The IÖW is a leading scientific institute in the field of practice-oriented sustainability research. It devises strategies and approaches for viable, long-term economic activity – for an economy which enables a good life and preserves natural resources.
A new, interactive internet portal that shows the current situation regarding water in Germany was launched this week at www.bmbf.wasserfluesse.de. The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) unveiled the website at the IFAT, the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies in Munich, which runs from 5th to 9th May 2014. The website can be used to look up information on topics including how precipitation and evaporation are distributed across the different regions in Germany, how power stations, industry and households use water, and what the possible future scenarios are for water availability in times of climate change.
There is a lot of water in Germany, but water availability and consumption differ considerably from region to region. To mark World Water Day on 22nd March a new, updated version of the poster ‘Everything Flows – A German Water Balance’ has been published in German and English by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW). The poster shows where there are local water shortages and where shortages could worsen due to climate change. It can now be ordered from the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA). The poster is suitable for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge about water-related issues, from schools to further education institutions to specialists working in the water sector or related fields.
Is the “Energiewende” conceivable in Japan? A shift towards renewable energy would certainly make sense economically and be less dangerous – the Fukushima disaster has shown this. At the German-Japanese conference “Economic Effects of Renewable Energy” at Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo on February 4th, IÖW scientists Andreas Prahl and Steven Salecki presented the IÖW Value-Added Model for renewables. The conference was hosted by Prof. Jörg Raupach-Sumiya of the Faculty of Economics of Ritsumeikan University in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP).
What are current trends, policy approaches, and future scenarios of sustainable food consumption? Ten articles published in the e-journal 'Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy' highlight selected topics such as lifestyle-specific food policies, meat-consumption, or awareness rising for healthy and environmentally conscious food choices. IÖW-scientist Dr. Gerd Scholl is one of three guest editors of this special issue. In the article 'Sustainable Food Consumption: When Evidence-Based Policy Making Meets Policy-Minded Research' he introduces to the volume, together with Michal Sedlacko and Lucia Reisch.
On 28th October 2013 the IÖW hosted the Green Talents 2013 – a group of 25 international scientists who won the BMBF-competition ‘Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development’. As one of the jury members, IÖW-Director Thomas Korbun was involved in assessing over 430 applications from 80 countries. The young scientists were distinguished for the interdisciplinary character of their work as well as their engagement with sustainability.
Technological innovations are commonly seen as decisive for overcoming environmental exploitation and degradation. That this view is too narrow was the common sense of an encounter of Europe’s leading sustainability experts which took place in Brussels from 10-11 October 2013. The researchers stressed that only the interplay with social innovations can lead to a significant step towards a sustainable society. The experts’ gathering was attended by 38 sustainability experts from 12 countries. It was part of the European project RESPONDER, which enables scientists and policy makers to exchange experiences and knowledge with regard to sustainable consumption issues.
The new IÖW Annual Report 2012/2013 presents projects, events and publications of the institute with an international focus. Among the projects are, e.g. the designing of the science-policy-interface at the European level, biofuel case-studies from Brazil and Malawi or means of equipping the Baltic States to deal with climate change. The IÖW works together on many of these topics with international cooperation partners and on behalf of international sponsors. The aim of IÖW's work in a nutshell: Promoting practicable, everyday sustainability.