Environmental technologies

Austria has established itself as the location of a very innovative and high-growth environmental technology industry. This sector secures environmental quality and quality of life, prosperity, added value and jobs. Every job within the environmental technology economy safeguards the income of one to two people in gainful employment in other industries: Calculated across the entire economy, this industry accounts for more than 139,000 jobs.

To achieve the objectives of environmental and climate policy, innovative environmental and energy technologies are a decisive factor and also a central component for achieving the climate objectives of the Austrian Federal Government.

“Made in Austria” environmental technology is successful globally through highly innovative products and system services. The demand for environmental technology products is growing constantly, and environmental technology services are increasingly in demand. Despite the negative effects of the pandemic, the environmental technology economy has proven to be considerably more robust than other economic sectors in Austria. The BMK supports the use and distribution of environmental technologies through targeted funding programmes and, with strict statutory provisions, standards and regulations, ensures that domestic environmental technology companies continue to stand for the highest quality and effectiveness. The development of technological innovations in this area is a key factor for climate-neutral, resource-efficient and cycle-oriented economic activity. As a forward-looking model, the Austrian environmental technology industry creates green jobs, strengthens the country’s competitive position and makes a major contribution to ensuring Austria is also liveable in the future.

Environmental Technology Master Plan

In order to strengthen the positive development in the environmental technology industry in the long term, which is distinguished by above-average revenue and employment growth, the Environmental Technology Master Plan was drawn up. The result is a record of success: Austria is very broadly positioned in environmental technology and represented in all important segments. Our country has outstanding research intensity and a very high proportion of innovative companies compared to goods manufacturing. In this regard, decisive impulses for the companies came from the investment premium, the climate protection billion for Austria, the prospect of a new Renewable Energy Expansion Act (Erneuerbaren-Ausbau-Gesetz, abbr. EAG), the Economic Strengthening Act (Konjukturstärkungsgesetz, abbr. KonStG) 2020 and the European Green Deal. Furthermore, with the environmental support in Austria, the BMK has at its disposal the central funding instrument of the Federal Government in the area of preventing climate-relevant gases and of operational energy efficiency.

The key topics of the Master Plan are innovation, digitisation, qualification, business start-up and corporate financing, among others. The aim is to position Austria as the domestic market of the environmental technology economy with innovative products and pilot plants, to increase the export ratio further and to secure the global market share of Austrian environmental technologies. Environmental protection is a growth market globally and is contributing increasingly to the safeguarding of employment and the creation of new jobs. There are particularly great opportunities in the innovations of environmental and renewable energy technologies and in the expansion of energy and resource efficiency.

In particular, Austria occupies a leading international position in the field of the energy use of hydropower, biomass and solar thermal power, in the area of ecological construction but also in the classic environmental technology industries such as water and waste management.

The Environmental Technology Master Plan, jointly developed by two Federal Ministries, is intended to drive forward the development, implementation and worldwide distribution of Austrian environmental technologies. This is an important contribution to tackling the climate crisis. In six fields of action, the Environmental Technology Master Plan establishes a total of 30 powerful measures for this industry. The focus areas here are the strengthening of the domestic market and the implementation of environmental and climate protection measures in Austria, as well as an even stronger export orientation of the Austrian environmental technology economy. Further information on the performance and innovative strength of Austrian technologies can also be found online at → ecotechnology.at/en.