Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Sience Minister visits Heidelberg



Rubk, Duscha,Bauer,Korbun
v.l. Frieder Rubik, Markus Duscha, Theresia Bauer, Thomas Korbun
20.03.2012 Theresia Bauer, Science Minister for the Federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg visited the Heidelberg office of the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) on 2 March 2012 where she met with IÖW’s Thomas Korbun and Dr. Frieder Rubik as well as with Markus Duscha from IFEU. Together, they discussed the future development of sustainability research in her state. During her visit she acknowledged the long tradition of the two independent institutes in her Heidelberg election district: “Institutes such as IÖW and IFEU are laboratories for the future and contribute with their research and innovation to the sustainable development. I like to include them as well as other environmental research institutes outside the universities in the state’s strategy “Science for Sustainability”

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National Top Runner



Top-Runner Cover20.03.2012 In order to achieve German government’s goal to save 20 % of the energy demand by 2020, great efforts are needed in the area of efficiency. One important element: national instruments to add to the European “Top Runner”. For further details, please read the IFEU report “With National Top Runner instruments towards the electricity saving goal of the Federal government ” (in German). The study was funded by BUND (Friends of the Earth).

More information ...

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Second Project Newsletter SUPRABIO



Logo suprabio20.03.2012 On the road to a bio-based economy, it is widely held that biorefineries are a sustainable use of biomass producing a wide range of material and energy products from renewable raw materials. Currently, the European Commission is funding three major research projects on this topic, one of which - named SUPRABIO - is coordinated by the University of Brunel. Since February 2010, project partners from eight European countries are involved in research, development and demonstration of biorefinery concepts. These are focused on innovative biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes, process integration, as well as issues of sustainability. The work on the latter subject is lead by IFEU.

Here, you can find the 2nd project newsletter ... (pdf 1.35 MB)

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Wood cascades – regional strategies for an extension of the use of wood for energy


stem wood in the forest28.09.12 The project "Wood cascades – regional strategies for an extension of the use of wood for energy" came to its conclusion in Augsburg at the 12th inter­national congress for wood energy by BBE (Federal Association for bioenergy). Supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the project was executed by IFEU and its project partners IZES (coordination) and IIWH. The following weeks, the report will be finalised and put online afterwards.
The IFEU investigated the environmental impacts of the use of wood with special attention to its material use in wood cascades by means of an LCA. The respective equivalent products made from other materials and equivalent net energies from fossil energy carriers were taken as references. "Especially the high-quality use of recovered wood, e.g. innovative ways of using it for the production of solid wood products, is advantageous regarding environmental aspects", says Sven Gärtner, project manager and LCA expert from IFEU.

More information ...

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Assessment for Sustainable Liquid Biofuel Production in Developing Countries: report and a calculation tool published


Biofuel Greenhouse Calculator05.04.2012 The Global Environment Facility (GEF) needs to set clear policies and priorities for future work and investments in biofuel related projects while providing guidance to countries that are keen to engage themselves in this sector. To this end, GEF funded a two-year research project that was carried out by IFEU together with Utrecht University, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut). It covers life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas assessments, economics, social/food security, pricing and overall environmental impacts, fuel and vehicle compatibility plus stationary applications, scale-up impacts and next generation biofuels.

The report and a greenhouse gas calculator for 74 different scenarios that was developed in the course of the project can be downloaded from the project-website.

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Optimizing the Valorisation of Organic and Green Waste



Cover Leitfaden28.02.2012 Organic and green wastes are a valuable resource that should be used efficiently. Products from separate collection are compost and biogas as energy source. If both are combined in an optimal way, environmental and economic benefits are achieved compared to the waste remaining in the non-separated waste stream. The more attractive the system of separate collection of organics is made for citizens, the more successful it will be. IFEU together with Öko-institut and IGLux developed a guidance document for the Environment Ministry of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It provides decision makers on the local level with the benchmarks and recommendations to optimize the system of organic and green waste management. The guidance contains a list of activities, checklists as well as guidelines for contract award procedures .

More information ...

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Indicators for the use of raw materials in the context of sustainable development in Germany



16.02.2012 aw material productivity is a key indicator in the German strategy for sustainable development located in the chapter about “conservation of resources”. Raw material productivity relates the gross domestic product (GDP) to the sum of domestically extracted abiotic raw materials and imported abiotic raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products. The main objective of this research project was to further develop or supplement this existing indicator.

More information ...

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Renewable Energies – Innovations for a Sustainable Energy Future



10.02.2012 Since 12 years, the Federal Environment Ministry is publishing a brochure on renewable energies with scientific support from IFEU. In its 8th edition, the recent 150 page update provides an in-depth overview of renewable energy technologies as well as their ecological and sustainable development, with a focus on different application options, the potentials and development perspectives, the policy framework, financial incentives and other ecological and economic aspects.

More information ...

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Environmental balances for electric mobility: interactive environment calculator is now online!


01.02.2012 Electric vehicles can provide an important contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector if electricity from renewable sources is used. In the UMBReLA project, with funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), IFEU provided the environmental assessment of BMU funded R&D projects regarding electric mobility in Germany over the last three years. The environmental performance of electric and conventionally fueled cars was compared over their entire life cycle. The results of the research are available now:

As an interactive environmental calculation (in German) where you one compare different types of vehicle concepts according to specific personal circumstances

Facts and figures on the UMBReLA project and to electric vehicles can be found on our homepage (in German)

Download of the comprehensive summary report as well as the in-depth scientific report
(in German)

Press release of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on the UMBReLA project


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Federal Environment Minister Röttgen presents short study regarding climate protection and economic success


20.01.2012 Climate protection and economic success can go hand in hand. This is the result of a new short study presented by Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen during the presentation of the Innovation Awards for Climate and Environment 2011 at Berlin. The research organizations gws Osnabrück and IFEU Heidelberg prepared a study analyzing the economic impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The short study is based on two in-depth research projects that were funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). In summary, increased energy efficiency and the expansion of renewable energy production are associated with positive economic effects and lead to additional jobs, increased energy security and new chances for exports.

