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In diesem Cluster geht es u.a. um die folgenden Fragestellungen und Aspekte:

  • Welches Potential hat (insbesondere soziale) Lebenszyklusanalyse (life-cycle-assessment LCA), also die Bewertung von Produkten und Dienstleistungen über ihren Lebenszyklus hinweg, für die Bewertung von Nachhaltigkeit?
  • Welche Rolle spielt die Indikatorenauswahl im Kontext von Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung? Wie kann sie systematisch strukturiert werden?
  • Wie kann mit der normativen Dimension der Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung (Wahl des Maßstabs und des Ziels, gegen das die Nachhaltigkeit bewertet werden soll) umgegangen werden?
  • Wie können verschiedener Indikatoren zu einer übergreifenderen Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung genutzt werden? Worauf ist dabei besonders zu achten?

“Voluntary simplifiers” live more sustainably as they deliberately reduce their consumption

According to a current study by researchers on the BMBF project „Strategies and Potentials to Initiate and Promote Sustainable Consumption” (SPIN), 14.4% of the adult German population make a decision to consume significantly less than they could financially afford. Such people can be described by the term voluntary simplifiers.

SustEcon Conference – The contribution of a sustainable economy to achieving the SDGs

25 September 2017 to 26 September 2017

Background information

The international conference „SustEcon Conference – The contribution of a sustainable economy to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” took place on 25 and 26 September 2017 at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany (organised by the NaWiKo project).

Developing sustainability in vocational education and training

Veröffentlichungsdatum: 
12.09.2016

Vocational education and training for sustainable development promotes competency in sustainable living and economic activities in order to preserve the natural basis of life for future generations. This requires bringing economic, social and ecological responsibility together in a harmonious way.

What can we do at the work bench, in the office or behind the counter in order to promote sustainable development? Which professional skills are necessary for a more sustainability-oriented work model? And what does a place of learning that facilitates these kinds of changes look like?

Research Project: „Well-Being Transformation Wuppertal (WTW)

May 2015 to Apr 2018

What do a sustainable economy, quality of life and urban transformation mean in cities such as Wuppertal, which are struggling with deep structural changes? How can impulses for more sustainability coming from the city’s civil society be described, structured and supported? How can quality of life be decoupled from material economic growth and resource consumption? The project WTW seeks comprehensive answers to these questions.

Pathways to reduce Food Waste (REFOWAS)

May 2015 to May 2018

The production and consumption of food has an impact on the environment. In this context we question the importance of food waste. To analyse this, we quantify the agricultural and food sectors along the entire value chain. Food waste can often be avoided with relative ease. In different case studies we study the main points and reasons for the creation of waste and examine different ways to reduce them.

Transparency and transformation in the sustainable food economy. Collaborative approaches for more sustainability from the resource to the end consumer (Transkoll)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

The final goal of this project is to develop and validate a toolbox of instruments and methods for small and medium sized enterprises (KMUs) that help to integrate sustainability in the whole food industry chain. Furthermore, the goal is to learn more about motives of action, structural and psychological barriers – respectively the behavior of the employees and the companies that have business relationships. It will also be evaluated how to establish transparency between the resource and the consumer and how to tackle insufficient consumer willingness to get product information.

TransNIK Designing transitions for sustainable innovations – initiatives in the municipal fields of energy, water, construction and homes

May 2015 to Apr 2018

TransNIK aims to analyze the drivers for and the obstacles to the development and diffusion of innovative sustainable approaches in the three fields of activity and to identify key points for the transition to new solutions. The focus is on approaches that contribute to a more sustainable economy and in which innovative organizational, technical and social structures, production and utilization patters can emerge/become better established/and evolve.

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.

SMEs and rural areas under demographic change – opportunities by social-environmental acting? (Regio TransKMU)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Hardly any trend in Germany is discussed as intensely as demographic change. Rural regions will be particularly affected. It intensifies the internal migration already taking place and may lead to negative impacts on regional social structures.  It also exacerbates the existing or expected lack of specialists, which especially affects small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and therefore the competitiveness of a region. The question emerges: which factors can increase the attractiveness of regions as a place to live and the attractiveness of SMEs as employer in a way that makes people want to stay. Given this context, the research project Regio TransKMU researches whether and how SMEs that act sustainably (in social and environmental terms) can shape rural areas and make them more attractive.

