SPIRE: A sustainable process industry through resource and energy efficiency

The process industries that transform raw partly processed materials into a wide range of products form a major part of the European manufacturing base. They encompass more than 450 000 enterprises, employ 6.8 million people, and generate a turnover of over EUR 1.6 trillion. As such, they represent some 20 % of EU manufacturing industry and, as they are often energy intensive, they account for a large part of industrial energy consumption. At the core of the SPIRE initiative is the objective of decoupling economic growth from resource consumption.

Led by ESTEP and Suschem (The sustainable chemistry technology platform), SPIRE aims to boost resource and energy efficiency by developing new and innovative technologies and solutions that will reduce fossil energy intensity by 30 %, and non-renewable raw material intensity by 20 %, by 2030. Examples include, technologies that reduce waste and allow more recycling of raw materials, that capture waste heat from industrial processes and use it for other purposes such as heating offices and homes, or that improve recovery of precious metals and chemicals and thus reduce dependence on suppliers. The potential for energy and resource savings are enormous if whole supply chains act together and take a holistic approach. And the involvement of ESTEP and its members is critical, first because steel is at the heart of so many products and processes, and secondly because the European steel industry, with a presence throughout the 27 Member States, is close enough to its customers to achieve the real savings in energy and resource use that offer positive long-term impacts. SPIRE aims to promote such concerted activities and thus boost innovation, growth and competitiveness for enterprises across Europe.

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Last updated on: 2012-06-27