Environmental Engineering

Austria's engagement for the protection of agriculture, forestry, environment, and water delivered a unique reputation wordlwide. The country boasts a biological diversity and beauty of landscape thanks to these efforts.

Variety of environmental efforts

The industrial sectors of this economic area include: Waste disposal and recycling, environmental engineering firms, wastewater technology companies, wastewater treatment plants, water clarification and purification plants, recycling firms, container rental, process engineering, authorized experts, civil engineers, special waste disposal, measuring and control plant manufacturers, landscape conversation, environment agencies, environmental adviser, engineering offices for economics, environmental protection, and expertise on environmental matters, waste material disposal, authorities of the government for environmental protection, producers of organic goods, environmental management and technology departments, environmental awareness, community associations for environmental protection, environmental protection associations and organizations, climate alliance Austria, river, lake, and water protection associations, protection against noise and radiation, air and climate protection, ground and surface protection, conservation biology, water management, forestry management, energy resources management, mineral resources management, resources management research & development, but also the sustainable agricultural and forestry economy incl. timber industry, fishery, atmospheric environment, disaster control, green tourism, manufacturers in the field of forage, horticulture and landscaping, plant manufacturers, and many more.

Austria goes for sustainability 

In 2008, the expenditure spent for environmental protection or environmental protection programs in Austria amounted to EUR 12.5 billion. In 2009, the investments in measures to reduce the environmental pollution, commonly called end-of-pipe technologies, amounted to EUR 1,120 million. Companies in the environmental sector earned revenues of EUR 31,497 million and employed 178,394 people in 2009.

The environmental services of 2009 amounted to a whopping EUR 12,956 million. In 2009 the sales of environmental goods amounted to EUR 12,102 million and the revenues earned through environmental technologies amounted to EUR 5,908 million. Measured by the total number of people in paid work, the proportion of people employed in the environmental business is at 4.6 percent (cf. Statistik Austria). In 2009, the trade with environmental goods and technologies recorded 21,430 employed people. The total number of people employed in the environmental business incl. trade amounted to 199,824 in 2009 (cf. environmental statistics / Statistik Austria). In total, the revenues generated by the management of energy sector amounted to EUR 16,642 million resp. with renewable energy management to EUR 11,165 million in 2009 (cf. Statistik Austria).

Government expenditure for environmental protection

The share of government spendings in environmental protection accounted to 1 percent in 2010, whereas in 1995, the share even reached 2.5 percent (Statistik Austria). More than the half of these investments can be attributed to companies (58.4 percent), the public sector and private organizations of a non-commercial nature also called POEs (11.9 percent), private households (27.6 percent), and the European Union (2.1 percent). In 2010 the value of imported measurement-, control-, and test equipment for this economic sector amounted to EUR 1,906 million, while the export value of the afore-mentioned means was at EUR 1,858 million (cf. Statistik Austria).

Crisis-proof waste disposal 

Austria´s waste disposal sector employed 14,016 people with 659 companies in 2010. The women´s quota was 20.8 percent. In 2010, the sector generated revenues of EUR +10 million by the .elimination of environmental pollution and other disposals. The sales per head amounted to EUR 105,000. The wastewater disposal sector recorded a turnover of EUR 248 million which corresponds to sales per head of EUR 252,000. In 2010 the export quota or export turnover generated by the waste disposal sector was at zero.

Noticeable upward trends in environmental protection programs

Aiming to raise awareness for the society´s actions and whose effects on our environment, Austria has established the initiative NAMEA (National Accounting Matrix Including Environmental Accounts). The Austrian label for environmental protection provides the guarantee for eco-friendly products, a healthy indoor climate and the reduction of pollutants in living spaces, eco-friendly furniture, and many more (Department of food, online). An unbridled trend can be observed in the manufacturing of biomass by means of recyclable and compost waste.

Austria´s reputation abroad 

In terms of environmental protection programs, Austria enjoys an outstanding reputation in foreign markets. Thanks to its tourism-related diversity (ski regions, mountain pastures) as well as the manufacturing of regional food specialities, awards for climate protections, its engagement for the agricultural-, forestry-, environmental-, and water protection, and last but not least the country´s biological diversity, Austria has rightly achieved a unique international image.

Additional sources: BMLFUW, online www.lebensministerium.at, www.boku.ac.at, www.bmwfj.gv.at, www.lebensministerium.at, www.nachhaltigkeit.at, www.umweltbundesamt.at
Editorial department: Mag. Markus Pellischek-Wilsdorf