The short version (in German) is found here ... (pdf 1,47 MB)
The entire study (in German) is found here ... (pdf 6,7 MB)


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A call for a reliable, long-term and courageous energy efficiency policy



18.01.2012 Open letter to the Federal government and the members of the German Federal Parliament Committee on the Environment and Committee on Economics.

2012 is the United Nations „International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”. At the same time, the German Federal Government has established ambitious goals for a change in energy policy. Our policy on future energy efficiency and energy conservation must comply with these goals. However, there is a widening discrepancy between the goals and the actual policy. Initiated by IFEU, more than 30 scientists working in the energy field signed an open letter:

... the online publication DIE ZEIT, 18.01.2012 (in German)

... directly to the "Open Letter" (in German)

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Governance for sustainable development in megacities – IFEU presents at the COP17/CMP7 in Durban, South Africa



Speaker: Bernd Franke, IFEU30.11.2011 – Durban, South Africa
At a well visited side-event at the UN climate protection conference, three projects from the Future Megacities program funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) presented the results of their work. The main focus was on case studies of low carbon city development, adapted technology development, smart energy efficiency and climate change adaptation with a particular focus on people's participation and governance. For IFEU, scientific director Bernd Franke (photo) explained the achievements of the RECAST Urumqi project with Chinese partners, including the construction of low-carbon buildings and energy conservation in the chemical industry.

More information… (Website Urumqi)

Cover story "Bringing blue skies back to Urumqi" (Urban World 2011, pdf 469 KB)

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An ambitious energy efficiency policy for Germany:
Economic benefits from innovative funding approaches


20.10.2011 An ambitious energy efficiency policy for Germany will lead to significant economic benefits. The additional investments into the German economy combined with the savings of energy imports as well as other economic mechanisms will generate a net effect of 130,000 new jobs by 2030, compared to a reference scenario. This is the result of the study „Energy efficieny: potentials, economic effects and innovative areas of action and funding approaches for the National Climate Initiative”. It was funded by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and was presented to the public on 20 October 2011 at a conference in Berlin.

Complete press release (in German)

Project website (in German)




Best Practice Guide "Climate Protection in Cities"



12.10.2011 The Best Practice Guide was developed by the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) in cooperation with IFEU and the Climate Alliance (Klimabündnis). Funding was received from the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The 1997 version of the Guide has been extensively used by cites and other local governments in Germany. It was completely revised and extended to cover new focal points and areas of activities. As in the old version, the updated Best Practice Guide contains many practical and up-to-date examples that should motivate local governments to try these or other activities for climate protection.

More information (in German) ...

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Sustainable Chemistry: Research report published


22.08.2011 The Federal Environment Ministry of Germany has funded IFEU’s research project „Evaluation of Strategies for Chemical Safety and Continuous Development of a Sustainable Chemistry in Germany“. The project’s final report has now been published where sustainability initiatives of major chemical companies were compared, general principles for sustainable chemistry are suggested and efforts on administrative level were evaluated.
An important component was analyzed in detail: a European database for chemical substances in household products, following the example of the Household Product Database (HPDB) of the National Library of Medicine in the USA. In addition, a pathway to verify the sustainability of renewable feedstocks in the chemical industry was outlined.

More information ...

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2011 Awards for Excellence


award certificate 10.08.2011 The paper entitled "Biomass for transport heat and electricity: scientific challenges, published in "Management of Environmental Quality" (March 210) has been chosen as a Highly Commended Paper at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2011. Nils Rettenmaier (IFEU) is one of the co-authors of the paper.



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First zero-emission house in Urumqi

Opening of the Sino-German Research Basis at ZhongTai Chemical Company


zero-emission house17.07.2011
Urumqi, Xinjiang Province/China

IFEU contributed to the energy retrofit in which an agricultural education center with a net heated area of 769 m² was transformed into the first zero-emission house in the provincial capital with a population of 3.1 million. The heating energy demand was reduced by more than 85 % by a variety of measures. The remaining heat demand of 64 kWh/m²*a in the very cold winters is supplied by solar heating with an innovative seasonal storage; the entire demand of electricity is provided by a photovoltaic system. IFEUs work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Future Megacities research programme. The lord mayor of Heidelberg, Dr. Eckart Würzner was present at the completion ceremony. IFEU was supported by Culturebridge Architects Grünstadt/Beijing and the Passiv House Institute in Darmstadt/Germany; the local cooperation partners are the Construction Committee of Urumqi, the University of Xinjiang and the Xinjiang New Energy Institute. IFEU project director Bernd Franke declared: „With this lighthouse project the annual emissions of 88 tonnes of CO2 will now be avoided. The next project, the construction of the first passive house in Xingfulu (Happiness Rd.) in Urumqi will start in a few weeks."

Opening sino german cooperationOn the same day, as part of the same BMBF sponsored project, there was the opening ceremony of the Sino-German Research Basis at ZhongTai Chemical Company, one of the largest PVC producers of China. Together with the local cooperation partner Xinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Science and the Heidelberg-based Institute für Eco-Industrial Analyses (IUWA), IFEU is searching for ways to increase the energy efficiency and to improve the recycling of water and waste at the plant.

More information… (Website Urumqi)

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100 MW Top load gas turbine by HSE under construction in Darmstadt: IFEU prepared the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)


source: HSE15.04.2011 In order to expand the production of electricity from renewable sources, gas turbine are a needed complement that can be fired up quickly to counter fluctuations of wind and solar energy. For this reason, HSE is building two modern and highly efficient peak load gas turbine plant in Darmstadt/Germany. The 100 MW plant will start operation in spring of 2012 (see photo, source: HSE). IFEU has prepared the environmental impact assessment for the successful licensing of the plant.

More information ...




Criteria for the sustainable acquisition of wood like biomass for electricity and heat production in the state of Berlin


11.04.2011 To protect the climate the state of Berlin and Vattenfall Europe AG wants to increase the use of wood for electricity and heat generation. To ensure the sustainable acquisition of wood, Berlin and Vattenfall have signed an agreement which sets out relevant criteria. IFEU was commissioned by the two partners to develop the criteria, to come up with a recommended handling system while including broader issues such as formulating the indirect effects and conduct a benchmark of appropriate certification systems.

