The aim of our work is to contribute to the preservation of the environment and of natural resources, and to ensure the foundation on which all human life depends, for present and future generations. Oriented at finding solutions, we apply our ideas, our scientific expertise and our consulting capabilities to initiate and form the necessary transformations of policy and society. We believe that such transformation processes must be democratic and equitable – also on the international level. Realising this vision and promoting sustainable transformations at present and in the future, drives and motivates our everyday work.
Research and consultancy
With our scientific expertise and innovative approaches, we work with our partners and clients to build foundations and strategies for sustainable development. We develop practical solutions that can achieve environmental policy goals in an equitable manner – and we advocate for society’s support for these goals. We prioritise the development of solutions in those areas where existing risks render a change of course particularly urgent and important.
Challenging and shaping
We identify the environmental impacts of society’s actions at an early stage and develop alternatives for the future in a global context. We raise awareness of the need for action among decision-makers and the public, convince policy-makers, industry and civil society of necessary change and support them in this endeavour. We are increasingly applying this expertise on the international level.
Facilitation and organisation
We believe that important societal decisions should be based on firm foundations. We thus engage ourselves to ensure that processes are transparent and fair, involving relevant stakeholder groups. We share our research findings with a broad public audience and, using accessible language, advocate for the support of necessary change.
Independent and critical
In order to maintain our credibility, both within the Institute and in our relations with others, we conduct our research, analysis and consultancy in an open and self-critical manner. We dare to think “off the beaten track” and present our ideas and insights unbiased by the positions of political and social organisations and we avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Qualified and engaged
In our pursuit of excellence, we build on the outstanding qualifications and commitment of our staff. Continuous training and learning enables us to develop our methodologies and expand our knowledge on an ongoing basis. This ensures that we continuously expand the boundaries of science and technology.
Participatory and discursive
When developing potential solutions, we create space for alternative ideas and inclusive debate. We encourage the participation of citizens and other relevant actors in open and respectful dialogue.
Transparent and constructive
Open access to knowledge is a valuable good. We ensure that our scientific methods are transparent, and make our findings publicly available as much as possible. In this way, we facilitate critical debate of our findings and opportunities for their further development.
Scientifically founded analyses and recommendations are the key elements of our research and consultancy. We apply an interdisciplinary approach integrating the natural and social sciences and technical, legal and economic aspects. On the basis of widely acknowledged methodologies, extensive knowledge and understanding of various sectors and years of experience, we develop our own methodologies and analytical tools. We expand on the findings of academic research and transform it to enable its practical application.
A transdisciplinary approach
As pioneers of transdisciplinary research, we embark on new paths, beyond classical thought patterns and disciplinary boundaries. We consciously seek dialogue with a diverse range of actors and actively involve them in problem analysis and in the development of creative solutions. We are transparent as to unavailable knowledge, uncertainties and data gaps, going about information processing in such cases in a methodologic and concise way to derive robust conclusions and recommendations. In this way, we deliver ecologically effective, socially equitable, economically feasible and politically viable solutions and foster their implementation.
In order to meet our global responsibilities, we participate in national and international networks, help them develop and initiate new networks of our own. We actively seek to build strategic partnerships and networks with other organisations in order to foster dialogue and to promote the mutual development of capabilities. Open dialogue, intercultural sensitivity and cooperation among equals, as a reflection of mutual respect, are the driving force behind our success.
The Oeko-Institut is an independent non-profit association. We fund our work primarily through projects commissioned by the public and private sector. Membership fees and donations allow us to embark on projects we deem to be of particular social importance, which could not be realised solely based on our commissions and grants.
Engaged and dedicated staff
The extraordinary motivation and competence of our staff members, along with a diversity of viewpoints and strong personalities, are at the Oeko-Institut’s core. We offer an attractive workplace to experienced professionals and ambitious young talents alike. We provide outstanding opportunities for professional development in a respectful working environment. As an employer, we are committed to gender equality and aim to meet individual needs for a work/life balance.
Effective internal structures
In a dynamic research and consultancy landscape, we are continuously developing our internal structures in line with the principles of decentralized responsibility. This means participatory decision-making, a high level of individual autonomy and responsibility, and efficient and transparent processes with clearly defined roles. Our research divisions are independent, insofar that they develop their own thematic profiles and ensure the quality of their projects. The central services departments ensure that research runs smoothly in a well-organised operational setting. The Executive Board is responsible for overall strategic development and core management functions.