Amplifying the German criticality system for mineral resources (ÖkoRess 1-3 )

German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), 2013 - 2022

The ÖkoRess project seeks to ensure that environmental aspects are given greater consideration in the supply of primary mineral raw materials. In its first phase experts of Projekt-Consult - together with a small group of German think tanks and public policy consultancies - have developed a sound and practicable system enabling a reliable comparative assessment of different raw material extraction, processing, and refining activities.

In the second phase, the methodology for assessment of the ecological availability of raw materials was tested by applying it to 51 abiotic raw materials. The results allow a first sound prioritization to be made and to introduce a focus on raw materials that are particularly critical in environmental terms to the criticality debate. These findings have enriched the ongoing debate on the subject of sustainable resource management in Germany, Europe, and internationally. Firstly, by contributing scientific findings on relevant environmental impacts and socioeconomic contexts, and, secondly, by formulating concrete recommendations for the application of the system in the framework of political decision making processes

The third phase (led by Projekt-Consult), shall make a substantial contribution to the debate on sustainability, transparency, and responsibility in the supply of raw materials. This shall be achieved by providing transparent, widely available, and consolidated information on the environmental hazard potentials of the most important mining locations for the mass metals aluminum, copper, and iron. An interactive map is being developed, on which each of the 100 largest - and most relevant for the German economy - mining sites of these mass metals is entered and the collected data and evaluation results are stored.


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