Sustainable Engineering

Ecological business optimization

Ecological and economic business optimization (German: Ökologische und Ökonomische Betriebsoptimierung, ÖBO) is a tool for assessing the impact of process optimizations in advance.

ÖBO is designed for companies who want to make their production more environmentally friendly or are forced to comply with legal requirements. The main aim is to combine necessary environmental changes with profitability requirements.

Often there are several options for optimizing operations. Here ÖBO helps choose the best alternative.

Goal of ÖBO

In many companies, production processes are very complex and individual steps interact and affect each other in many ways. Hence, changing one parameter can have a negative effect somewhere else, or even impact the entire system. ÖBO helps analyze interconnected production steps, estimate the effects of a single change on the larger system and compare the different alternatives.

This helps to avoid problem shifting and to reduce environmental impacts effectively.


ÖBO can be used for different situations in companies:

1. Optimization of processes

This procedure was used for textile chemical processes. The PIWATEX project aimed to optimize rinsing processes. Cleaning processes were optimized and water cycles were established.

2. Optimization of process chains

As part of a BMBF project, process solutions were created to analyze and optimize material cycling in erosive procedures. The process chain for the erosive procedure was the main focus. The direct and indirect environmental impacts of this step were studied. The introduced technical changes were optimized for environmental and economic aspects.

More information: Material flow management - project description.

3 Optimization of companies or parts

Building on these two approaches, the entire company was studied. Process techniques to reduce resource losses were introduced, and the implementation process was supported. The various material cycles were connected to one another and optimized as an overall system. At the end, the effective changes from the loss-reducing process techniques were integrated into the company's procedures in a measurable and irreversible manner.