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eco@work September 2020

Power-to-X

Not a universal solution

Remember Desertec? At the start of the new millennium, someone in Germany came up with the bright idea of harnessing the abundant sunshine in North Africa to generate electricity in vast solar energy systems and transferring it to Europe via long-distance power lines. The idea met with an enthusiastic response. There was one problem,…

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Power-to-X - Why do we need PtX?

eco@work June 2020

Living without plastics – but how?

For a new culture of sorting

I pulled almost 30,000 tetrapacks out of the stream of waste – in a single shift. That was in the mid-1990s, when I spent a couple of days in a sorting plant where I sorted waste by hand. They were probably some of the most instructive days I have ever spent at work, providing insights into our throwaway culture, our sorting habits…

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Living without plastics – but how? - Consume less plastics, recycle more

eco@work March 2020

Our food – a risk?

Giving up is not hard to do

No meat? On a trek in 1996 in the company of vegans and vegetarians I noticed: it’s actually OK. And I didn’t even find it particularly difficult. Perhaps because pasta, pancakes and a pizza from the camping stove were particularly delicious. But perhaps also because I didn’t immediately become a strict vegetarian but have continued…

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Our food – a risk? - Sustainability in nutrition and agriculture

eco@work January 2020

The 2020 emissions gap

Leading the way on climate action

Climate change is a headline topic at last – in the media, in politics, in public debate. More and more people are aware that now is the time for bold and urgent action. This awareness is partly the result of the tireless protests by the Fridays for Future movement, but the impacts of global warming, including here in Germany, are…

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The 2020 emissions gap - What are the next targets?

eco@work September 2019

Digitalisation

Data: a precious resource

Some say it’s the new oil; for others, it’s the new water. Others describe it as quite simply the most important resource for the 21st century. In our digitalised society, data has immense value. The European Commission estimated the value of the data economy for the EU alone at €272 billion in 2015. But to a very large extent, data… more

Digitalisation - Strategies for more sustainability

eco@work June 2019

Less emissions, more quality of life

Pathways out of transport breakdown

Every day, anyone who lives in a city or conurbation can see that in many places our transport system is on the brink of collapse. That is the case in my home city, Berlin. Every morning I cycle past kilometre-long lines of vehicles crawling bumper to bumper through the city. The number of hours that many people in Munich, Berlin or… more

Less emissions, more quality of life - How to make transport sustainable?

eco@work April 2019

Forests: For climate and biodiversity

Forest management – the rational approach

Forests have been part of our lives since time immemorial, constantly interacting with human communities. A forest is a high-value ecosystem which makes vital contributions to biodiversity, soil conservation and climate regulation. It also provides us with some of our most important natural resources, including wood, the material… more

Forests: For climate and biodiversity -

eco@work January 2019

The social side of the energy transition

Energy transition for all

The transition to sustainable energy is a major societal venture. Back in 1980 the Oeko-Institut described the challenges of an energy supply “without oil and uranium” in its groundbreaking study that coined the term “energy transition” (Energiewende). The issues today are the phasing out of coal, the further expansion of renewables,… more

The social side of the energy transition -
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