Performance targets in production processes

In the context of Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) performance targets (PTs) are indicators for an innovation paradigm that improves of environmental performance of products and production processes. Defined PTs for production processes should set a clear signal to developers and users of processes. The focus of PTs is the establishment of markets for innovative processes with a higher environmental performance than available technologies. Setting, implementing and measuring performance targets is therefore directly linked to the innovation policy for environmental technologies.

The project was aiming to make a contribution to the concept of developing and implementing Performance Targets (PT). Important issues to investigate for the four examples cement industry, pulp and paper industry, iron and steel industry and textile industry were: general conditions for setting PTs, e.g. existing regulation or the structure of the sector. Furthermore the project provided first recommendations on aggregation level, implementation level, time scale for PTs and possible monitoring measures.

In general, most of the environmental issues are regulated by legislation on a low aggregation level. Hence the setting of targets on higher aggregation levels as bundles of environmental issues like resource efficiency were suggested.

The investigation of the four sectors, conducted by expert interviews, literature research and workshops, re-vealed the following findings:

  • There is no optimal definition level for PTs in general. PTs at high levels have to be translated to lower levels.
  • PTs based on energy efficiency and emissions are easier to use than PTs based on other environmental impacts because they have already been used.
  • Implementation on EU-level should be the aim. National circumstances should be regarded. Time scale depends on investment cycles of the special sectors, and must be carefully planned and discussed with their representatives. Monitoring could be done by external parties or by selfmonitoring. A combination of both seems to be most efficient.
  • Performance targets by themselves do not automatically deliver results. There needs to be a dynamic mechanism involving economic incentives for achieving the targets. The combination of performance targets and benchmarking is potentially powerful, especially if there is Green Public Procurement.
  • The inclusion of the relevant stakeholders in the development and setting of performance targets is of paramount importance.

The consortium of this IPTS-project consisted of FAE (Austria), TNO/STB (Netherlands), GMV/IVL (Sweden), ITA is consortium coordinator.



  • Schidler, S. (2006). Umweltleistungsziele für Produktionsprozesse, 8. Retrieved from
  • Schidler, S. (2006). Umweltleistungsziele für Produktionsprozesse. Gaia, 15, 234-236.
  • Schidler, S., Sotoudeh, M., Stromberg, D., Fortkamp, U., Norrman, J., Krutzler, T., et al. (2006). Performance Targets in Production Processes, Final report May 2006, Vienna: Institut of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences. (From IPTS not yet approved for public use.). Vienna.
  • Schidler, S. (2005). Neues ITA Projekt: Leistungsziele für Produktionsprozesse, 5. Retrieved from
  • 1




04/2005 - 04/2006