25 years of IÖW: More than 400 completed projects, far more than 1000 scientific publications, numerous conferences, workshops and symposia.
Read more about the milestones of 25 years of ecological economy research here.
Reinhard Pfriem founds the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Association for Ecological Economic Research (VÖW ) in May. He is supported in his efforts by twelve IÖW co-founders. Pfriem is the first IÖW director and he sets up an office space in his flat in Berlin in the Niebuhrstraße.
The opening conference for IÖW is held with the subject “Paths Leading Away from the Industrial Growth Dilemma“. The same title (“Auswege aus dem industriellen Wachstumsdilemma”) is used to publish the first institute series of texts. In the following 25 years another 193 volumes are published.
The first issue of the IÖW/VÖW information service, the precursor to the journal “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” (Ecological Economy), is published.
The first large IÖW report on the consequences of pulling out of nuclear power is commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and written together with the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut). IÖW’s theses are however too resolute for the client’s liking – in contrast to a study carried out by the RWI on the same topic, the study by IÖW/Öko-Institut was hardly heeded.
The annual conference of IÖW is held on the topic of business ethics and ecological economy research.
The institute receives its first large-scale recognition: The European Communities grants the IÖW project “Sandoz and the Consequences“ the use of the emblem of the European Environmental Year 1987/88.
The annual conference of IÖW is held in November on the topic of environmental consumption.
An IÖW report is published on a new orientation for German federal monetary and fiscal policy in an international framework – requirements taking democratic, social, environmental and economic aspects into consideration.
IÖW finishes the study “Environmental Report GDR”. It is published as a Fischer paperback and is still the only IÖW publication to have been translated into Japanese.
IÖW is one of the founding members of “Ökoforum”, a cooperation between seven leading environmentally oriented research institutes in the German-speaking countries.
The research field “Environmental Consumption” is established.
The annual conference of IÖW is held in November on the challenge that the environment presents for economic theory.
At CeBIT – the world’s largest tradeshow for the digital industry – IÖW and the company PSI present a prototype for IT-supported eco-controlling.
The first IÖW report on the River Elbe is published – an ecological economic appraisal of the canalisation of the River Elbe.
IÖW's annual conference is held in Hannover with a focus on the establishment and implementation of corporate targets for environmental quality.
IÖW’s annual conference is organised with the focus on environmental product policy – requirements, instruments and stakeholders.
IÖW publishes a book on “Traffic Change – Environmental Economic Perspectives for Cities and Regions” and demonstrates a consistent approach to sustainable environmental development in transportation, which for the first time also incorporates the economic context (“Verkehrswende – Ökologisch-ökonomische Perspektiven für Stadt und Region”).
IÖW and the association “future e.V.” carry out the first IÖW/future-Ranking of Environmental Reports and Environmental Statements. The ranking is continued in 1996, 1998 and 2000 as well as in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The regular IÖW/future-Rankings contribute to a considerable expansion in corporate reporting on the environment and sustainability, and strengthen the quality of the reporting.
November: IÖW’s annual conference is held on the topic “Environment and Innovation – Blockages, Conditions, Goals”.
The report “Regulative Foundations for Long Term Sustainable Development“ is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs.
The Federal Association of German Management Consultants (BDU) distinguishes IÖW’s “Manual of Environmental Controlling” (“Handbuch Umwelt-Controlling”) as the best reference book of the year in the area of environmental management.
IÖW and the VÖW expand their information service and establish the professional journal “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” (Ecological Economy). The journal is published by the Munich-based publishing company oekom.
IÖW becomes a member of the Society of German Economic Research Institutes (ARGE).
The company Wilkening & Hahne GmbH & Co is awarded with the environmental award of the environmental foundation Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU, which is the environmental award with the highest endowment in Europe, for their eco-controlling installed by IÖW.
The annual conference of IÖW and VÖW is held in Hannover on the topic “Environmental Protection in a Setting of Global Competition – New Rules of the Game for Corporate Success”.
In 1999, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) established the main support area of Social-Ecological Research (SÖF), with the significant participation of IÖW. This type of research places an emphasis on a novel orientation toward stakeholders and challenges at the interface of society and nature.
A project on eco-efficient services funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is successfully concluded with the workshop “New Utilisation Concepts for Products“ in Mannheim.
IÖW’s and VÖW’s 15th anniversary symposium is held on the topic of regulatory ideas for sustainable business.
The EU is criticised: Together with the partner institutes of Ökoforum, IÖW calls for more focus on sustainability in the 6th Framework Programme for research and technology development.
