Deutsch Home & News About IFEU Reference list Contact & staff Sitemap Search
Waste Management education Energy Industry & Emmissions Biomass & Food Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment Riskassessment EIA & SEA Traffic & Environment
You are here:

ifeu news



Domestic oil crops for the oleochemistry





cosmos logo23.11.2015 As the host of the first progress meeting, ifeu welcomed almost 40 delegates of the COSMOS project (Camelina & crambe Oil crops as Sources for Medium-chain Oils for Specialty oleochemicals) from 17.-19.11.2015 in Heidelberg.

This EU-funded 4.5-year project aims at reducing the dependence of Europe’s oleochemical industry on imported plant oils by developing the currently underutilised domestic oil crops Camelina (Camelina sativa) und Crambe (Crambe abyssinica). Both plants are species within the cruciferous plant family (Brassicaceae), to which also rapeseed (Brassica napus) belongs. The European oleochemical industry currently relies on imported coconut, palm kernel and castor oil as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer building blocks.

Further information ...

Cosmos Heidelberg Group

(click to enlarge photo)

nach oben




Plant Proteins for Human Nutrition





protein2food logo19.11.2015 Protein2Food is a new research project funded by the EU in the framework of Horizon2020. The project’s aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient, healthy plant proteins for human consumption in the form of new, attractive protein-rich food products and new recipes which can substitute products with animal-based ingredients and by such contribute to more sustainable food consumption patterns.

More information ...

nach oben




„Showcase - Made in Germany“: Award for the Xingfubao Passive House





Urkunde30.10.2015 Beijing: Xingfubao (happiness castle), the first certified passive house in China‘s extreme cold climate zone was completed in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, in September 2014. The project was coordinated by ifeu. Today, Xingfubao received an award as a Showcase – Made in Germany by German Industry & Commerce Greater China, as part of the export initiative energy efficiency of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). Regarding Sino-German cooperation in energy efficiency of buildings, a jury evaluated according using the following criteria: energy efficiency, degree of innovation, modernity, quality as best practice project, potential media interest and degree of German contribution.

Bernd Franke project director at ifeu, and Ms. Xiong Bo, coordinator of the Chinese partner Dacheng International received the award. Mr. Franke declared: „The interest in the Xingfubao project as a milestone in Sino-German cooperation remains strong. The building has been visited by many experts from all regions of China. I am happy the more passive house projects are funded in Urumqi and that the China Passive House Alliance facilitates the exchange of experience from many new projects.” Ms. Xiong added: „Passive houses are economically viable as well; the demand in high-quality and energy efficient buildings is growing in China.“ The work of ifeu was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Future Megacities research programme. Coordination was provided by the Xinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Sciences for Chinese partners and by the University of Heidelberg for German partners.

Brochure for the Showcase Projects (German/Chinese, pdf)

More information….

nach oben




Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns





Cover Studie29.10.2015 „Pedelecs have great potential to substitute car trips. This accounts especially for commuting trips up to 10 kilometers. Also for other common daily trips the pedelec had been the preferred vehicle choice instead of the former chosen car." These are the main findings of the recently conducted research project PEDELECTION.

The project had been funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. It was aimed to analyze shifting effects between the different vehicles types caused by pedelec use patterns. In cooperation with the Institut for Transportation Design (ITD, University of Braunschweig) ifeu investigated daily mobility use patterns in a field test. Additionally, an environmental assessment based on collected mobility data compares the climate effects before and after the test persons were introduced to pedelecs. Following the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach for different vehicles, further environmental effects caused by production, disposal and upstream emissions of the use phase could be considered.

The achieved results are a good starting point to develop incentives for a stronger integration of pedelecs into general mobility patterns and commuting patterns in particular.