More information ...

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A signal for change: efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy as an alternative to nuclear power


March 2011 The catastrophy in Fukushima shows: a fundamental reconstruction of our energy system is necessary. "A sustainable energy system must be based on efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy" said Markus Duscha, IFEU’s executive director. Since its beginning in 1978, scientists at IFEU have had a critical eye on the use of nuclear energy and are still carrying out projects in radioecology and radiation protection. One example of our work is the study “The consequences of Chernobyl” (in German as pdf). We are strongly committed to this tradition.
Our recommendations for the current situation are summarized here.

More information ...




UMBReLA - Environmental assessment of electric mobility


22.03.2011 In the UMBReLA project IFEU consolidates results with relevance for an environmental assessment from a number of electric mobility research projects and fleets tests. In addition to this comprehensive environmental assessment of different types of battery electric mobility, an internet platform is developed which gives an overview on electric mobility research activities and will offer an online calculation tool for environmental impacts.

More information (in German)... (UMBReLA-Website)




Concrete: It depends on how you make it


21.03.2011 Recycling concrete from treated construction debris has a tremendous potential to reduce pollution. In practice though, RC Concrete has been adopted slowly. This is partly because practitioners still know too little about the material. On behalf of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport IFEU gathered the most important practical information for builders, planners and businesses in the brochure “RC Concrete in construction – Information for developers, planners and businesses”. The brochure also contains a guide for recycling construction waste and concrete transport companies with the experience from concrete construction projects in Stuttgart and Heilbronn. More information at

More information ... download in German: "RC Concrete in construction – Information for developers, planners and businesses", (pdf 3,6 MB)

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IFEU donates 5,000 euro's to a rainwater irrigation project in Rwanda


25.02.2011 In 2009, our staff flew a total of 462,910 kilometers. This means that we emitted around 60 tons of CO2 by traveling to project meetings, project management events and conferences (assuming an emission factor of 130 g per kilometer). Though IFEU staff uses trains whenever possible, for some of our projects in distant countries this is unfortunately not possible. The IFEU staff have searched for an alternative way to deal with the CO2 emitted by air travel because of concerns about the usefulness of compensation.

More information...

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First Project Newsletter SUPRABIO


Logo suprabio23.02.2011 On the road to a bio-based economy, it is widely held that biorefineries are a sustainable use of biomass producing a wide range of material and energy products from renewable raw materials. Currently, the European Commission is funding three major research projects on this topic, one of which - named SUPRABIO - is coordinated by the University of Oxford. Since February 2010, project partners from eight European countries are involved in research, development and demonstration of biorefinery concepts. These are focused on innovative biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes, process integration, as well as issues of sustainability. The work on the latter subject is lead by IFEU.

Here, you can find the 1st project newsletter ...




LCA of beverage packaging in Austria


18.02.2011 IFEU led a LCA of mineral water and soft drink packaging in the Austrian market on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW), the waste material recycling Austria AG (ARA) and the trade association of the food and beverage industry. The study was carried out in 2010.

LCA of beverage packaging in Austria
executive Summary (pdf 409 KB); in German

LCA of beverage packaging in Austria
final report (pdf 2.8 MB); in German

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EMIGMA - Empowerment of migrants on climate change




07.01.2011 The BMBF-funded three-year project EMIGMA has the objective of the environmental behavior and the environmental attitudes of Turkish and Russian-speaking immigrants and their commitment to explore to strengthen the climate. The project will be implemented/conducted by Fachhochschule Dortmund, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, (management: Prof. Dr. Marcel Hunecke and Prof. Dr. Ahment Toprak) together with IFEU. In addition to an inventory of climate-related knowledge, various approaches to activation of the civil engagement of immigrants for the climate and identify exemplary actions and projects with local relevance in the three selected fields of mobility, housing and nutrition and evaluated to be generated. Ultimately, the project recommendations lead to more climate protection in daily behavior to anchor of migrants. The CO2-Calculator which was developed by IFEU will be applied in this project.

More information ... (Emigma-Website)




Master plan 100 % climate protection in municipalities


16.12.10 Germany has set a goal with the energy concept of reducing at least 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve his goal it is necessary that the federal government, states and municipalities come together and change the energy system. IFEU was invited to an expert group where the Institute for Applied Material Flow Management, the Institute for Future Energy Systems, the Environmental Research Group for Psychology of the University of Saarland, and representatives of the Federal Environment Ministry and Federal Environment Agency were present. The result of the expert group is the document "On the road to a zero emission community – Master plan 100% climate protection" which summarizes important frameworks for the sustainable achievement of this goal.

More information ...

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Industrial Waste Heat: First nationwide study of potentials and measures.


15.12.10 The technical and economic potential of industrial waste heat in Germany at temperatures above 60°C is around 18% of the final industrial energy usage. This was shown in the study "The use of industrial waste heat - techno-economic potential and energy policy implementation" which was organized by IFEU, Fraunhofer ISI and IREES GmbH. This develops a package of measures to use industrial waste heat in addition to the initial quantification of waste heat potential in Germany. The promotion of waste heat, heat exchanges, the development of guideline based heat recovery concepts and the design of waste heat regulation play an important role here. The study was funded as part of the project "Strategies of the National Climate Protection Initiative" that was created by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.

More information ...

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Exhibition Energy = Work


Quelle: Stiftung Brandenburger Tor13.12.10 Without energy nothing works – but how much do we actually need? How can we go from the present 6,000 watts, to the 2,000 watt society of tomorrow, which is powered primarily by renewable energy sources? The exhibition "Energy = work" explores these questions. IFEU contributed the ENERGYPASS, a civil scenario calculator, as well as plastic samples taken from the field of LCA. You can see the exhibition until 13.02.2011 at the Max Liebermann House next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Afterwards the exhibition will travel to the TECHNOSEUM in Mannheim.

More information about the exhibition can be found
here (exhibition website).

