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VDI guideline on resource efficiency assessment extended

Guideline 4800 Sheet 1 now explicitly addresses resource conservation in addition to resource efficiency, VDI ZRE announces.


The instruments of the VDI Centre for Resource Efficiency (VDI ZRE) for the assessment and presentation of resource efficiency potentials are produced on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). On behalf of the ministry, VDI ZRE provides technical know-how for the efficient use of materials and energy in companies. According to VDI ZRE, the VDI Guideline 4800 Sheet 1 "Resource Efficiency - Methodological Principles, Principles and Strategies" has formed the framework of the series of guidelines on resource efficiency since 2014 and has since offered a methodological framework for assessing the resource efficiency of products, services and organisations. The guideline is said to also include principles of life cycle assessment as well as concrete strategies and measures to support resource-efficient action. The application of this guideline should make it possible to make the efficient and sparing use of natural resources as a contribution to sustainable development more tangible and measurable for companies. According to VDI ZRE, the guideline has now been available since 1 August 2023 in a comprehensive revision as a draft - the so-called Gründruck. In addition to resource efficiency, the revised version now explicitly takes resource conservation into account. While resource efficiency described the relationship between quantifiable benefits and the associated expenditure of natural resources, resource conservation refered to the absolute reduction of the amount of resources used, according to VDI ZRE. To avoid measures that reduce resource use but lead to additional resource use in upstream or downstream processes, the guideline would give important methodological recommendations and showed that improved resource use is possible in all phases of the product life cycle. The measures listed in the sixth chapter were subjected to a fundamental review as part of the revision, updated and supplemented with aspects of digitalisation and the recycling of resources. In addition, according to VDI ZRE, an interactive decision-making tool for life cycle analysis was added to the guideline, which is enclosed as a CD-ROM or available as a download. The tool supported users in the evaluation of planned resource efficiency and resource conservation measures. The greenprint of VDI 4800 Sheet 1:2023-08 can be obtained from Beuth Verlag for a fee.
Further informationen:, VDI Center for Resource Efficiency (

  • VDI ZRE Newsletter August 2023 (August 28, 2023)
  • Photo: Symbol image, ©, Matthew Henry

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