PEDELECTION - Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns - Final Report (in German, pdf 11.5 MB)

More information… (Website ITD)

nach oben




Concept Energy Transition across Sectors developed





Cover Report13.10.2015 “To achieve climate protection goals in the most economical and cost-efficient manner, wind and solar energy ought to be developed into the most important primary energy sources across all sectors, including heat supply and mobility", researchers of two Fraunhofer Institutes, the ifeu Heidelberg and the Umweltenergierecht Foundation recently concluded. The three-year research project “Interactions of RE electricity, heating and transport” is based on a resolution of the German Bundestag and was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The study infers “optimal structural development pathways for the heating and transport sectors." According to the authors during the presentation of results, “heat pumps and power-to-heat both in local and district heating systems, battery-electric vehicles and catenary trucks provide examples for future key technologies for the integration of the energy sectors electricity, heating and transport. This integration is associated with economic benefits and opens up a range of flexibility options for the maintenance of a reliable and safe energy supply.”

Interactions of RE Eletricity, Heating and Transport
Final Report (pdf 5,7 MB)
+ Short Version (pdf 924 KB) (in German)

More information… (in German)

nach oben




Start planning from the Goal Definition - Sufficiency as an important Field of Action in Municipalities




Foto / Quelle: Lizenzfrei09.10.2015 Sufficiency measures and policies in municipalities

The importance of sufficiency for reaching local climate change objectives was detected in numerous municipal climate action plans and “Masterplan 100 % Climate Change Mitigation” projects. And there are already existing ideas and recommended policy measures to facilitate and encourage sufficiency in municipalities.

This is carried out by the extensive analysis of climate action plan in 32 municipalities and regions as well as “Masterplan 100 % Climate Change Mitigation” projects in 19 municipalities and regions, published in the working paper "Suffizienz-Maßnahmen und -Politiken in kommunalen Klimaschutzkonzepten und Masterplänen – ein Überblick" (in German).

The analysis also reveals that mainly the mobility sector’s measures are influenced by sufficiency approaches. In the sectors of housing and construction, nutrition and private consumption sufficiency is not systematically anchored. According to the authors, high potentials in designing and implementing sufficiency measures and policies are existing for an absolute reduction of energy consumption in a significant scale.

More information ...

nach oben




Transparent Information on Fuel Consumption urgently required for Electric Vehicles as well





Logo29.09.2015 User-specific and accurate fuel consumption data may actually be more important for electric vehicles than for conventional combustion engines. The official data from type-approval tests presented in advertising materials and sales brochures provide little information on the actual situation under real-world conditions. Moreover, individual user behaviour strongly influences the energy consumption of dedicated battery-electric passenger cars and hybrid-systems with combustion engines, so-called plug-in hybrids.

To provide a realistic assessment of potential savings associated with a switch to electric vehicles, ifeu is currently developing the web application ‘My eDrive’ in collaboration with the German Automobile Association ADAC. My eDrive will allow interested drivers of conventional cars a free virtual test drive of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A smart phone app initially monitors and records the driving habits of the driver in his current vehicle. Based on these real-world data, costs, environmental impacts and mileage of current electric vehicle options are calculated.

We intend to test My eDrive in a trial period shortly and we would like to invite you to participate. Application materials and additional information may be found here ...

nach oben




Increasing Divergence betweenType Approval and real-world Fuel Consumption of Passenger Cars





Cover28.09.2015 It has been widely known for a number of years that both the fuel consumption of passenger cars and the associated greenhouse gas emissions are considerably higher on the road than under the type-approval test conditions reported in sales brochures. According to a recent analysis of the fuel consumption of approx. 600,000 vehicles registered in the EU between 2001 to 2014, carried out by the ICCT in collaboration with ifeu Heidelberg and TNO, the discrepancy between test results and real-world conditions has increased from about 8 % in 2001 to a present average of 40 %.

This finding indicates that our national climate goals are in serious jeopardy. Moreover, the loss in vehicle tax revenue amounts to hundreds of millions of Euro. The discrepancy between car manufacturer data and real-world conditions also puts the consumer at a disadvantage. On average, an additional annual investment of 450 € per user is required to bridge the gap between reported and actual fuel consumption. Reasons for the divergence between official data and real-world conditions may be found in the exploitation of loopholes in the type-approval process by car manufacturers and the omission of auxiliary consumers. To rectify the situation, a realistic new test procedure and the introduction of post-hoc tests are required.

