Director of Fraunhofer ISI appointed a member of the steering committee for the science platform “Sustainability 2030“

Professor Marion A. Weissenberger-Eibl, Fraunhofer ISI’s director and Chair of Innovation and Technology Management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT, has been appointed a member of the steering committee for the German government’s science platform “Sustainability 2030“ by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety BMUB, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ and the Federal Chancellery. The committee’s task is to provide scientific support to implementing Germany’s new sustainability strategy. The aim is to ensure that diverse goals are achieved in the context of the “Sustainable Development Goals“ (SDG).

The German government has created a science platform in order to advance the implementation of the new German sustainability strategy which orientates itself towards the “Sustainable Development Goals“ (SDG) of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. Professor Marion A. Weissenberger-Eibl was appointed to its steering committee where representatives from science, industry and civil society work together on implementing the objectives which are anchored in the sustainability strategy. The steering committee’s task is to specify the priorities of the platform’s work and to regularly work out recommendations for action for the fast implementation of the objectives for sustainable development.

In the steering committee the director of Fraunhofer ISI suggested to define sustainability in future even more as an indicator of performance, “the Sustainable Development Goals, for short SDGs, are both nationally and globally of great importance in the political discourse. However, little change can be seen in central areas such as the reduction of CO2 emissions. A continuation of ‘business as usual’ would therefore mean that ambitious sustainability objectives could not be reached.“ Efforts for more sustainability would therefore need to be intensified: Politics should appreciate sustainable action and companies should consider it much more than it has been the case so far. Also any efforts should be acknowledged more. In addition, according to Weissenberger-Eibl it appears to be particularly important when implementing the sustainability objectives to prioritize the different options for action, which are available according to their effectivity. Nationally and internationally the measures should be valued much more according to relevance and effectiveness and serve as the basis for differentiated indicators. The question whether consumption and production turn out to be really more sustainable over time could for example be measured by indicators of the market share of products with the government’s eco label or the CO2 consumption. As these are highly complex concepts it is necessary to develop additional scientific models in order to better understand desired and actual impacts of action.

Weissenberger-Eibl also points out the continuing conflict between growth and sustainability which must be resolved at all costs. It is necessary to decouple prosperity from the consumption of resources. According to the innovation researcher in the 20th century growth targets primarily served to promote prosperity. Although material wealth remains important today other aspects besides economic efficiency such as increasing education, health care, gender equality, rule of law as well as climate protection and biodiversity should be taken into account more – on a global scale and also in emerging and developing countries. At the same time the flexibility and adaptability of evolved economies need to be ensured so they can deal with future challenges.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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