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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Internet driven business modells for collaborative consumption contributing for a sustainable economy (PeerS)

Feb 2015 to Jan 2018

The project aims to assess the sustainability potential of peer-to-peer sharing. With the help of a strong partnership with practioners, the project shall contribute to a professionalization of the platforms and their establishment as a sustainable consumer alternative. Through a dialogue with practice partners from sectors such as mobility (Drivy, flinc), accommodation (Wimdu) and clothing (Kleiderkreise), the environmental and social impacts of peer-sharing will be examined. The project will also determine to which extent rebound effects can occur

New opportunities for a sustainable food system through transformative enterprise models (nascent)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

In order to develop a sustainable food supply system, that enables food sovereignty and resilient food production on a regional level, the focus on local initiatives is increasing.

Initiatives with transformative potential are no longer exclusively situated in the sphere of either production or consumption, they are not only situated in either urban areas or the countryside, and are not only driven by economical success and/or limited by ecological demands. Instead these initiatives may diminish the impact of exogenous shocks and facilitate creative adaptation to changing environmental, socio-economic, and political conditions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.