Additional information and the study „From Laboratory to Road (icct-Website) may be found here... (Click to enlarge cover)

nach oben




Eco-profiles of PVC and VCM updated


01.09.2015 Commissioned by PlasticsEurope, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe, and by the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), ifeu recently updated the Eco-profile of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and its monomer vinyl chloride (VCM). For this reason, production data concerning material and energy input as well as emissions to air and water was collected from 38 European VCM and PVC producers. Collected data was combined with data describing resource input and emissions occurring during the production of energy and materials needed for PTA production resulting in a mathematical model.

This led to a detailed description of environmental impacts caused by the production of 1 kg of VCM and PVC in Europe, respectively. Eco-profiles focus on the production phase of a product "from cradle to factory gate", whereas in a full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) the complete life cycle of a product "from cradle to grave" is investigated. Thus, Eco-profiles represent important building-blocks for the calculation of a LCA. The updated Eco-profile for PVC therefore gives rise for updates of downstream products, for example of PVC pipes.

More information ...

nach oben




Taking over of Scheme Ownership and Updates of the Greenhouse Gas CalculationTools for Biofuels


15.07.2015 It is essential that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the production of biofuels and bioliquids are calculated in a standardised way. This is a requirement under the current biofuels sustainability ordinance. For that purpose, the ifeu participated in the development of two calculation tools: the BioGrace I tool at European level and ENZO2 as a German national tool.

After the completion of the EU financed BioGrace project in March 2015 ifeu took over the scheme ownership, i.e. the management and updating of the BioGrace I tool. An update of the BioGrace I tool is now available (Version 4d). For guaranteeing further harmonisation also for the ENZO2 tools updates have been prepared (version 1.4).

To the tools and further information …

nach oben




Assessment of the Socio-Ecological Potentials of Private Lending, Swapping, and Selling





PeerSharing Website30.06.2015 Cars, clothes, accommodation – many products and services can be lent and borrowed, swapped and sold between private individuals or peers. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project "PeerSharing". This transdisciplinary research project analyses the socio-ecological potentials of peer-to-peer-sharing. Four pioneers of the sharing community cooperate with the project: the platforms Kleiderkreisel, flinc, Drivy, and Airbnb. ifeu and the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) are teaming up with the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW, lead). Further collaborators and partners are the German online platform for sustainable consumption Utopia, and the international network Ouishare. The main task of ifeu is the life cycle assessment of shared products and serviced, as well as the comparison with suitable reference and alternative scenarios.

nach oben




Efficiency Transition requires stronger Citizen Support






Cover Broschüre Energiesparen19.06.2015 New study on "Citizens conserving energy" commissioned by the Citizens’ Energy Alliance Bürgerenergie e.V. and the Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND) indicates considerable potential.
The concerted efforts of citizens supporting efficiency projects, i.e. citizens conserving energy, may be a decisive factor in the energy transition (Energiewende). Citizen support may effectively address major problem areas. Only the participation of local citizens allows for the full realisation of the numerous decentralised and small-scale opportunities for energy conser­vation, e.g. in sitting rooms, basements, garages and in office space of small businesses. There, on the ground, local knowledge, responsibility and networking interact most successfully.
However, to date, the enormous potentials of citizen energy conservation have barely been tapped. The recent study "Citizens conserving energy" commissioned by the Citizens’ Energy Alliance Bürgerenergie e.V. and the Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND) illustrates the considerable potential of citizen support in energy conservation. Moreover, the study proposes solutions to overcome existing obstacles

More information (in German) ... (pdf 1.14 MB)

nach oben




SETAC - Annual Conference





Poster Hemeroby08.05.2015 Hemeroby approach as impact category indicator for the integration of land use into LCA presented at the 25th annual conference of SETAC Europe in Barcelona.

Hemeroby means distance from nature or from natural conditions. This ecological term is denominated as the negative environmental impact on focus. ifeu is applying this concept in LCA to assess land-use effects. This concept is also recommended by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). All types of land-use areas (e.g. forest land, agricultural land, built-up area) are assigned to a system of seven hemeroby classes according to the results of the systematic approach via defined criteria and metrics. This approach has been recently updated and shall contribute to the on-going discussion on land use and biodiversity in LCA, as performed at the SETAC conference in Barcelona. Within this activity ifeu is cooperating with Prof. Dr. Birgit Grahl.

