Session 5

Resource Education: the Case for Professional Level Training for Implementing Resource Preservation and Efficiency
Carolin Baedeker1, Marco Hasselkuß1, Lydia Illge2, Maurizia Magro2, Janire Clavell2
1Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, Germany; 2Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment, Germany

Maintaining our society’s prosperity within the limits of the ecosystem is directly linked to the consumption of natural resources, especially raw materials, as key production factors. The EU as well as the global industry currently faces challenges concerning dependence on global markets for primary raw materials, especially critical raw materials. At the same time, in many areas the use of secondary raw materials is still relatively low in the EU and beyond. Therefore, it will have to be a key competence of future societies to treat natural resources in a conserving and efficient way. This will have to be achieved in all areas of education, including professional level training. Building on the experience and knowledge generated in the Germany focused project “BilRess – Education for Resource Preservation and Efficiency“, international exchange between leading training centres and institutions should be sought. The BilRess-project established the German BilRess-Network in 2014 and developed an “Educational Roadmap for Resource Conservation and Resource Efficiency (R&R)” in interaction with relevant actors in the educational system, describing steps to integrate the topic in all important educational contexts in the future. Similarly, international cooperation would offer chances to 1) promote an exchange of experience and cooperation between leading training centres, 2) generate knowledge about existing skills and knowledge as well as emerging training needs for professionals and 3) develop approaches for action (roadmap, common training programmes). Maintaining such a long-lasting network of raw materials training centres would enable international cooperation in education. A roadmap for improving competence and expertise in the field of primary and secondary raw materials for professional training, and common training programmes would lead the way to improve resource education for professionals.