Sustainable Development

Below, you will find a small sample of projects. Please ask for more information and other projects. 

UBA-74/2014 UBA-Text 74/2014

Development of an Integrated Assessment Model: Sustainable Development in Germany 

Authors: Kai Neumann, Franc Grimm, Prof. Harald Heinrichs

Published by Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency of Germany)

Abstract: Sustainability has a social, economical and ecological dimension. These dimensions are highly interconnected and interdependent. Despite tremendous knowledge about the different fields and the severe pressure from social, increasingly economic and above all ecological developments there is little, if any progress on our way to a sustainable society. To get a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons this work is based on a systemic, explorative, qualitative cause and effect model build together with a series of experts and stakeholders from different fields. From its analysis stem a number of crucial insights: Any player could address Biopsychological motives of human behavior in order to foster feedback loops that could form a transformation towards more sustainability. Currently, these feedback loops describe a lock-in situation that prevents any change. An additional measure could be an intelligent scoring system to address the human motives. Also effective would be to make the basic background knowledge common as a basis for a public vision to manifest the change. Until change has developed its momentum any player should provide basic background knowledge, a vision, a way to score the alternative that is provided and hence make change emotionally effective.

This projects has been carried out by Consideo for the Federal Environment Agency of Germany (Umweltbundesamt)

Please ask for further information ( 

tl_files/consideo/images/icon-pdf.gif Here you will find the publication in german: UBA-Text 74/2014

Impact Assessment of global Megatrends Report 6602, February 2014

Impact assessment of global megatrends - two case studies connecting global megatrends to regional topics

Authors: Ullrich Lorenz and Hördur Haraldsson


Abstract: This work and report was inspired by the work the authors did on a project funded by the EEA (European Environment Agency) that ran between June 2011 and March 2012. One of the main aims of the EEA project was to provide examples of how the evaluation of global mega trends presented in the SOER 2010 could be applied to regional topics, like resource scarcity or environmental goals. The authors have extensive experience in systems thinking and systems dynamic modelling techniques and immediately saw the huge potential for applying Qualitative Modelling (causal loop analysis).

This report gives an overview how global megatrends can influence topics on regional and local level. The report demonstrates how qualitative modelling and system thinking approach can be applied to analyse the possible impact of global megatrends to the regional topic of resource scarcity, demonstrated in two case studies. In the first case study, a generic qualitative model is developed to explain a general pattern of resource scarcity on a EU regional scale. Typical entry points of political measures are shown as well as how the eleven global megatrends – described by the European Environment Agency – can be connected to such a model. Potentially, some of the global megatrends will increase the problem of resource scarcity while others will put relieve on the challenge. A third group of megatrends has apparently now impact on the resource scarcity pattern. In the same way, the possible impact of the policy measure can be compared. In the second case study, a qualitative model is built to explain the impact of the global megatrends upon the Swedish environmental goals. The case study illustrates how the different scales: local, EU regional and the global scale connect through the megatrends, and how they impact the possibility of fulfilling the Swedish environmental goals. In conclusion, we are able to demonstrate that the global megatrends put in nearly all cases more burden to environmental challenges respectively the environmental goals. The potential impact of global megatrends differs in time and spatial scale. Generally, the methodology of qualitative modelling has proven to be a powerful approach to assess the potential impact of global megatrends to regional or concrete topics as well as to assess the potential impact of policy measures in terms of goal reaching.

tl_files/consideo/images/icon-pdf.gif Here you will find the publication in english: SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY REPORT 6602


BiomassWeb - Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value webs

With BiomassWeb, we aim to provide concepts to increase the availability of and access to food in Sub-Saharan Africa through more and higher-value biomass for food and non-food purposes in the next decades. We identify biomass-based value webs and study selected entry points to increase the overall system productivity. We are seeking exemplary agronomic, technological and institutional innovations in production, processing, and utilization of biomass-based goods.

Through our work, we address the three pillars of food security, i.e. food availability, through enhanced biomass productivity; access to food, through income generation from non-food biomass production, processing and trading; and use of food, through increasing nutritional quality.

BiomassWeb expects to contribute to enhancing the capacity of Africa to participate in the emerging regional and international bioeconomy. BiomassWeb intends to strengthen existing African expertise and add value to African agricultural efforts rather than to offer and transfer ready-made solutions to the African biomass-producing, processing and trading sector. Therefore, we integrate innovation system approaches, stakeholder participation, and demand-driven research and development activities.

Our BiomassWeb research group involves 9 institutes from three German universities and research facilities, 14 African and international research institutions as well as partners from the private sector.

To understand biomass-based value webs as systems, these systems need to be modeled and analyzed by using Systems Thinking. Systems Thinking is the process of understanding how things influence each other within a whole system.

You will find more information about the project on the BiomassWeb-Website