“40 years – Let’s make a wish!” The Oeko-Institut launches its anniversary celebrations

11.05.2017
Visionen und Lösungen für dringende Umweltfragen

From research rebel to scientific advisor to government, business and society – the past four decades have been quite a journey. To mark its 40th anniversary, the Oeko-Institut is launching a multimedia weblog – themed “Let’s make a wish!” – which will conclude with a symposium on the future of environmental policy and a celebration in Berlin on 7 November.

The anniversary theme – “Let’s make a wish!” – reflects the Oeko-Institut’s aspiration over the past 40 years and into the future: to devise visions and solutions to urgent environmental problems, to actively engage with policy-makers, and to challenge and motivate business and society to embrace sustainability.

“Whether it’s about phasing out nuclear power or transforming our energy systems, designing transport for tomorrow or producing a sustainable chemicals management strategy for the EU – our work has always influenced real-world environment policy. We have shared our vision of how to make better environmental laws and initiatives and achieved some major successes,” says CEO Michael Sailer. “In the response to future challenges, that makes us a major partner with a reputation for independence and reliability.”

The anniversary weblog 40.oeko.de (in German language) presents articles, interviews, videos and audio clips that offer insights into the Oeko-Institut’s 40-year journey and give the people behind the Institute a chance to say what they want for the future.

40 years: the journey

It all began in Freiburg on 5 November 1977, when the Oeko-Institut was founded by a group of 27 activists – lawyers for the anti-nuclear movement, environmentalists and critical researchers, economists and members of the Protestant Church. Their aim was to give the general public access to independent scientific advice and reliable research.

Today, more than 165 staff at the Oeko-Institut’s Freiburg, Darmstadt and Berlin offices are engaged in transdisciplinary research on energy and climate; emission and ambient pollution control and radiation protection; agriculture and biodiversity; sustainable consumption, mobility, resource management and enterprises; nuclear engineering and facility safety; chemicals management and technology assessment; and law, policy and governance.

Constructive, critical, controversial: milestones on the journey – an interactive timeline

Drinking water, Chernobyl, chemicals, emissions trading, Renewbility … there are many staging posts on the Oeko-Institut’s journey. Our interactive timeline allows weblog visitors to navigate around the Oeko-Institut’s history and click on documents and first-hand reports on each of the milestones.

The Oeko-Institut – a 40-year journey: interactive timeline (in German language)

Background information on highlights from the Oeko-Institut’s 40 years of research (in German language)