The Clean Technology Centre has carried out research for the EPA Research programme: (Resource Efficiency in Priority Irish Business Sectors. 2014-REDS- 5) whose purpose was to identify and examine the most important Irish manufacturing and service sectors with regard to environmental impact, economic importance and potential for improvement in relation to resource efficiency.
The scope of this study was to focus on manufacturing and service sectors. Material consumption was of particular interest with energy, water and waste, as well as economic indicators, also considered.
The main element of the methodology was to identify, acquire and analyse all relevant data. However, it proved difficult to allocate material inputs and outputs to individual sectors in the Irish economy, due to the fact that data are primarily collected in financial terms (e.g. Central Statistics Office Census of Industrial Production) rather than tonnes of raw materials purchased. Data were examined from other sources such as EPA Annual Environmental Reports for individual licensed companies and national waste data from the National Waste Collection Permit Office. International indicators were also used in some cases to scale-up Irish data.
In addition to the data review, the project team examined the research literature, from a wide variety of sources, discussed the subject with stakeholders and also utilised CTC experience and data acquired over many years from several sectors, in the field of research efficiency.