Resource Education as a key factor for Resource Preservation and Efficiency: The role of educational networks
Holger Rohn1,2, Carolin Baedeker3, Jaya Bowry1, Angelika Wilhelm-Rechmann4, Michael Scharp4
1Faktor 10 – Institut für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften gGmbH, Germany; 2Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen – University of Applied Sciences Germany; 3Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany; 4Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment, Germany
The natural resources available on Earth are limited and their over-exploitation goes hand in hand with considerable negative effects for humans and the environment. Therefore the conservative and efficient use of natural resources are important goals for a sustainable future.
An important step to more resource-efficiency is fostering public awareness and establishing a corresponding culture to protect natural resources. Based on the idea of “Education for Resource Preservation and Efficiency“, a large research project in Germany entitled “BilRess” (2012-2016) contributed to the goals of resource policy through an educational strategy. As main results on the one hand the BilRess Road Map for Resource Education was developed. On the other hand the BilRess-Network was established in 2014. After completion of the BilRess project, the BilRess-Network continues to be carried out in the framework of the “Kompetenzzentrum Ressourceneffizienz 2015–2019” (Competence Centre for Resource Efficiency 2015–2019), which is run by the VDI Centre for Resource Efficiency (VDI ZRE) (see www.bilress.de).
This paper outlines the course of the project and presents its results focusing on the development of the BilRess-Network as an educational network supporting resource education. It focuses on developing recommendations, strategies and best practices for further anchoring the subjects resource conservation and efficiency in the German educational system through the BilRess-Network activities. Within the BilRess-Network different areas of education (school, apprenticeship, further education, university/college) are addressed. Up to now the number of network members developed very positively rising from 160 (05/2016) to almost 300 (03/2017).
Additionally, the full paper will discuss, that so far, the BilRess project as well as the BilRess-Network has looked upon improving resource education in Germany exclusively and how resource education should be considered in the European and global context in the future.