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IFEU fund at the Climate protection+ Foundation


Quelle: Fölt e.V.10.12.10 As part of the Christmas newsletter IFEU set up a fund at the Climate protection+ Foundation with a starting balance of 2,500 €. This money will finance a power plant based on renewable energy. All of the compensation that is earned by the power plant, is donated to the project Rwanda "Rainwater harvesting for local irrigation". Two rain water pools will be built in the town of Gikono in Rwanda. They are meant to save water during the rainy season for the critical weeks of the dry season. Thus fields are irrigated and crop failures reduced. The project is managed and implemented by the "Promotion of organic farming in the tropics" (FÖLT, Website) in cooperation with the Rwandan Association Nyiramilimo (Femme Travailleuse). This one time payment will not be the last. Based on the CO2 emissions of our business we will donate an annual sum of 5,000 € to the Climate+ Foundation.

More information ...

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Film about practical climate protection in schools


Cover DVD07.12.10 Recently the DVD "Climate protection during the school day – How students can save energy" was released. It was produced by tsm-video, issued by the Media Institute of the Countries (TCT) and was financed in large part by the Baden- Wuerttemberg Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport. IFEU provided professional conception and consultation on the DVD which shows ways to guide students to energy conscious behavior. They get an overview on climate change and the possibilities of practical climate protection in every day life at school. The film is complemented by comprehensive and interactive exercises in the ROM part of the DVD. The measures and actions in the school shown are exemplary and idealized.

More information ...

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Energy efficiency -
a teaching and training manual



Buchcover12.11.10 The new IFEU teaching manual "Energy efficiency" was just published.

Energy efficiency and energy savings, in addition to renewable energy, is the basis for an economically optimal energy strategy. The book provides a comprehensive overview of all areas of energy efficiency.

More information ...



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Biomethane as a fuel –
a recommendation on action for Biofuels-NachV for
the practical project and closing ceremony


Studiencover02.11.10 Biomethane as a fuel is special among biofuels. As of yet, biomethane made from renewable resources has no standard values for the proof of greenhouse gas reduction potentials. In addition the calculation of greenhouse gas reduction potential is more complex than liquid biofuels since the bio gas process is typically a multi-input process. Together with Becker Büttner Held (BBH), IFEU developed a recommended action for Berlin as part of a project for the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. This includes explained legal issues and a guide for calculation the greenhouse gas reduction potential for biomethane as a fuel. The recommendation for action was presented on October 28, 2010 during a closing ceremony at the Federal Press Office in Berlin.

More information …

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Ecological investigation of technically dried wood chips


31.10.10 The ecological investigation of technically dried wood chips includes the question of the equivalence of these to wood pellets and a comparison of the industrial drying to natural drying of wood chips. Of particular interest from an environmental point of view was the different reasons for promoting both wood fuels as presented in the Renewable Energy Act of 2009. This question was negated after the results of the investigation which showed that from an environmental point of view technically dried wood chips and wood pellets are equal. The comparison with naturally dried wood chips was performed on two different observation levels. First, starting from the same amount of fresh wood chips and another with the same production target of one kilowatt hour of generated heat. The result of the comparison was determined by the amount of heat used for kiln drying. If this includes otherwise unused waste heat or renewable heat with low preloads then technically dried wood chips prove to be favorable or at least equal. If heat is used from natural gas then there is no advantage over natural drying.

More information ...(pdf 380 kB) in German

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First "World EcoTransIT stakeholder workshop"


15.10.2010 More than 100 participants from fifty logistics companies, shippers and scientific and other organizations at the invitation of the UIC and the EcoTransIT consortium participated in the first "World EcoTransIT Stakeholder Workshop", on 5 October took place in Paris. As
a member of the development team IFEU was involved with a presentation to the calculation method for road and rail transport. EcoTransIT-World (Ecological Transport Information Tool Worldwide) is an easy to handle web based software tool for assessing the environmental
impact of transporting freight by various transport modes worldwide.

Report, pictures and presentations on the first "World EcoTransIT stakeholder workshop.


Conference on "Material flow analysis of mineral construction waste - impulses from Rhineland-Palatine"


04.10.2010 Mineral construction waste represents by far the largest fraction of waste. In many cases it has not been able to prepare it in such a way that it could be used as high quality building materials. This means that there are significant deficiencies from the perspective of resource conservation. In Rhineland-Palatine important impulses for the optimization of material flow management were achieved. These impulses were presented at a meeting of the Rhineland Palatine Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Consumer Protection and the State Office for Environment, Water and Trade Control. The meeting was planned and organized by IFEU on behalf of the Ministry.

More information ...

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Palm oil greenhouse gas calculator


27.09.2010 An initial version for the calculation of GHG emissions for palm oil is available and can be downloaded here. This is the first in a series of robust computational tools created by IFEU and supported by the BMU, to enable market participants to calculate GHG within the BioSt-/Biokraft-NachV.

More information ...

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Ecological assessment of disposable and refillable beverage containers


13.07.2010 For several weeks the theme of ecological assessment of disposable and refillable beverage containers have received an increase in media attention. Most of these press releases and articles refer to the recent LCA completed by IFEU on packaging for water, carbonated soft drinks and beer. The complex results of our studies have in our opinion, been reduced by the media which could lead to a false perception of the studies and work of IFEU.

This needs to be clarified! With a handout (pdf 314 KB, in German) we want to make the current situation available to a wider public.

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Butter by the fishes – an "energy service law" should take advantage of the opportunity for ambitious efficiency policies


12.07.2010 The electricity consumption in Germany has increased almost continuously since 1990. The potential energy savings are huge: policy measures could achieve a savings of at least 70 TWh by 2020 or approximately 14% of electricity consumption in 2009. An important first step is the long awaited implementation of the European Energy Services Directive of 2006 into a German law with ambitious energy saving targets and strong measures. The current release of the draft of a German "energy service law" is not very helpful according to Dr. Martin Pehnt, Head of the Department of Energy at IFEU. "Even the EU directive proposes significantly more stringent measures than this bill, for example an energy efficiency fund and savings obligations such as the ones that exist in other European countries."

More information ...

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Load management will be a relevant component of the energy system of the future.


