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The Topics of the IÖW

The IÖW pursues the aim of making the economy more sustainable. To that end, the IÖW team works on various topics.

Under the IÖW's spotlight

At "Under the IÖW's Spotlight" we present topics that we currently put a special focus on. Read more about our research on:

  • Local value-added and employment created by renewable energy
  • Post-Growth Society


Sustainable Corporate Management

Dr. Christian Lautermann

We expect a lot from companies: not only should they offer good and inexpensive products and services, but they also should assume responsibility for the impact their products have on the public and environment. ... > more

Environmental Policy and Governance

Dr. Florian Kern, Ulrich Petschow

More than ever before, environmental policy today has to be considered as a comprehensive inter-disciplinary approach. The IÖW analyses the problem contexts, develops and assesses environmental policy concepts and elaborates innovative solutions – always in close contact with the relevant protagonists from politics, industry and society. ...
> more

Climate and Energy

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hirschl

Climate protection and adaptation are necessary in equal measure in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, to overcome them and to become future-proof. Against this background, the IÖW develops, analyses and evaluates technologies, concepts, political strategies and instruments. Of special importance is... > more

Products and Consumption

Dr. Frieder Rubik, Dr. Christian Lautermann

The production and consumption patterns of Western industrial societies are not sustainable. The IÖW develops practice-oriented sustainability concepts, e.g. for the food, construction, housing and mobility sectors. ... > more

Water and Land Management

Prof. Dr. Jesko Hirschfeld, Dr. Alexandra Dehnhardt

The usage of water and land is currently under pressure to adapt: climate change and global economic developments influence land use patterns and water availability.  The IÖW conducts research and advises in the field of integrated water resource and land management and undertakes socio-economic analyses... > more

Digital Transformation

Dr. Astrid Aretz

Smart home, sharing economy, virtual power plants, the Internet of Things – digitalization transforms the economy and the society. This development raises many expectations... > more

Evaluation and Assessment

Dr. Esther Hoffmann, Dr. Frieder Rubik

Sustainability requires good strategies – strategies where the consequences for the environment, industry and society are largely assessable. The IÖW develops new methodological evaluation approaches and devises impact assessment ... > more

Innovation and Technology

Dr. Florian Kern, Ulrich Petschow

The IÖW assesses new technologies in terms of sustainability. In the process, we take account of the technical, social, economic as well as ecological opportunities and risks of these technologies and highlight structuring possibilities. ... > more

Participation und Communication

Richard Harnisch, Dr. Esther Hoffmann

Sustainability is not a fixed state but a process – a process in which all social groups can participate. The IÖW shapes and moderates dialogue processes and assesses corporate sustainability communication. ... > more