PlaNE – Planetary Health and Sustainable Nutrition

What kind of food is consumed and where and how it is grown has significant consequences for both human and planetary health. With the PlaNE project, we aim to develop practical approaches to help municipalities integrate the planetary health approach into their own strategies for sustainable transformation of local food systems. 

Research approach

Taking the cities of Frankfurt and Marburg as examples, different sustainability strategies of municipal food policies will be elaborated and then evaluated with the help of  Planetary Health criteria. This is done as part of  a transdisciplinary research process together with municipal and civil society actors. To this end, a discourse field analysis will first identify the knowledge bases, topics and objectives of various stakeholders as well as discourse strands that might point in the direction of a sustainable transformation. At the same time, the effects of the current municipal food systems of Marburg and Frankfurt on central Planetary Health criteria (e.g. CO2 emissions, water consumption, fertilizer use) are assessed on the basis of statistical data from previous studies. This is followed by a participatory scenario development process in which various future developments are outlined with stakeholder involvement and analyzed with regard to their Planetary Health impacts. In the end, a guideline is developed that provides (Hessian) municipalities with orientation and action knowledge for sustainable transformations of the local food system.


Food security and human health are inherently dependent on intact ecosystems worldwide and by that we mean planetary health in general. Human diets play a key role in this regard since they influence individual as much as planetary health. In particular, agricultural production methods and the associated utilization of land and water resources, the use of pesticides, but also the transport of food influence the climate, ecosystem functions and natural cycles. A transformation of local food systems can be promoted, for example, by strengthening site-appropriate and ecologically compatible regional food production. This enables synergies between local food security, human health and global sustainability. 

In Hesse, many municipalities have already started to address sustainable nutrition as a municipal field of action, following various concepts and agreements (e.g. “Organic Cities”, “Slow Food Movement”, “Milan Urban Food Policy Pact”). At the state policy level, sustainable nutrition is also an important focus of the sustainability strategy, and the establishment of food councils (so far in Frankfurt, Giessen and Marburg) is an expression of civil society’s commitment to this issue.

Practice partner

  • Energiereferat der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Ernährungsrat Frankfurt
  • Stadt Marburg, Fachdienst Gesunde Stadt Marburg
  • Ernährungsrat Marburg und Umgebung e.V.
  • BNE-Netzwerk Nachhaltig Lernen Region Marburg


The project “PlaNE – Planetary Health and Sustainable Nutrition: Sustainability Strategies of Municipal Nutrition Policies in Hesse and their Impact on Planetary Health Indicators using the Example of the Cities of Frankfurt and Marburg” is funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU).


Stieß, Immanuel/Lukas Drees/Lukas Sattlegger (2024): Planetare Gesundheit und nachhaltige Ernährung in Kommunen. Ein Orientierungsrahmen für die kommunale Ernährungswende. ISOE Policy Brief, 10. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung


2021/12 – 2023/06