Scarcity of resources as well as rising energy costs are pressing challenges world-wide. Therefore, it is extremely important that the efficiency of resources, both from a production and consumption point of view, is improved. As promoting sustainable practices requires a complex approach, various stakeholders need to join forces. Policy makers have to provide a framework bringing together industry, professional associations, SMEs and also universities and citizens. "Germany will become the most resource efficient national economy by 2020. It will be a pioneer in its sustainable use of energy and resources. These are the markets of tomorrow.” is the mission statement which summarises the challenge of the NeRess partnership. NeRess wishes to tackle this challenge by combining activities of relevant stakehodlers and improving strategic planning.
NeRess was founded as an open network of interest groups in 2007. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), together with the core group of founding member organisations, is the driving force strengthening the idea of a comprehensive network of resource efficient supporters and developers. To join, organisations have to be active in the field of resource efficiency. The NeRess platform is actively designed and maintained by its members, while a coordinator is responsible for providing support. The networks’ partners shape the activities of NeRess via networking events, however they also further assist their respective members, by supporting the active dissemination of information. Users of the NeRess platform and participants of the events become ”friends of NeRess“ .
NeRess offers its members the opportunity to use its portal directly for publishing their latest news, and in doing so are also disseminating identified good practices. Network partners have therefore an excellent base to drive eco-innovative approaches. Based on the work of NeRess, political recommendations are drawn up and help pave the way for establishing sustainability criteria in society in a more effective way.. So far, the network is developed with the support of grant funding, enabling also smaller entities to join the effort towards establishing a more resource efficient Germany. Almost 30 stakeholders, themselves regional or federal multipliers are so far involved in the process and hope to achieve a better understanding of how to drive resource efficient processes.
Various stakeholders from politics, economy and research come together to improve their knowledge on the practical feasibility of resource efficiency. The coordinated cooperation of its members allows NeRess to provide support and opportunities for a whole range of stakeholders from industry to consumers, to improve resource efficiency. This in turn will help reduce negative environmental impacts and promote German eco-innovative technologies. Additionally, the network develops suggestions and recommendations for innovative framework conditions to minimise barriers, reduce bureaucracy and provide incentives in order to reach the ambitious goals of NeRess. The concept of NeRess is ready for a full-scale uptake, qualifying it for an estimated level 6 on the generic maturity scale GML.