From climate protection concepts to target-group-specific renovation: Strategies, solutions and best-practise examples for dynamic communities (Sandy)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Energy refurbishment and modernization of the housing stock play a key role in municipal climate protection concepts. However, their practical realization encounters large problems. The diversity and motivations of homeowners and tenants, especially elderly people or people with migration background and those confronted with increasingly dynamic real estate markets in growing or shrinking regions have hardly been addressed. Therefore, the connected challenges remain unanswered and opportunities unseen. In the light of the above, a toolbox for municipalities with target group oriented measures, instruments and strategies will be developed, based on the analysis of specific cases in several case municipalities. The toolbox is designed to also take into account the various living situations of owners and tenants.

Slow Fashion (InNaBe)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

The focus of this project is on the question, if and how design related, technical, economical, and social innovations can contribute to a prolonging of the use phase of garments. The preconditions for a successful diffusion of innovative offers for more sustainable garments into mainstream milieus are another research topic. For this the factors hindering or promoting sustainable clothing consumption are explored. Cooperation with actors in the areas of production, retail market, and recycling of clothing are of great importance for the project.

New ways, strategies, business and communication models for bio-plastics (BiNa)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Are bioplastics in production, use and at the end of the life cycle really more sustainable than the fossil competitors and which challenges are caused by the sustainability assessment? Which ecological potential provides the cascade use? What is the common level of knowledge of bioplastics and how does the general public assess the use of bioplastics? Which information mediums are effective, if the topic has to be communicated adequate for the customer? These and further question are in the focus of the research platform BiNa.

Sustainable consumption and management of marine fish (KoBeFisch)

Nov 2014 to Mar 2018

KoBeFisch has the hypothesis that European fisheries policies has not been able to prevent overfishing due to its current responsibility structures. In the current EU fisheries management, it is governmental actors that have the responsibility. For example, the council of ministries determines many regulations, including the catch quotas. At the same time, fishermen and fish consumers have almost no opportunity to influence the catch quotas in order to shift to more sustainable fishing. In KoBeFisch, alternatives are researched and developed on how governmental and non-governmental actors could share more responsibility for sustainability. Traditional coastal fishermen are considered alongside fish consumers as a point of special interest in the analysis.

Consumer Behavior and Innovations for Sustainable Chemistry (KInChem)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Whether a regulatory framework based on producing and disseminating risk information on chemical substances can contribute to the stated normative goals by inducing behavioral change of the relevant market actors is an unanswered empirical question. The project focuses particularly on the potential of demand driven changes in the market as a result of a change in consumer behavior. By studying consumers risk preference and perception of risk (information) the project aims at deriving policy implications regarding consumer protection rights with respect to the disclosure of information about products and chemicals. Furthermore, it is examined to what extent other societal actors can remedy the information asymmetry by making risk information stemming from scientific and regulatory contexts accessible and understandable to consumers.

Transformation: an analysis of economic, social and technological transformation pathways (InTrans)

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The goal of InTrans is to show pathways of transformation towards an economy that is ecologically and socially just. The focus will be medium- to long-term perspectives with regards to a changing environment. This project is constructed in an interdisciplinary way and brings together researchers from the fields of philosophy, economics and sociology. Concrete policy recommendations shall be derived. The targeted incorporation of practitioner partners ensures a high scientific quality and the relevance of all parts of the project.

Green Travel Transformation - A model for an integrated transformation process towards sustainable business practices in tourism

May 2015 to Apr 2018

The aim of the project is to significantly increase the share of more sustainable travel options in all booked travel products. Thus it is necessary that such travel products are visible (labelling) and bookable (within the information and booking systems). Targeted consultation by the travel agency staff regarding the realization of sustainable holidays can increase the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency. Accordingly two aspects can be achieved: The advantages and chances of sustainability become visible to travelers and travelers have the possibility to specifically book sustainable products. Thus the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency can be combined: The traveler consciously and frequently decides to travel sustainable. Hence travel products will be promoted, which use less resources, are bound to a favorable economic and social contexts and thus better correspond to the sustainability criteria.

Governance model for socio-ecological transformation processes in practice: development and testing in three areas of application

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Severe environmental problems seem to require a substantial and near-term shift towards greater sustainability in our production and consumption patterns. While many individual initiatives already exist in practice, comprehensive governance approaches targeted towards substantial transformations of whole socio-technical systems are lacking. In this respect, there is a great public need for systemically oriented and field-proven recommendations for forms of (more) successful governance of transformation processes.

The overall objective of the project is the development and testing of a heuristic, and the drafting of a manual planned as an E-Book to support practitioners in contributing to the initiation and in actively shaping socio-ecological transfor¬mation processes.

Evolution2Green - Transformation Paths towards the Green Economy: Shaping Path Change

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Green Economy and related concepts such as Green Growth and the Green New Deal were seized upon with increasing frequency during the recent global financial and economic crisis. The concept of the Green Economy aims to identify new ways in which economic growth can go hand in hand with ecological sustainability, social inclusion and fairness.

The project’s potential for application is to be found first of all in the political arena. Additionally, the project’s findings will help businesses and NGOs to better perceive their role in the transformation to a Green Economy.

The Handprint A complementary measurement of positive sustainability impacts of products

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Handprint is an innovative and holistic approach to facilitate the measurement, evaluation and communication of the ecological, economic and social sustainability impacts of products.

Commons-based Peer Production in Open Labs (COWERK)

Nov 2014 to Oct 2017

The project COWERK intends to examine the adoption of cooperative ways of organizing the economy by using the example of open-access labs. The project has the aim of analyzing the adoption of new technological methods in the context of decentralized and community-based production, and relating them to ways of sustainable development.