Resource use in Germany

Opencast mining with large machinesClick to enlarge
Extraction and usage of raw materials is often associated with negative impacts on the environment.
Source: Andreas Fanke /

German raw material consumption totaled 1,328 million tons in 2019, or 16 tons per capita. This represents only a slight change in the trend up to 2018. In 2019, raw material consumption in Germany will fall slightly. And preliminary calculations for 2020 also indicate a decline.

Since 2016, the Federal Environment Agency has published a report on the use of natural resources in Germany. Following the years 2016 and 2018, a new "Resource Report for Germany" has been prepared and published in 2022.

The UBA resource report examines statistical key figures and trends in the "thematic field of resource and raw material use", analyzes and discusses the diverse interrelationships between resource extraction, resource consumption and economic development, and summarizes individual sub-topics. In the current report, around 30 resource-relevant subtopics are dealt with in a modular fashion.

The content focus is on the consideration and analysis of renewable and non-renewable raw materials. The four main raw material groups "non-metallic minerals", "biomass", "metal ores" and "fossil fuels" are distinguished. Further chapters deal with the use of the natural resources "water" and "land", the consideration of the interfaces between individual resource categories ("nexus") and the "environmental impacts of raw material extraction".

The resource report is addressed to a specialist audience and to technically interested persons from the fields of economy, civil society including education as well as politics and administration. On the one hand, the report is intended to serve as a source of data information and a reference work; on the other hand, it provides arguments for scientific policy advice and the development of measures for ecologically sustainable resource management.

The preparation of the resource report is accompanied by research work in which important scientific foundations are being laid.

Research project „Resource use in Germany“
: October 2014 – December 2022
Research number: FKZ 3714 93 105 0, 3719 31 1050
Contractor: Vienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for Ecological Economics, ifeu Heidelberg GmbH, Gerda Palmetshofer