12.07.2010 Using refrigeration plants to integrate renewable energy. But which aggregates are suitable? In the context of the E-Energy research program, IFEU examined if any refrigeration plants in Mannheim are capable of temporarily compensating for fluctuations in power supply. In the MOMA project study "Use of thermal storage as an energy storage" it was shown that a one hour maximum shift of about 20 MW (equivalent to approx. 5% of summer peak load in Mannheim's network) can be realized. If this could be implemented by intelligent control systems in the future, it could contribute to the better integration of renewable energies.

More information (pdf 4,35 MB) in German ...

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Fuel Cell Competition in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein


12.07.2010 For the third time IFEU supported a competition on behalf of E.ON Hanse with the theme, "Renewable energy and fuel cell technology" It was carried out in both Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with the city of Hamburg and the Ministry for Education and Economy and was targeted at all secondary schools. Students developed projects for the use of renewable energies and created impressive models. The competitions will be continued in the future.

More information ...

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Local climate protection – concepts for Esslingen and Münster


12.07.2010 Local climate protection is an important part of the IFEU's work. For the climate protection pioneer cities Münster and Esslingen new concepts have been developed to assist cities in achieving their ambitious goals. Part of this new climate protection concept is the calculation of regional value creation. This gives local municipalities a further argument for local climate protection.

More information ...


EcoTransIT World for worldwide transports


Logo EcoTransIT31.05.2010 The Ecological Transport Information Tool (EcoTransIT) calculates environmental impacts of any freight transport. Thereby it is possible to determine the energy consumption, CO2 and exhaust emissions transported by rail, road, ship and aircraft in any combination. - The new version which exists since end of May was commissioned by UIC (worldwide organisation of cooperation for railway companies), DB Schenker Rail Deutschland AG and some other European Railway Companies. The scientific support was again given by IFEU und for the first time by Öko-Institut concerning aviation and maritime shipping.

More information ...


Ribbon-cutting for the low-energy renovation of the agricultural education center near Urumqi/China


Foto of the celebration31.05.2010 On 27 May 2010, the construction in Nanshan near Urumqi, the capital of the Chinese province of Xinjian was started with the goal to reduce the heat energy demand in the 15-year old building by 80 %. IFEU has supported the planning process with the help of Culturebridge Architects (Grünstadt/Beijing) as part of a research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). The Chinese project partners are the Construction Committee of the City of Urumqi, die Environmental Protection Bureau of the province as well as the University of Xinjiang.

More information ...



First side-by-side comparison of several LCA studies on beverage packaging


12.05.2010 Numerous life cycle assessments (LCAs) exist on environmental impacts of food and beverage packaging, which makes it worthwhile to conduct comprehensive evaluations of the existing studies. A first opportunity to develop a methodology for this purpose arose with the ‘Meta analysis: LCA studies on beverage cartons and alternative packaging’ , completed by IFEU in November 2009. This evaluation, commissioned by the Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aimed at (1) providing a structured overview of LCAs on beverage cartons and alternative packaging systems and (2) determining whether general conclusions could be drawn regarding the relative environmental performance of beverage cartons.

The conclusions drawn from a detailed analysis of 22 relevant LCA studies highlight some clear trends: both regarding the impact on climate change and energy/fossil fuel demand, the beverage carton appears to perform comparatively favourably in its core categories of milk and fruit juice packaging. For other environmental indicators, however, the results are less clear. Last but not least, the meta analysis also addresses the fact that several environmental aspects were not covered in the examined LCAs.

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Comparative Environmental Assessment of Coaches


12.04.2010 Coach buses are not generally known to be environmentally friendly, though they have the advantage of being a sector of public transport with high occupancy rates and often efficient vehicles. However, most coach buses have diesel engines which emit nitrogen oxides and particles. Already in 2004 IFEU has compared coaches with passenger cars, trains and aircraft for the International Coach Tourism Federation (RDA): The analysis showed a good environmental performance of coaches. Now an updated version of this"'comparative environmental assessment of coaches" ("Vergleichende Umweltbilanz des Reisebusses") is available which takes into account the improved fuel consumption and emission behaviour of the different transport modes.

Download (via RDA-Website)



Climate Partnership

Final Workshop USA


10.03.2010 In February 2010 the American final workshop took place in Chicago of the project that IFEU is conducting together with the European Climate Alliance on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). Seven german cities now met their US twin cities to exchange and debate their experiences, approaches and achievements in local climate policies. The study tour started with an expert meeting of all cities on 22 to 23 February 2010, hosted by the City of Chicago.

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Solid Waste Management GHG Calculator for developing and emerging countries


26.01.2010 Developing and emerging countries may improve their greenhouse gas (GHG) balance significantly by establishing sustainable solid waste management systems. Material recycling and waste-to energy strategies contribute to GHG savings and methane emissions from landfill are avoided. The “Tool for Calculating GHG emissions in Solid Waste Management (SWM-GHG Calculator)” is an Excel based tool to aid in understanding the effects of proper waste management on GHG emissions. The SWM-GHG Calculator allows quantification and comparison of GHG emissions for different waste management strategies at an early stage in the decision making process. The SWM-GHG Calculator was developed on behalf of KfW Development Bank (German Financial Development Cooperation) in cooperation with GTZ (German Technical Development Cooperation). Information are also available from KFW Development Bank

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Modellstadt Mannheim


15.12.09 In the research project „Modellstadt Mannheim“, customers of the energy provider MVV-Energie AG in Mannheim have the opportunity to participate in a field test on smart metering, in 2010. With detailed information via internet on their own energy consumption, flexible tariffs and remote load control of electric devices, the customers can contribute to optimising their own energy cost as well as the future energy systems. The IFEU provides scientific support for the research project and evaluates the field test. You are welcome to participate in the field test and you will find more information on

More information ... (in German)



Competition for the "Most Innovative Electricity Bills"



Ausschnitt Zaehler14.12.09 In 2009, the province of Baden-Württemberg arranged a competition for the “Most Innovative Electricity Bill”. All energy providers with customers in Baden-Württemberg were eligible to take part. The competition was organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs within the “Baden-Württemberg Strategy for Sustainability”. The objective of it was to make the customers aware of their own energy consumption in order to improve the energy efficiency.