More information ...

nach oben




Highest Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg bestowed to Ulrich Höpfner





MP Kretschmann, Dr. U. Hoepfner, source STM_BaWue27.04.2015 Minister President Winfried Kretschmann bestowed the Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg on Dr. Ulrich Höpfner, Honorary Chairman, Co-founder and Executive Director of ifeu from 1977 to 2009. This order is the highest award of the state. It is bestowed for great merits for the State of Baden-Württemberg, especially in social, cultural, economic and political affairs. The number of award holders is limited to 1,000 living persons.

The Minister President declared at the ceremony: "Dr. Ulrich Höpfner is the pioneer of critical sustainability research in Germany. In 1977, together with like-minded people, he founded the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg. Independent from political parties and companies, the Institute creates positions to environmental policy issues based on sound science and promotes the public debate. Important studies on nuclear energy, on waste management and resource issues, on questions related to climate protection, energy, environment and transport have strongly influenced policy-making in Germany.” For many years, Höpfner also served as member of State and Federal Committees, such as the Sustainabiliy Advisory Committee of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

More information…

nach oben




New Logo for ifeu


On April 26, 2015 we introduced a new logo for the institute.
The new logo combines the new and the proven: we kept the color green but used a fresher shade. The small font in the acronym was also preserved. The bouncing dot above the “i” signals our curiosity, enthusiasm and constant presence in all areas of environmental research. It also echoes the measuring points in the old logo.
Our logo thus reflects central elements in the work of the ifeu: creativity and continuity, scientific integrity, and our main goal, which is to contribute to improving environmental quality while raising awareness of sustainability in society.
The new logo is being introduced 25 years after the last logo change and on the anniversary of the disaster in Chernobyl, which had a significant impact on the work of the ifeu.

Download the new ifeu logo ...

Logo IFEU new
Logo IFEU old
new logo
old logo
nach oben




Technological GHG Reduction Potentials of heavy-duty Vehicles and related Costs


Cover Report20.04.2015 Heavy-duty vehicles account for about a quarter of the GHG emissions in road transport at present. Current projections expect substantial increases of HDV transport in the future. Therefore, compliance with climate change mitigation goals and the minimisation of final energy consumption require a substantial reduction of the fuel consumption associated with heavy-duty vehicles.
ifeu Heidelberg in cooperation with Graz University of Technology have analysed fuel savings and GHG reduction potentials of technological measures (e.g. powertrain, aerodynamics, rolling resistance) using VECTO the designated simulation-based approach for the standardised quantification of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Europe.
Based on fuel savings of each measure and related changes of vehicle costs (investment and fuel costs), payback periods as well as specific GHG abatement costs have been estimated for the single technologies and for technology packages.

Download of the study (in German) and English summary ...

nach oben




Eco-Profile for PTA updated


Cover Report16.03.2015 Commissioned by the Committee of PET Maufacturers of Europe (CPME), ifeu recently updated the Eco-profile of purified terephthalic acid (PTA). PTA is an important precursor for the production of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). For this reason, production data concerning material and energy input as well as emissions to air and water was collected from five European PTA producers. Collected data was combined with data describing resource input and emissions occurring during the production of energy and materials needed for PTA production resulting in a mathematical model. This led to a detailed description of environmental impacts caused by the production of 1 kg of PTA in Europe.
Eco-profiles focus on the production phase of a product "from cradle to factory gate", whereas a in full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) the complete life cycle of a product "from cradle to grave" is investigated. Thus, Eco-profiles represent important building-blocks for the calculation of a LCA. The updated Eco-profile for PTA therefore gives rise for updates of downstream products, for example of PET bottles.

More information ...

nach oben




New Energy Consultancy Studies


09.02.2015 The ifeu has completed two new studies on energy consultancy. For the Consumer Advice Centre North Rhine-Westphalia (VZ NRW), the energy consultancy project "Climate change mitigation and energy transition in detail" (KEK) was evaluated. The evaluation revealed a distinct positive effect on local energy consultancy and thus, on achievements in final energy savings and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
For the ASEW (Working Group for rational use of Energy and Water in the Association of Municipal Companies), existing energy consultancy services for private households were investigated with the aim to identify opportunities for improved coordination to optimise quality control in energy consultancy. One crucial point revealed by the study was the lack of sufficient distinction between different energy consultancy services. This lack of distinction impedes efficient interlocking and networking of services. In consequence, the establishment of adequate quality control systems is hampered. The study proposed a number of measures for categorisation of consultancy services for improved clarity.

