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