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Green electricity


11.12.1009 There has been an increasing demand for green electricity in the last few years. With this growing market the question for the environmental benefit is being raised because the impact on the environment of the different kinds of green electricity varies greatly.
In cooperation with the Öko-Institut e.V. (Institute for Applied Ecology), the Wuppertal Institute and Ö-Quadrat, the IFEU-Institut composed a paper on how to include green electricity into the carbon-footprint of communities.

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Renewable Energies - Innovations for a Sustainable Energy Future


15.09.09 The brochure "Renewable Energies" has been published by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Saftey(BMU), under coordination by IFEU, for then years now and was now updated.
During this time the the technologies, the social conditions, the promotion instruments, and the knowledge about the ecological aspects of energy supply have made great progress.

Presserelease (website BMU)



Environtmental Impact of Sweet Sorghum


14.08.09 In light of increased discussions regarding the competition between bioenergy and food, Sweet Sorghum has emerged as a promising energy crop. Due to the fact that it can be used for the production of food, first and second generation biofuels as well as for fertilizer, its cultivation is to be encouraged. However, to date neither a consistent picture nor sufficiently reliable scientific documentation exists regarding the crop’s sustainability.
Consequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, commissioned the IFEU to investigate the environmental impact of different Sweet Sorghum production systems. These production systems include the production of first and second generation bioethanol from different crop parts as well as a combined use for both biofuels and food.

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New Executive Directors


01.07.09 Jürgen Giegrich (left) and Markus Duscha (right) are the new executive directors of IFEU. Both have been active at IFEU since two decades and as scientific directors. Ulrich Höpfner (63, middle) was on the board of directors of IFEU and has served for 18 years as the institute’s executive director. “I have had 31 years of responsibility for IFEU – now the younger ones should guide the institute. I leave the bridge but not the ship", Höpfner said in a ceremony with symbolic transfer of the keys to IFEU. The new executive directors expressed their heartfelt thanks to him combined with the hope that Ulrich Höpfner will remain available for the entire IFEU with help and advice in addition to the continuation of his work in the area of traffic and the environment.


Transport and Air Pollution


photo H.Helms, F.Duennebeil24.06.09 09 “Agricultural tractors and construction machinery contribute significantly to particle and NOx emissions in Germany” said Hinrich Helms at the 2009 ‘Transport and Air Pollution Symposium’ in Toulouse. But EU emission legislation is already beginning to show some effect. Based on the calculation model TREMOD-MM, which has been developed for the German Federal Environment Agency, he also illustrated that emissions are expected to further decline in the future.
As in previous years, IFEU scientists presented recent research results at the international „Transport and Air Pollution Symposium” (together with the „Environment and Transport Symposium“). His colleague Frank Dünnebeil (right) presented results on the effectiveness of traffic measures for a reduction of NO2 concentrations in the Tyrolean Inn Valley. He also gave an overview on energy consumption and CO2 emissions of traffic in Shanghai.

Presentation on mobile machinery (pdf, 762 KB)

More information on NO2

More information on transport in China



Sustainable Elements for Chinese Megacity


23.06.09 IFEU presents Sustainable Elements for the Development for the Dryland Megacity Urumqi in the Xinjiang Autonomous region of China as part of RECAST Urumqi, a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bonn/Berlin, Germany. Culturebridge Architects, in collaboration with IFEU, developed innovative ideas for the realization of low energy buildings adapted to the desert region with cold winters. The realization of projects will be pursued together with our Chinese partners. The presentation is in German/Chinese, the English/Chinese version will follow.

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German-Chinese School Exchange


Foto Schuelergruppe05.06.09 IFEU provides scientific support for a German-Chinese school exchange focusing on energy efficiency and climate protection. A student group from Middle School No. 8 in Urumqi/Xinjiang visited the Internationale Gesamtschule (IGH) in Heidelberg. The Chinese and German students and teachers particpated in a climate protection campaign by the City of Heidelberg. The exchange was supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Stuttgart and resulted from RECAST Urumqi, a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bonn/Berlin, Germany.

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GBEP Meeting in Heidelberg


photo of meeting23.03.09 The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) is a forum launched by G8 for the mutual exchange and coordination to promote the global sustainability of bioenergy use. Work is coordinated in Task Forces on greenhouse gas balances and sustainability indicators. The meetings were held in Washington D.C., Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo. On 18 to 20 March 2009, the meeting was held in Heidelberg and arranged by IFEU. Participants from Brazil, China and different UN institutions as well as the G8 countries agreed on a global framework on sustainability standards for GHG, biodiversity and social issues.
Germany and the UNEP will be in the chair for the working group to refine the envi-ronmental criteria including the effects of indirect land use. The first meeting took place in New York in May 2009. The next meeting will be in Paris on 7 July 2009.

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Biofuels from Tanzania?


20.03.09 IFEU is evaluating the environmental impacts for selected bioenergy projects in Tanzaina under contract with FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) . This includes the assessment of the greenhouse gas balance as well as changes in biodiversity, water resources and soil quality. In many areas of Tanzania forest resources are deplete for charcoal production: are sugar cane plantations for bioethanol production (see photo) a sustainable alternative?

First Elements of the BIAS Analytical Framework, Presentation
(pdf 6 MB)



Passive house workshop at IFEU with experts from Urumqi/China


18.03.09 Together with chinese cooperation partners, IFEU experts evaluate the the potential to increase energy efficiency in the future megacity Urumqi in China's Xinjiang province. The project RECAST Urumqi is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bonn/Berlin, Germany. During a workshop organized by IFEU, experts from the Urumqi Construction Committee, investors and architects visited low energy building projects in the vicinity of Heidelberg. Together with IFEU, the Chinese partners intend to realize comparable projects in Urumqi, adapted to the climatic, economic and cultural conditions.