October: Symposium on the perspectives of corporate sustainability reporting – content, forms and use.
A long-standing partner of IÖW – Dr. Martin Kohlhase – is awarded with the title “Eco-manager 2002”. The Weleda board member is honoured by WWF and the German business magazine Capital.
International IÖW symposium “Governance and Sustainability” is held in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
IÖW and imug Institute publish a guidebook on “Sustainability Reporting – Sustainable Businesses’ Practice of Credible Communication" (“Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung - die Praxis glaubwürdiger Kommunikation zukunftsfähiger Unternehmen”).
The sector report on photovoltaic is published. IÖW wrote the report on behalf of the German Solar Energy Business Association (UVS).
IÖW takes a stand on sustainable River Elbe until 2010.
VÖW hosts a symposium on “National Sustainability Strategies - Perspectives on Implementation and Further Development” together with the Federation of Ecological Economics (VÖÖ) in Heidelberg. The German Council for Sustainable Development is the cooperation partner.
A symposium is organised for the project “Developing Agrobiodiversity!”
IÖW presents the results of the study “What does a cutlet really cost?”.
The 2004 conference on renewables is held in Bonn. IÖW organises a side-event in cooperation with several partners.
The IÖW Summer Academy “Sustainable Corporate Governance” is held in Potsdam.
The results of the IÖW/future 2005 ranking of sustainability reports are presented under the patronage of Dr. Volker Hauff. Henkel comes in first ahead of KarstadtQuelle and Otto.
Relaunch of the IÖW/VÖW journal “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” (Ecological Economy) with an enhanced concept and new layout. “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” is the leading professional journal for sustainable business in the German-speaking region.
Symposium at IÖW’s and VÖW’s 20th anniversary: “In Good Company? The Redefinition of Corporate Social Responsibility”
Launch of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s focus group “Export of Environmental Services”, which is coordinated by IÖW.
A three-day public closing event is organised together with the Independent Institute for Environmental Concerns (UfU) for the first federal German consumer conference on nanotechnology in Berlin.
Sustainability Lounge in Berlin: “Global Markets Between Climate Politics and Innovation” with Achim Steiner (executive director of UNEP) and Sigmar Gabriel (Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety).
The award ceremony of the 2007 ranking of sustainability reports is led by Dr. Volker Hauff (chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development and patron of the ranking). Otto comes in first ahead of RWE and BASF.
A two-day conference is held in Berlin on the topic of “Environmental Services, Exploring Win-Win Potentials and Export Opportunities for German Companies”.
The young academics project “Global Governance & Climate Change” critically assesses climate policy in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation at the symposium ”Blind Spots of Global Climate Governance“.
For the project “Forest Futures 2100”, the future of forests and visions for the year 2100 are discussed over the course of three conferences.
A three-day summer school is carried out together with Ecologic Institute: “Summer School on Methods and Tools for Impact Assessment”.
The IÖW study ”The Impact of German Agriculture on the Climate” commissioned by Foodwatch triggers wide media coverage.
IÖW emphasises a new focus on fostering of young academics with its involvement in four BMBF junior research groups in the field of social-ecological research. Main focus lies on the area of climate and energy (projects: Fair Fuels, RE-Regions – Socio-Ecology of Self-Sufficiency, Chameleon) in addition to sustainable corporate management (project Getidos).
An IÖW study for Greenpeace finds evidence of electricity industry blockage against further expansion into renewable energy, which leads to great media coverage.
IÖW initiates a range of stakeholder dialogues on the topic of adaptation to climate change on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency. Issues include coastal preservation, the energy industry and transport infrastructure.
IÖW develops a new corporate design, for which it is awarded with the renowned red dot design award.
IÖW and Ecologic Institute organise the international conference “Sustainable Development in Policy Assessment - Methods, Challenges and Policy Impacts” in Brussels, which is attended by over 120 participants from around 20 countries.
Two books on environmental services result from the projects Expeed and “Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Service Providers in the Environmental Sector in China”.
The award ceremony of the IÖW/future-Ranking of Sustainability Reports is divided into two categories for the first time (major enterprises and SMEs). The Federal Minister for Labour Dr. Franz-Josef Jung and the chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) Dr. Volker Hauff award the prize winners at RNE’s annual conference in Berlin. BASF and memo come in first.
The 111th edition of “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” (Ecological Economy) is issued. What started out in 1986 as an information service on paper folded by hand is today a renowned space of publication for scientific articles in sustainability research, which has become indispensable.