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.

Living Labs in the Green Economy - Real-world Innovation for User-Integration and Sustainability

Mar 2015 to Feb 2018

The project demonstrates the potential of LivingLabs in the Green Economy. Within the project, innovations for assistance systems in the key areas of sustainable consumption (“living”, “retail”, “mobility”) are developed. In three German LivingLabs, companies and research organizations create and test new prototypes and business models with specific engagement of users.

Integrating Employees as Consumers into Sustainability Innovation Processes (IMKoN)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Companies as well as consumers depend on sustainability innovations for contributing to an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable economy. So far, the number of genuine sustainability innovations is, however, still limited in their scope and scale. Open Innovation, that is integrating e.g. customers into the innovation process, is one way of promoting the development and diffusion of sustainability innovations. Plenty of research has been conducted on the integration of customers as consumers by now, yet little attention has been paid to employees in their role as consumers. But there is evidence that employees in their double role as both company members and consumers bear a substantial potential to foster sustainable innovations tailored to the companies’ and the consumers’ needs.

Innovative logistics for sustainable lifestyles (ILoNa)

May 2015 to Apr 2018

The main objective of logistics is to co-ordinate activities in a way that meets customer requirements at minimum cost. In the past this cost has been defined in purely monetary terms. As concern for the environment rises, companies must take more account of the external costs of logistics associated mainly with climate change, air pollution, noise, vibration and accidents. ILoNa is examining ways of reducing these externalities and achieving a more sustainable balance between economic, environmental and social objectives. Through a better understanding of the interaction of consumer behavior and logistics services, ILoNa intends to develop innovative, integrative models and concrete measures for sustainable economic activity with forward-looking options.

i-share: Impact of the sharing economy in Germany

May 2015 to Apr 2018

Various business models of sharing economy organizations promise to contribute to achieving economic, social, and ecologic goals. However, whether this promise is fulfilled, is still an open question. We lack a systematic comparison of different business models, an analysis of their positive and negative impacts and an estimation of the current and future societal contribution of the sharing economy.

As a result, the aim of the research project i-share is to capture the economic, ecologic and social impact of the sharing economy in Germany. To do so, we have developed an approach in which we answer the following questions:

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.

Development, testing and distribution of concepts for a sustainable out-of-home dining sector (NAH_Gast)

Mar 2015 to Feb 2018

Businesses based in the out-of-home dining sector (Außer-Haus-Gastronomie, AHG) work continuously on a range of dishes that are healthier and more sustainable to cope with these changes in lifestyles and demand. To do that they further develop their supply in response to consumer needs with the help of dialogues with them. This project aims to initiate and disseminate trans-formative processes for more sustainable production and consumption in the out-of-home dining sector.

A multi-stakeholder process for better standards for responsible mining (NamiRo)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

The project aims at improving transparency in the mining and supply chain of mineral raw materials. An in-depth analysis of existing standards and their institutional designs along with a multi-stakeholder process serves as a base to develop a blue print of a generic standard and its institutional design. The process will particularly account for impacts and chances for the various stakeholders including mining companies in Germany, down-stream companies in the supply chain and finance industry interested in sustainable financing but also consumers.

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.

Education for Sustainable Consumption through Mindfulness Training (BiNKA)

Mar 2016 to Feb 2018

Over the last years, mindfulness was successfully used to reduce chronical stress and increase well-being as well as the ability to concentrate. Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) and mindfulness training are combined in the BiNKA-project by focusing on the long-known problem of ESC, the discrepancy of individuals’ ecological attitude and their actual behavior. ESC aims at enabling people to consume more sustainably and is known as a crucial lever for the implementation of Sustainable Development. Overcoming the so called “attitude-behavior-gap” is one of the central challenges of ESC. Existing theories of the effects of mindfulness training suggest that practicing mindfulness strengthens awareness of one´s own core values, attitudes and behavior. Mindfulness might thus provide a tool to overcome the gap, potentially aligning values and behavior sustainably.