More information on the Evaluation for VZ NRW ...

Further information on the study for ASEW ...

nach oben




Milestones for Bioenergy


Cover Endbericht09.02.2015 The final report of the project “Milestones 2030 - Elements and Milestones for the Development of a Sustainable Bioenergy Strategy” is now available. The project was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and had a duration of about two years. The research consortium could simulate different developments of bioenergy use by means of scenario-based modeling and analysed the impacts on climate, biodiversity, environment, infrastructure and food security. Within the project, ifeu was responsible for the life cycle assessment of the bioenergy scenarios
On basis of the results important milestones could be identified and recommendations for action could be derived, which should be achieved by 2030 to facilitate a long-term sustainable bioenergy strategy.

English summary (pdf 2.0 MB)

More information (in German) ...

nach oben




Waste Prevention by use of Flexible Packaging


Cover of the Report26.1.2015 The principal aim of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is the prevention of packaging waste.
On behalf of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE), the ifeu analysed whether the substitution of non-flexible packaging by flexible packaging solutions would lead to waste prevention and an overall decrease in resources consumption. The analysis revealed that the reduction in primary packaging waste associated with a switch to flexible packaging amounted to over 60 % of the total annual amount of primary packaging waste in the EU. A potential substitution of all non-flexible packaging used for non-beverage fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by flexible packaging solutions would improve total Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Abiotic Depletion (ADP) results of all European FMCGs packaging, regardless of the various recycling rates modelled in a number of different scenarios. In consequence, the benefits of the substitution of flexible packaging for non-flexible packaging may distinctly exceed those of an increased recycling rate.

More information:
Executive Summary of the Study ( pdf 37 KB)

nach oben




Calculation Tool for Milk - presented on the International Green Week


foto Dr. Guido Reinhardt19.1.2015 During the International Green Week, the world's major consumer fair on foods, ifeu director Dr. Guido Reinhardt presents the first publicly accessible calculation tool for the environmental impacts of dairy products. ifeu developed a publicly available greenhouse gas calculation tool for milk, yogurt, cheese and further dairy products in a research project supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. For the project, in addition to greenhouse gases and energy, all other relevant environmental parameters were investigated, as targeted by a life cycle assessment. Also a comprehensive final report was compiled.

More information ...

nach oben




Change of the ifeu Executive Board


Foto Schluesseluebergabe; Fotograf: U. Höpfner
from left:
Markus Duscha, Dr. Martin Pehnt, Andreas Detzel, Lothar Eisenmann, Jürgen Giegrich

(with future ifeu-Logo)

15.12.2014 This year’s Christmas party at the ifeu provided the suitably festive setting to bid farewell to the current executive directors stepping down and to welcome the new executive board. Markus Duscha and Jürgen Giegrich had been at the helm of the ifeu for about five years. Now they look forward to a break from primarily administrative duties and the return to their scientific roots at the ifeu. "You have done a brilliant job. Under your leadership, the ifeu substantially expanded its staff and diversified in topics. Our most heartfelt thanks for that", Bernd Franke applauded the parting directors while the entire ifeu staff expressed their appreciation. At the same time, the new executive board – Andreas Detzel, Lothar Eisenmann and Dr. Martin Pehnt – were given a warm welcome. "Come 1st of January 2015, it will be your turn. Together, you are looking at more than 50 years of experience at the ifeu, so you’ll know what to expect. You have prudently divided the workload of the executive management so that it will be in able hands. We wish you the best of luck!"

nach oben

nach oben
nach oben

 Printer friendly  Tell a friend Last updated: 24 Nov 2015



logo Biograce/ENZO2


ifeu is a member of Ecornet (Ecological Research Network)

Links to important internet offers with ifeu-contribution:

CO2- Calculator:



Mehr Informationen zum Projekt KlimaNet

Mehr Informationen zum Projekt KlimaNet



Introduction to ifeu (Chinese)

Chinesische Seite

© 2005-2015 ifeu-Institut