Resources are high on the agenda – partly for reasons of access and affordability, partly for
reasons of environmental pressures and sustainability. Above all using resource more efficiently is a business case with estimations of a world market volume worth 3 trillion US $ and more. However, pioneering action is needed to unleash markets and facilitate policies towards a green economy. Japan and Germany are well suited to cooperate in such joint action: they are both manufacturing powerhouses, and their reliance on importing materials pose incentives towards better resource efficiency, related systems innovation and international cooperation.
The conference at the JDZB aims to discuss policy and business strategies related to resource efficiency in both countries, in the EU and internationally. It will attract experts and high-level speakers from both countries, the EU and selected international organisations. Language of the conference will be English.
Resource Policies: aligning resource efficiency, 3R (Reduce-reuse-recycle), and related strategies
While Germany has released its first programme called ProgRESS and the EU has established resource efficiency as a flagship project in its 2020 strategy, the Japanese 3R Initiative has
developed less vigour than may have been expected in the context of the G8 summit in 2008. The
panel will discuss recent policies and, in particular, economic incentives and roadmaps towards using less primary materials. It shall also touch new challenges such as competition for natural resources and the nexus among resources (including food and water) thereby sheding light on integrated and international approaches for resource efficiency and low carbon strategies.
International policy perspectives
Both Japan and Germany have strong international relations and experience in setting up domestic lead markets with the aim of facilitating international development. There are however challenges to integrate the nexus with water, energy and food as well as to utilize commodity exports for poverty eradication. The conference shall discuss prevailing international governance approaches and perspectives for both countries (including the role of the EU) such as certification of mineral chains, a multis-stakeholder forum, an international covenant for the recycling of metals, an international phosphorus initiative, etc. and other perspectives.
Industry Responses and Future Markets
Many manufacturing companies establish innovation to cut material costs. The German industry pioneers many activities but also articulates some concerns about barriers and trade-offs. The conference shall discuss comparative approaches, drivers and barriers and perspectives of industrial strategies towards system innovation at an international scale.
Trends in measuring MFA and resource productivity
Country comparisons reveal different trends across key countries such as Germany, Japan, China (Taiwan) and others. This is related to different drivers such as market developments, policies, etc. but also to structures that may not be easy to change. Based on empirical observations and indicators, the panel shall discuss recent findings on trends and draw conclusions for the ongoing processes.