Environment & Resources

Hamburg, Germany, Harbor Impressions | © shutterstock.com - Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

Environmental Technologies

Closed Loop Recycling and Sustainable Water Technologies

Environmental technologies are one of the most important economic sectors in Germany. With a pioneering environmental policy and legal framework, Germany has established itself as a leading player in all green markets worldwide.

Be a part of and help shape the sustainable era. Short, medium and long-term opportunities for investors exist along the whole value chain.

Industry & Market Numbers

  • Market volume: EUR 53 billion in 2013 (Sustainable Water Technologies); EUR 17 billion in 2013 (Recycling); EUR 48 billion in 2013 (Raw material and material efficiency) *
  • German World Market Share for Recycling Technology: 10%***
  • German World Market Share for Sustainable Water technologies: 20%**
  • Employees: 230,000 (Sustainable Water Technologies); 100,000 (raw material and material efficiency); 60,000 (Recycling)
  • Leading R&D and patents worldwide
  • Leading exports worldwide with a share of 17% for waste and recycling technologies and 17% for water and wastewater technologies**

* BMUB- Umwelttechnologie-Atlas „GreenTech Made in Germany“ 4.0 – Jahr 2014
** UBA – Umweltwirtschaftsbericht 2011
*** VDMA Branchenbild Kreislaufwirtschaft, 2016


Chris Engstrom, CEO | Eletta Group

Chris Engstrom, CEO, Eletta Group | © Eletta Group “Germany is a highly strategic market offering great opportunities for Eletta. Even if we have been present through a partner for nearly 40 years, we have now decided to open up our own subsidiary as we are certain we can grow and expand substantially. Germany Trade & Invest has been assisting us in this process since the beginning in a very professional and effective way and securely guided us through any obstacles.” (2017)

Henry Garay, CEO | EcoNat Wirtschaft und Nature GmbH - EW&N

Henry Garay, CEO, EcoNat, | © EcoNat/GTAI “We focused on knowledge management for development and sustainability purposes. Germany is the best location in Europe for us, as it has always been a hub of global knowledge, diffusion thereof and innovation. We combine IT innovation, knowledge transfer, applied research and consultancy in sustainable development. We really appreciated the tailor-made and professional services of Germany Trade & Invest alongside the realization of our project.” (2014)

Ari Tolonen, CEO | Labkotec Group

Logo Labkotec Indutrade Group | © Labkotec Group ”We had the opportunity to strengthen our measurements business by local presence in Germany 2014. We established Labkotec GmbH in Flensburg to serve better German markets. The stability and the proven structures of Germany had a major effect in decision making.” (2016)

Netafim Deutschland GmbH

Logo NETAFIM Deutschland GmbH | © NETAFIM Deutschland GmbH Innovative Bewässerung “At Netafim, our first priority is to offer highly efficient irrigation solutions for a sustainable future. Therefore, Germany’s role as a pioneer in environmental policy and legal framework made it an ideal place to conduct business. Germany offers us a highly innovative market for our products allowing us to continuously engage in further market activities. To meet our goal of continued expansion, Germany Trade & Invest offers us unparalleled professional advisement, as well as keeping us thoroughly informed about Germany and other relevant international markets.” (2016)

Market | International Leadership

MARKET - In terms of environmental technologies it is predicted a sales in 2030 in Germany of EUR 1 trillion. Adaptation to climate change, reduction of raw material imports as well as strong environmental regulations intensifies and ensure the future green markets.

INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP - Germany is by far the world's largest market for recycling technologies with annual turnover of EUR 50 billion. In terms of sustainable water technologies Germany is number one in Europe with an industry turnover of EUR 35 billion.

Thomas Grigoleit | © GTAI "Gaining competitive advantages in global markets through green innovations 'Made in Germany'"

Thomas Grigoleit, Director Energy, Environment & Resources, Germany Trade & Invest

Personnel | R&D

PERSONNEL - Thanks to its internationally renowned universities and outstanding R&D institutes covering an extensive range of environmental technologies topics, Germany offers a large pool of highly qualified workers.

R&D - Leading patents worldwide. Research focusing on for example: integrated recycling process, waste-to-energy, membrane filter technology, water efficiency and supply systems. German research institutes are working closely with industry partners to develop new technologies and bring them to market quickly.

R&D Activities: Water Technologie | © UFZ, 2012

R&D Clusters: Resource Efficiency | © BMBF 2013

Incentives | Legal & Political Framework

INCENTIVES - Germany offers numerous incentives for all investors - regardless of whether they are from Germany or otherwise. There is a large selection of programs designed to support a wide variety of business activities at different stages of the investment process available. Support ranges from cash incentives for the reimbursement of direct investment costs to incentives for labor and research and development (R&D).

LEGAL AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK - Germany is a pioneer in environmental policy  and its legal framework. Following acts should be emphasized i.e. Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act, Electronic Device Act, Federal Water Act. The Europe and Germany`s sustainability strategy as well as the Master Plan for Environmental Technologies of the German government also play a rolle placing Germany as an industrial and investment location.

Infrastructure | Stable Investment Environment

INFRASTRUCTURE - Our extensive and comprehensive logistics infrastructure integrates state-of-the-art transportation networks with the most modern telematics, IT, and telecommunications systems, thereby enabling efficient logistics. 

STABLE INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT - Social, economic, and political stability provide a solid base for your corporate projects. Our judiciary and civil services are highly professional. Contractual agreements are secure, and intellectual property is strictly protected in Germany.

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Energy Storage & Fuel Cell Industry

Germany is taking the lead in both energy storage and fuel cell technologies - as a market, development platform and export hub.