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Research Fields

Corporate Management and Consumption

Companies and consumers largely determine how sustainable the economy and society are – companies do so through their business practices and consumers do so through their everyday actions. The combined power of millions of individual decisions means that managers, company directors and management boards – as well as every single consumer – are central agents of socio-ecological change.  Yet, what kinds of business models and lifestyles can lead to sustainable development? And what framework conditions are required for this to happen? The IÖW’s Corporate Management and Consumption team investigates these issues through application-oriented projects. We develop and test innovative methods and instruments for sustainable corporate management, strategies for promoting sustainable consumption patterns and practical concepts at the interface of production and consumption.

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Ecological Economics and Environmental Policy

The speed of economic and social transformation processes has increased in recent years. Not only with respect to ecology have "old certainties" been put into question. Reorientation is necessary on various levels: what possibilities for ecological structural change are there under the conditions of globalisation? How can a sustainable economy be achieved? And which new forms of governance does society need for the change necessary? The research field Ecological Economics and Environmental Policy is strongly involved in working out solutions for these new questions.
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Sustainable Energy and Climate Protection

"The energy system currently in use is not a sustainable one." That is one of the key conclusions arrived at in a report by the Enquête Commission on Sustainable Energy Supply set up by the federal parliament of Germany.

How can this development be changed for the better? What kind of innovations, government policies, societal prerequisites will necessitate improvement? These are core questions, the possible answers to which are the subject of examination by IOeW's Sustainable Energy and Climate Protection research Area. This division has been producing expertises and surveys which are highly practice-relevant and politically applicable for several years now.
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Ecological Product Policy

For their whole life, products are a burden on the environment - from the removal of resources to the elimination of waste. Re-thinking is necessary here to make management more future-orientated. Resources have to be used more intensively and longer and the production of waste hast to be reduced. The research field Ecological Product Policy therefore works out innovative concepts, strategies and measures with the goal of improving the ecological profile of products and services.
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