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30 Jahre IFEU


29.09.08 We celebrated our 30th anniversary!

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Bioenergy Use on a Global Scale


22.08.08 IFEU was commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency to work out criteria for sustainable bioenergy use.
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Bioenergy from Cereals and Sugar Beet: Energy and Greenhouse Gas Balances


13.08.08 IFEU was commissioned by the German Biofuel Association (LAB) to evaluate the life-cycle energy balances and greenhouse gas emissions of selected bioenergy paths from cereals and sugar beet including various combinations of biofuel and bioenergy production. The results show that bioenergy paths comprising such co-products with land-use impacts can – given certain boundary conditions – lead to significantly higher savings of fossil energy carriers and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions than calculated up to now.
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SUGRE - Sustainable Green Fleets: New Newsletter available


17.07.2008 The EU Project SUGRE (Sustainable Green Fleets) promotes alternative propulsion concepts for vehicle fleets. IFEU has made a contribution to the latest edition of the project newsletter: an article on European and German strategies for biofuel certification.

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Eco-Inventory of Transport Options with Internet Tools


02.07.2008 The international association for railways (UIC) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) launch the EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT (new version) internet tools to calculate and compare the energy consumption and emissions of different transport modes in Europe. The scientific methodology, the calculations bases on, were developed in cooperation with IFEU.
More information on EcoPassenger
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Actual Presscommentaries on Biofuel for Transportation



More Information (in German)...



Biodiesel from Jatropha: are the high expectations justified?


01.04.2008 IFEU publishes results of life cycle analysis for Jatropha biodiesel.

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Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment of Palm Oil


04.03.2008 The study analyses the characteristics of palm oil, possibilities of using it for energy as well as the environmental, economic and social consequences thereof. It provides answers to questions regarding impacts on climate change as well as other environmental impacts and gives recommendations for environmental optimisations. Ultimately, the legal framework of the EU and WTO which apply to the regulation of the use of imported palm oil for energy are evaluated.

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High NO2-Concentrations in Urban Streets


04.02.2008 The ambient air quality limit value for NO2 for the year 2010 is currently exceeded in many busy streets in Europe. Results of current IFEU research give a clearer picture of the reasons of high NO2 concentrations in streets and the effectiveness of reduction measures.

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Energy Consulting in Peru


foto Martin Pehnt and one of the  partners11.12.2007 Peru is planning a Renewable Energy Law to extend its energy portfolio by non-conventional renewable energies. Within a consultation process, IFEU informed governmental decision makers about support mechanisms, ecological and economical consequences of renewable energies.

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Hard Coal-Fired Power Plant at Hamburg-Moorburg


26.11.2007 In Hamburg-Moorburg a hard coal-fired power plant is planned. Generating an electric power of 1600 megawattts it would be one of the biggest plants in Germany. A study, carried out on behalf of Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz e.V. (BUND), published today shows: the Moorburg plant is far more climate-damaging than many other power plants.
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LCA of thermal waste management for combustible waste


cover of the study05.11.2007 Under support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of North Rhine-Westphalia IFEU carried out a study to find out the contribution of the actual waste treatment plants to an environmentally sound waste mangement since any organic waste has to be thermally treated by law (2005).


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Transport and Environment - Challenges



cover of the brochure25.10.2007 A brochure, edited by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Saftey (BMU) deals on the challenge how to react on the necessary mobility of the society. In 10 topics problems, results and measures of the Transport and Environmental policy in Germany are presented.

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Alternatives in Treatment of climate-relevant material-flows


08.10.2007 Under support of the Federal Agency of Environment (UBA) IFEU carried out a study comparing the alternatives in waste treatment with municipal solid waste incineration plants.
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Pilot Study: Acceptance of Vertical Wind Energy Plants


Oct 08,.2007 In cooperation with the University Halle-Wittenberg, Burg Giebichenstein Highschool for Art and Design Halle, the Technical University Clausthal, PSE GmbH Freiburg and the technical partner TASSA GmbH the potentials of vertical wind energy plants with small capacities are investigated. The study analyses the technical potential of wind energy plants, the economic performance for different categories of operators as well as the social acceptance, the environmental impacts and the operation and export potential.
More information...(in German).



Renewable Energies compact


July 7, 2007 Under support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety IFEU carried out a study titled "Renewable Energies compact” which gives a survey of essential developments and presents results of relevant system analysis studies. The Fact Sheets are tailored to meet the information requirements of decision makers.
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Local Governments Climate Partnership


June 25, 2007 Announced by the German Environment Agency, the project scheme highlights the reactivation of German-American and German-Japanese city partnerships focusing on climate protection. Together with the European association of communities Climate Alliance, ifeu thoroughly investigates the status quo of local climate protection activities in Germany, Japan and the U.S. In order to reveal successful and efficient measures, a benchmark system helps to classify local climate protection strategies under different national framework conditions. The systematic comparison serves as input to involve partner cities in a continuous exchange of ideas and to set up Local Governments Climate Partnerships
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Energy Balance


foto gearwheelJune 19,.2007 Which technologies are available for energy-efficient buildings (i.e. zero emission housing) generating heat from renewable sources? Does a regenerative heat ordinance comply with the requirements of the German energy saving ordinance? What are minimum efficiency standards for renewable energies promoted by public subsidies?
The project "Energy Balance" deals with these kind of questions. IFEU is working on strategies that dovetail renewable energies and energy efficiency concerning technical and economical aspects as well as social and instrumental policy. Funds are provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU).
More Information...(in German)



Personal Carbon Footprint


June 13, 2007 IFEU developed the first city-specific calculator to determine the personal carbon footprint. This enables, for example, residents in the City of Freiburg to identify their annual carbon emissions. The tool was built on the existing tool by the Bavarian Environment Agency (Landesamt für Umwelt Bayern) which scored the best among eight different CO2-calculators. The German Environment Agency provided research funds; our partner avantTime GmbH was responsible for the programme design.
More information...(in German)



First Atlas of Climate Protection Projectsl


cover of atlasMay 10, 2007 IFEU developed the first atlas of climate protection projects in Germany. For the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar (Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar) the 7th largest region in Germany with a population of 2.4 million, innovative projects are presented. The atlas and the accompanying website provide background information, technical data and photos that appeal to experts and lay persons alike. The project was prepared under commission of MVV Energie AG.

More Information...(in German)



Rain Forest for Biodiesel? The Ecological Effects of using Palm Oil as a Source of Energy.



May 11, 2007 A report of WWF Germany (with major contribution from IFEU) identified the ecological potential and risks when using palm oil as a source of energy. The conclusion: sustainability is currently not ensured and globally applicable standards for the production are needed.

