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Does this facility release high levels of pollution or dispose of a great deal of waste?

One can consider a number of different issues to answer this question:

  • You can compare the emissions and waste amounts of one facility with another that carries out the same activity or is in the same sector. ...read more
  • You can look up data submitted by the facility in previous years. ...read more
  • You can take other figures as a benchmark for comparison with a facility's emission or waste volumes. ...read more

Comparison with other facilities

As a rule it is difficult to compare the pollutant loads of several facilities with the data on Thru.de alone. It is usually not even useful to do this when the facilities pursue the same activity or are in the same sector of industry.

To make a direct comparison you must know how much the facilities release of one pollutant per unit of product volume or in relation to installation capacity. However, reporting on production or installation capacity to Thru.de is voluntary. About one per cent of all facilities actually report. Thru.de can therefore only rarely provide you with this information.

In this case we recommend that you get into contact with the facilities directly. It may also be possible to do independent research on the Internet to find out more about the facilities and thereby make comparisons.


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Comparing with previous years

Have levels of pollutant emissions or waste disposal risen or declined over time? When loads and volumes decline it may be an indication of comprehensive environmental measures such as the installation of a new filter system – or simply that production has gone down. On the other hand, when loads and volumes increase this may mean that a facility has boosted production or expanded its activities – regardless of whether new environmental measures have been implemented or not.

We recommend that you get in touch with the facility directly.


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Comparison with well-known indicators

Well-known indicators that are familiar from everyday life are suited for making comparisons – say with the figures on pollution from road traffic, power consumption or space heating.
Example:

Many facilities emit many tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. Is that a lot or just a little? Making comparisons can help to answer that. You need about 7,500 kWh per year to heat the average single-family home with a living space of 100 m². About two tonnes of CO2 are released if natural gas is the source of energy. Every person in Germany accounts for an average eleven tonnes of CO2 emissions. This figure takes account of heating as well as electricity consumption and the associated CO2 emissions of personal mobility with cars, aeroplanes or public transport and per capita emissions for food production and consumer goods.
   


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