Oeko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology) is a registered non-profit association. It comprises all active members, whereby staff automatically receive the status of an active member. The Members' Meeting elects the seven external members of the Committee on an honorary basis by secret ballot, for a term of two years. The following also have voting rights on the Committee in addition to the Committee members: A representative of the extended management, the CEO, and one staff representative from each of the institute’s three offices – Freiburg, Darmstadt and Berlin.

The Committee appoints the CEO and the Members of the Executive Board, the divisional heads and the chair of the Committee. The Committee heads the association, transferring tasks to the Executive Board and the extended management.

The current members of the Committee are

Dorothea Michaelsen-Friedlieb
First Chair of the Committee
works as a business consultant for non-profit organizations and has been a member of the Committee since 1996. She has a particular commitment to personnel issues, and is the Committee’s women’s officer.

Ulrike Schell
Second Chair of the Committee
has been working at the Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale NRW) since the mid-1980s. Most recently she was head of its Food and Environment Division and was responsible, amongst other things, for the planning and implementation of environmental and climate protection and resource conservation projects. As a member of the advisory committee for the "Social-ecological research" programme at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), her focus was most notably on research projects relating to sustainability and consumption. She retired in October 2021 and, in addition to volunteering on the board of the Öko-Institut, is involved in environmental and socio-political initiatives at local and state level.

Ulrike Schell was previously a member of Oeko-Institut Committee from 1986 to 1990 and re-joined it in 2011.

Sebastian Backhaus
is Head of the Sustainability Management Unit at the City of Freiburg. Previously, he was a freelance communications consultant and sustainability expert based in Berlin and assisted ministries, local authorities, organisations and enterprises in all matters relating to communications, public relations and sustainable development. The texts he publishes in his blog were recognised by the German Commission for UNESCO as a project within the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Dr Johannes Betz
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Darmstadt office since 2023. He works as a researcher for the Resources & Transport Division.

Carl Otto Gensch
has represented the extended management of the institute on the Committee since 2022. He is Head of the Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division.

Helmfried Meinel
further information will follow soon.

Dr Roman Mendelevitch
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Berlin office since 2021. He works as a researcher for the Energy & Climate Division.

Wolfgang Renneberg
Wolfgang Renneberg has worked in various nuclear regulatory authorities at national and state (Land) level since 1987. From 1999, he was a Director-General in Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), with lead responsibility for the nuclear phase-out. From 2010, he worked as an appraiser and expert on nuclear safety and published numerous specialist reports and opinions. In 2012, he was appointed to a professorship at the University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, heading the Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences until 2015. He has been a member of the Austrian Government’s National Advisory Council on Nuclear Waste Management since March 2021.

Jan Peter Schemmel
is CEO of the Oeko-Institut and member of the Committee ex officio.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schomerus
studied law at the universities of Hamburg and Göttingen. After completing his studies, traineeship and dissertation, he worked from 1988 to 1996 as governmental official in the City of Hamburg. He is a professor of public law since 1996, initially with the denomination of commercial administrative law at the department of commercial law at the former University of Applied Sciences, Lueneburg, and since 2004 with a focus on energy and environmental law at Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany. From 2014 to 2021 he served additionally as judge at the Higher Administrative Court of Lower Saxony, Lueneburg. In 2021 he was elected as member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) at the United Nations in Geneva. Thomas Schomerus has conducted numerous research projects on resource conservation and waste law, mining law, the law of renewable energies and energy efficiency, and the law of freedom of information. He has published more than 300 books and articles on these topics. He is a member of Oeko-Institut Committee since 2023.

Prof. Dr. Volrad Wollny
Volrad Wollny joined Oeko-Institut’s Committee in 2014. Since 2001 he has been Professor for “General Economics and Material Flow Management” at the Fachhochschule Mainz (University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany). His research and teaching focuses on corporate management, strategic management, supply chain management and environmental management. From 1990 to 2001 he was employed by Oeko-Institut as a researcher and from 1992 to 1994 he was head of the chemical sciences division.

Gudrun Wursthorn
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Freiburg office since 2023. She works at People & Development.