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Welcome to the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)

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.

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A group of parliamentarians from Brazil visited the IÖW on 3 June 2019 and discussed with energy expert Prof. Bernd Hirschl findings from many years of research at the IÖW on the German energy system transformation and the resulting recommendations for the design of environmentally friendly and climate-friendly energy systems. > more information


Non-financial reporting by German companies has long been a voluntary matter. As of fiscal year 2017, the CSR Directive Implementation Act makes it mandatory for some 500 large German companies. In an arcticle in the journal Sustainability Management Forum IÖW-scientists Esther Hoffmann, Christian Dietsche and Christine Hobelsberger identify the trends and developments in voluntary reporting before the CSR reporting obligation came into force. The study is based on an analysis of the quality of sustainability reports published by German companies in 2014 and 2015. The article has been published open access. > more information


The earth’s future well-being depends on our ability to adhere to the so-called planetary boundaries – environmental limits beyond which essential earth and ecosystem stabilities may be greatly impaired. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report on the 1.5-degree target reflects the urgency of a corresponding global social transformation. But what will this mean for a wealthy country like Germany? Can its economy continue to grow – or might it even have to shrink? This is the subject of substantial political debate, but so far, there are no widely accepted answers. A study published today by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presents a consensus proposal on the controversial issue of economic growth in the sustainability debate. > more information


The peer-reviewed article “Research on Degrowth”, published recently in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, was produced by an international team of scientists from various disciplines. The result is a multifaceted overview of the status of degrowth research from an economic, historical, anthropological, and environmental science perspective. “The article delineates the current status of the debate on post-growth and degrowth”, said IÖW post-growth expert and co-author Dr. Steffen Lange. > more information


Head of IÖW research field “Environmental Policy and Governance”, Dr. Florian Kern, was re-elected in June 2018 as a member of the steering group of the Sustainability Transition Research Network (STRN) for the next two years. In his role, Kern participates in updating the research agenda of the network and tries to improve the interface between the network´s research and policy practice, among other things. > more information


The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective on 25 May 2018. It protects und strengthens the handling of personal data. We also place value on a responsible way of handling your personal data. In the course of the new data protection regulation, we have updated our privacy policy. > more information


The 3-year project PROSEU under the EU “Horizon 2020” programme has been launched today by a group of researchers and local government representatives from 8 countries at a kick off meeting in Lisbon. With a focus on the role of citizens in producing and distributing their own renewable energy, its aim is to explore how this so-called “prosumerism” can help building a more sustainable future. Within the project the IÖW uses its prosumer-model for developing scenarios for 2030 and 2050 based on an analysis of technological solutions for prosumers under different geographical, climatic and socio-political conditions. > more information





IÖW Annual Report 2016/2017

Please find further information on the IÖW in our Annual Report.

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Our Responsibility

The IÖW also endeavours to make its own work as sustainable as possible. And at the same time we try to consider the social concerns of our employees. Read more here.

IÖW – Partner in Ecornet

The IÖW is a partner in Ecornet, the network of leading non-university institutes of sustainability research in Germany.