Knowledge for sustainable development

ISOE is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. For more than 30 years, we have been developing scientific bases and future oriented concepts for politics, civil society and the economy – regionally, nationally and internationally.

News

Collage of plastic bags (iStock.com/LightFieldStudios)

Laboratory study analyzes the toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Chemicals in bioplastics not safer than those in conventional plastics 

So-called “bioplastics” are marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional, petroleum-based plastics. They can be made from renewable feedstock, might be bio-degradable or even both. The question is however if these biomaterials are safer than conventional plastics with regard...

Crestasee, Schweiz (© Raphael Wild / iStockphoto.com)

New junior research group “regulate”

Research for sustainable groundwater management in Europe 

Groundwater is the most important drinking water resource worldwide and at the same time a unique habitat for animal organisms. However, the conservation of this valuable resource is neglected both locally and globally. This particularly applies to some hotspot regions in Europe, where groundwater...

 Plastikmüll am Strand von Phu Quoc (Foto: Samantha Dietmar, Fotografisches Atelier unterwegs)

Recommended reading

The garbage in our seas – symbol of the throwaway society

​​​​​​​Seas and oceans have fascinated mankind since time immemorial – as the largest coherent ecosystem in the world and also as a dream destination for recreational purposes. And even though this unique habitat has been used for waste disposal for centuries, the exponential increase of waste in...

Soap bubble (© Svetlana / stock.adobe.com)

Transdisciplinary sustainability research

New understanding of social-ecological transformations

The call for social-ecological transformation has gained in urgency during the corona crisis, but it is in fact not new. The consequences of unabated climate change and species extinction are proving to be so far reaching and consequential that the need for a change of course has long been discussed...

Hydro power plant. River Dam. Energy station. Water power. City infrastructure industrial illustration panorama. White lines on blue background. Vector (© stock.adobe.com / panimoni)

Digitalisation in water management

Cyber security flaws

Digitalisation is now also making itself felt in the water sector. The term ‘WATER 4.0’ alludes to new digital options for a flexible, resource-efficient, and competitive form of water management – intelligent measuring and control systems that can meanwhile replace manual operation. The processes...

Abstraktes Netzwerk (©iStock.com/natrot)

Academy for Transdisiplinary Research

Launch of the tdAcademy platform: Research to solve social problems and crises is strengthened

The need for transdisciplinary research is growing. At the same time, structures and places for the further development and dissemination of transdisciplinary methods, concepts and competencies are lacking both in research and teaching. This gap is now to be closed by the foundation of an academy...

Aerial of aqueduct (© iofoto / stock.adobe.com)

Frankfurt Citizens University

“Water in the Anthropocene” – ISOE and Citizen’s University go virtual

In the Anthropocene – the age of man – the popular image of the natural water cycle no longer applies, as man has long since intervened in this cycle in many places. The consequences are sometimes massive and can be seen in changed precipitation patterns as well as in sinking groundwater levels. How...

Abstraktes Netzwerk (©iStock by Getty Images: naddi)

What effects does transdisciplinary sustainability research have?

Research project TransImpact publishes special issue of the journal ‘Environmental Science & Policy’

Transdisciplinary research – for instance within sustainability research – can provide targeted support for the solution of complex societal problems. This is possible as transdisciplinary research includes – across disciplinary boundaries – knowledge gained from experience and from everyday life...

Blick ins Gewächshaus vor der zweiten vollständigen Salaternte I (Foto: HypoWave)

Water-saving food production

Soil-less sustainability: Novel agricultural crop production incorporating water reuse

Record temperatures and prolonged periods of drought are increasingly affecting agriculture worldwide. In Germany, too, droughts are now jeopardizing high-yielding harvests. A cultivation system with a new type of irrigation technology using water reuse is particularly suitable for arid regions and...

Stadtansicht mit Menschen, Gebäuden und Blumen (© guppys/stock.adobe.com)

UN World Water Day on 22 March

Water and climate change: How cities and their inhabitants can counter the consequences

On World Water Day (22 March), the United Nations will focus on the link between water and climate change. It is a complex and momentous issue, also for Germany‘s cities: heat waves and heavy rainfall events are increasingly posing major challenges for water infrastructures. Research by ISOE –...