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REACH: The New Chemicals Policy in Europe. What Will Change for Consumers?


cover of brochureApril 2, 2007 IFEU-Institut prepared a brochure for the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin about the new European chemicals policy REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) that will enter into force on June 1, 2007. What will change for consumers? The BfR brochure „REACH: The new chemicals policy in Europe“ (in German) provides answers.

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LCA for Biomass-to-Liquid-fuels


February 08, 2007 Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), IFEU examined the environmental impacts of BTL (= Biomass-to-Liquid-fuels). BTL fuels are produced from residues such as waste wood and residual straw. Although the production techniques are under development, the life cycle assessment (LCA) identified the considerable ecological potential of BTL; it is competetive when compared to other ecologically attractive alternatives for bioenergy production and use.
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Analysis of NExBTL, a Novel Biofuel


February 08,2007 IFEU prepared an energy and greenhouse gas balance of a novel biofuel (NExBTL) that is being developed by Neste Oil Company, Finnland. The biofuel is produced in a proprietary conversion process for vegetable oils and animal fats and leads to significant reduction in vehicle emissions when blended with conventional diesel fuel. The life cycle assessment (LCA) for NExBTL shows advantages over conventional diesel fuel, depending primarily on the origin of the used vegetable oil.
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Price of Energy Rising, Social Consequences and Climate Protection


December 18, 2006 Together with ISOE, IFEU is investigating the consequences of the increasing cost of energy for recipients of unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II) and welfare. The legal regulations are analysed. Possible means of action as well as stumbling blocks for an efficient use of heating power and household electricity in the affected households were identified in relation to climate protection aspects. The initial phase of the project is supported by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
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Implementing the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) in Baden-Württemberg


December 17, 2006 In collaboration with ECONSULT Rottenburg, IFEU is examining the implementation of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2002) in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. With the introduction of EnEV 2002, the requirements for architects and builders have increased. The integrated approach stipulated by law now requires that all those involved in the building process work together. At the same time, the government is no longer the controlling authority within the framework of deregulation, hence the implementation of the EnEV for new buildings and restoration of older buildings must mainly be taken care of by private enterprises. The need arose to critically monitor this regulation and its success as far as achieving the climate protection goals is concerned.
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Guideline for Sustainable Mobility Education at Schools


December 17, 2006 Commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency, a guideline for teaching sustainable mobility at schools has been developed by IFEU in collaboration with the VCD (German Transportation Club) and the Pädagogische Hochschule (Teacher’s College) Schwäbisch-Gemünd. The objective of sustainable mobility is to make the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation – a bicycle, scooter, your feet or the bus and train – “socially acceptable” at school. Pupils should discover the fun of an independent, environmentally friendly type of mobility and learn how to recognise their own responsibility when choosing a type of transportation.
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Renewable Energies in Nigeria – IFEU Consults


October 31, 2006 Nigeria, a country rich in oil, natural gas and coal reserves, develops a "Renewable Energy Master Plan". Renewable energies should help to improve the rural population’s access to modern energy, reduce the amount of firewood needed and reduce the release of greenhouse gases in the country. Within the framework of a cooperation with the Goethe Institute, IFEU staff members were available to provide consultation to Nigerian energy experts in defining goals, using political instruments and setting up structures for capacity building.
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Innovative Electricity Bills


October 10, 2006 The DIW Berlin has commissioned IFEU to investigate which role innovative and more comprehensible types of electricity bills play a role in helping private households keep their electricity consumption under control. The scheme is part of the project “TIPS – Transformation and Innovation in Power Systems” within the framework of the BMBF research programme Social Ecological Research.
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Sustainable Waste Management


September 1, 2006 An IFEU study (April 2005) on the contribution of waste management to sustainable development in Germany proved that legal regulations and voluntary agreements have helped to reform national waste management according to sustainable development. Commissioners were the Environmental Ministry together with the Federal Environment Agency. Data forming the basis of the subject has been updated and can be found within the new BMU brochure:
Weitere Informationen ….




Our Ecological Recommendation: Regional Beer from Reusable Bottles!


July 18, 2006 - A recent LCA done by IFEU compares 500 ml aluminum cans with reusable glass bottles under specific and case-dependent conditions.
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IFEU Article on Energy Savings from Lightweight Constructions


July 17, 2006 - Transport vehicles, reduced in weight, can achieve significant energy savings. You find main sources of savings for different vehicles and their global reduction potential within the article published by IFEU in the International Journal of LCA.
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Effective Consulting Modules to Reduce Power Consumption in Private Households


July 10, 2006 - Power consumption of private households in Germany is raising constantly. A project, funded by BW-Plus Baden-Wuerttemberg, examined which offers motivate households to use power more efficiently. Read the preliminary report.
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Concept of energy efficiency for the city of Aachen


June 26, 2006 - For the first time, IFEU has published a local concept of energy efficiency, including requirements of the EU directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services into the local action plan. The directive demands total annual energy reductions of 1%.
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What is the Contribution of the Energy Saving Regulation (EnEV) and the Energy Saving Incentive Programm "KfW-CO2-Gebäude- Sanierungsprogramm" to the National Climate Protection Programme?


May 29, 2006 - IFEU Heidelberg investigated the issue in coooperation with the Institute for Housing and Environment (IWU) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency. Other than CO2 reduction potentials, the study also identified optimisation potentials. Regarding EnEV, we analysed the implementation procedure, determined by specific implementation rules of the federal states. The final report is now available.
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Sludge Disposal :
An Inventory

published as part 3 of the series "Siedlungswasser- und Siedlungsabfallwirtschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen"





Brochure"Renewable Energies - Innovations for the Future " completed and updated





Evaluation of Stationary Energy Consulting Services from Consumer Organisations


April 25, 2006 - Successful Energy Consulting?
Commissioned by the German Consumers Organization (vzbv) IFEU examined energy savings and the amount of CO2 reductions due to free energy consulting.
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Sustainable Biomass Potentials in Baden-Wuerttemberg


April 20, 2006 - This report was funded by BUND, Baden-Wuerttemberg (Friends of the Earth Germany).
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