Germany has big plans. The German government wants to shape the German economy into one of the most energy-efficient economies in the world. It wants to achieve a nearly climate-neutral building stock by 2050, according to the German Federal Environment Ministry. Circular economy and sustainable construction are to become the guiding goal of future investments. Even the stock markets are benefiting: Returns on investments in companies around energy efficiency are usually higher than on other safe investments.
Construction industry accounts for large share of German GDP
The construction industry plays a major role in the success of this strategy, which combines economy and ecology. With almost two million employees and a construction volume of almost 400 billion euros, the construction industry is a significant sector of the German economy. Or to put it another way: around ten percent of Germany's gross domestic product is spent on construction measures (2019: 373 billion euros). (Source: BMWI). The construction industry is considered one of the most important economic pillars of the German economy.
Energy-saving construction and insulation are particularly important for the national economy of countries like Germany that are poor in raw materials. In this way, the capital that would otherwise flow abroad for the purchase of fossil fuels remains in the country and is invested there.
Circular economy and digitization as drivers
Construction companies agree: they want to conserve resources even more than before and continue to drive forward the goal of full circular economy, the reuse of existing materials. There are many reasons: For the benefit of building owners, because Germans consume around 35 percent of total final energy in their own homes, primarily for heating and hot water. But also, for the benefit of the climate and the German economy. Because energy and material efficiency become a decisive factor for international competitiveness for the construction industry. The potential is impressive, as management consultants Roland Berger describe it in a recent study. For example, a circular economy approach to construction could influence up to 30 percent of all waste generated in the EU and up to 40 percent of EU emissions. Successful German research and development of new building materials and digital building design makes the companies involved pioneers for “energy efficiency made in Germany.”