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Environmental technology

Green businesses enjoy promising growth and profitability prospects. Over the next decade, the market is expected to double in size, from EUR 1.6 trillion in 2010 to EUR 3.2 trillion in 2020. Environmental technology is a key enabler of this growth. Tremendous potential exists for companies to enter new markets, gain market share and create additional revenue streams. Environmental technology also provides countries with an opportunity to reshape segments of their industrial landscape. The benefits include not only new jobs but healthier cities, cleaner water and more sustainable waste management.

In brief

Companies in the environmental technology sector operate in a dynamic and highly fragmented market. To master the challenges, they must:

  • Globalize and build global presence and brands, while responding to local market trends
  • Grow in order to achieve economies of scale
  • Consolidate
  • Finance growth, especially for pilots and new initiatives
  • Build up pan-European or global networks to develop products and open up new markets
  • Ensure efficient production and reduce the time to market
  • Apply professional marketing and sales approaches and develop customized product and service solutions

The economic and regulatory framework is an important factor for environmental technology companies. Governments can stimulate demand by means of subsidies, or they can make capital available through special loans. They can also encourage innovation by setting ambitious environmental targets. The main challenge for politicians is to align the demands of companies and the market by promoting technology as efficiently as possible.

From an industry perspective, governments should:

  • Set clear environmental targets and support dynamic corporate innovation
  • Simplify subsidies, basing support more on product marketability
  • Finance reference projects that can serve as examples for others
  • Provide systematic growth finance to help launch innovative technologies
  • Ensure that public tender processes favor innovation and are based on environmental policy objectives
  • Export environmental approaches to other countries
  • Improve coordination between national governments and European institutions

Our approach

Increasing competitiveness is the key to tackling the pressure to innovate and consolidate. Our team of experts is skilled in a wide range of environmental technologies. This fact allows us to offer a consulting approach that is specially tailored to the environmental technology sector. We work with our clients from business and politics to develop growth strategies and realign organizational structures. We provide M&A support, design marketing and sales strategies and we help companies introduce performance improvement programs.

Sample projects

We support companies in all sectors. Typical projects include identifying and evaluating opportunities and required resources, developing winning marketing and sales approaches, optimizing industrial performance and implementing the necessary organizational and cultural changes. We also advise governments on establishing and assessing regulatory frameworks.

Recent projects include:

  • Investigating environmental protection as a business driver on behalf of the Germany Ministry for the Environment. We also analyzed the country's leading markets for environmental technology and identified key areas for political action
  • "Innovation Atlas: Environmental Technologies in Germany". This book presents technology and market trends in six key markets using data from an online survey of 1,500 companies
  • Developing an environmental marketing strategy for a multinational group
  • Setting up a fund for renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Strategically optimizing business units and analyzing environmental technology markets for an international group
  • Identifying and assessing acquisition targets in the field of water technology
  • Developing a recycling system and capitalizing on recycling-related business opportunities

Our experts

Torsten Henzelmann


Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8185
E-mail: e-mail

Ralph Büchele


Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8921
E-mail: e-mail

Manfred Hader


Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 40 37631-4327
E-mail: e-mail


Further reading

Greentech industries: Further growth driver for CEE?

Study, 2012

"Green technology" is blooming: in the CEE, it is expected to grow 8.5% p.a. by 2020. This figure is way above European and even global GDP forecasts …  >>

Green tech Innovation and Diffusion

Philipp Hoff, 2012

In his book entitled "Greentech Innovation and Diffusion", Philipp Hoff from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants explains how green tech companies can overcome financing problems …  >>

Green Growth, Green Profit

think: act Book, 2010

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword – it's shaking up the business world as did the Industrial Revolution centuries before …  >>

Directions for the Solar Economy

Study for the German Solar Industry Association in cooperation with prognos, 2010

The photovoltaics industry in Germany is currently the technology leader. It wants to maintain this position on a global scale while offering competitive costs …  >>

A new economic day is dawning

think: act CONTENT, 2010

As the economic crisis draws to an end, companies in the industrialized world find themselves facing a twofold challenge …  >>

Erfolg durch Green Transformation

Book (in German), 2010

re: think CEO on Green Transformation shows how European and German companies have to position themselves to be ready for climate change and resource scarcity …  >>

Licht und Schatten - Deutsche PV-Unternehmen im globalen Wettbewerb

Study (in German), 2010

The study investigates the strategic positioning and financial capabilities of 16 photovoltaic companies …  >>

From Pioneer to Mainstream - Evolution of  wind energy markets and implications for manufacturers and suppliers

Study, 2010

While most of the companies involved in the wind power industry to date have been pioneers, the balance is shifting increasingly, with all the corresponding consequences for manufacturers and suppliers …  >>