Back to the project overview

Green Economy Report North Rhine-Westphalia 2020


Ministerin für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen



Green industries are a key industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. In total, the sector employs about 468,000 people there. Every 20th job depends on the green industry - and the trend is rising. At 35.8 billion euros, the environmental industry accounts for about 6% of North Rhine-Westphalia's gross value added.

Strengths of the green industry in NRW

The green industry combines innovative products and services. They protect the environment and make a significant contribution to the transformation of the economy. Innovation and digitalisation are very closely related. In a national comparison, North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the most important innovation locations in Germany, with around 19 % of all green industry patents registered nationwide and around 2 % of those registered worldwide.

The focus topic "digitalisation" of the current Green Industry Report also shows: The green industry in North Rhine-Westphalia is digitalised to an above-average extent. "Its level of digitalisation is 15 % higher than that of the economy as a whole and digitalisation topics determine innovation activity to a particular extent," says Prognos Head of Division for Green Industry and Climate Change and Head of Competence Network "Green Industry NRW", Oliver Lühr. "This means that North Rhine-Westphalia is well equipped for a green economy 4.0. The green industries offer crucial solutions to move forward in the Green Deal."

The Green Industry Report also portrays the different regions of the state. The strengths of the sector can be seen in varying degrees and with strong regional specialisations, depending on the specific natural environment. Depending on the region, the focus is on resource management, environmentally friendly agriculture and sustainable forestry or environmentally friendly mobility, energy efficiency or renewable energies.

The sector is also holding its own on the global market - a supporting economic pillar of NRW's green economy. From 2010 to 2019, exports from North Rhine-Westphalia's green industry grew by an average of 1.4 % annually, reaching a volume of 11.6 billion euros in 2019.

Directly to the report (PDF, in German, website


Oliver Lühr, Jannis Lambert, Richard Simpson, Myrna Sandhövel, Lukas Eiserbeck, Hanne Hagedorn, Johann Weiß, Saskia Reuschel, Stephan Kling


Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Oliver Lühr

Principal, Head of Environmental, Circular Economy and Climate Change

View profile

Jannis Lambert

Project Manager

View profile

Our work on this topic

Take a look at our latest projects and activities.

Großer 1000 Tonnen Kran demontiert an einem sonnigen Tag mit Industriekletterern ein Windrad.

EU’s Global Leadership in Renewables


Prognos, together with COWI, CEPS, and Capgemini invent, examines Europe's position and competitiveness in global renewable energy value chains.

Mädchen trägt eine Tonne mit Recyclingsymbol

CIRCTER – Circular Economy and Territorial Consequences


An investigation into the economic structure of the regional Circular Economy in Europe.

Zwei Ingenieure stehen auf einem Feld mit Windkraftanlage

Jobwende – Effects of the Energiewende on Work and Employment


On behalf of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Prognos examined the importance of the energy transition for future employment in Germany.

Vogelperspektive auf einen kleinen Pfad in einem Wald

Analysis of climate paths in the transport sector 2030


On behalf of BDI and BCG, Prognos has analysed how Germany can achieve its climate protection targets for 2030 in the transport sector. The result: decisive changes are needed.

Vogelperspektive auf einen kleinen Pfad in einem Wald

Climate Path for Germany


How can Germany reach its 2050 climate goals - and under what conditions is that possible? Those are the questions addressed by a study for the Association of German Industry (BDI).

Luftaufnahme einer Windkraftanlage bei der Installationvder Rotorblätter

Green Economy Report North Rhine-Westphalia 2017


North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's largest provider of environmental products and services. The sector generated around 28 billion euros in 2015 - more than six percent of the state's gross value added.

Adobe Stock - CleverStock

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

Learn more