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About us


About us

Ecologic Institute is an independent, academic think tank for environmental research and policy analysis. Since its founding in 1995, Ecologic Institute has been dedicated to improving environmental policy, sustainable development and policy practice. We strengthen the European and international dimensions in research, education and environmental policy discourse.

Brochure 2020: Ecologic Institute – Science and Policy for a Sustainable World

Our experts cover the entire spectrum of environmental policy, sustainable development and socio-ecological research. We are committed to mainstreaming environmental issues into other relevant policy areas. We research, support and evaluate political processes on the local, national, European and international levels, bringing together actors from academia, policy making and practice. The results are in-depth analyses and innovative recommendations. We are also committed to education and cooperate with different partners from across the globe including leading American and German universities.

Ecologic Institute is a private, not-for-profit think tank financed through its project work (download our statutes). Funders include the European Commission, the European Parliament, German Parliament, German ministries and agencies, civil society organizations and various foundations. Ecologic Institute operates without basic government funding. Donations are tax deductible.

Ecologic Institute is a member of the Ecological Research Network (Ecornet) and the think tank network Think Sustainable Europe.

Planet & people

Earth is the only planet known by us to harbor life. At present, however, the widespread extinction of plant and animal species and the disruption of natural cycles threaten our planet’s intricate balance. This is mostly caused by pollution and human overexploitation of the Earth’s resources. Burning coal and other fossil fuels is also driving global climate change, increasing storms, droughts and wildfires, raising sea levels and acidifying the oceans. If adequate measures are not taken soon, catastrophic impacts for life on Earth and human society are inevitable. The longer we wait to address the known problems, the higher the social and economic cost. At Ecologic Institute, we are passionate about developing paths to a sustainable future, preserving the beauty, diversity and natural potential of our planet.

People & planet

Human beings are gifted by nature with intelligence, the capacity to reason, sophisticated sociability and toolmaking. Using these abilities, we have developed complex societies and fostered rapid technological change. We have been successful in harnessing the resources and energy of the Earth. However, our intelligence and ingenuity – as we have applied them – have led to severe environmental and social challenges, and now threaten the very fabric of our progress. We are overstraining the Earth´s resources. Today we have the opportunity to rethink our path to a sustainable way of living. At Ecologic Institute, we are committed to helping shape and scientifically underpin societal change towards sustainability.

Research with societal relevance

We do independent research on pressing issues that are relevant to society and the environment. With our scientific output – be it reports, comparative studies, policy evaluations, metastudies or discussion papers – Ecologic Institute provides relevant insights for policymakers and stakeholders. Striving for impact, we cooperate with universities as well as with actors from society. Our inter- and transdisciplinary projects generate knowledge and solutions that guide the evolution of sustainable policies and their successful implementation. Our research topics include:

  • Socio-ecological research to support sustainability transformations.
  • Assessments of the socio-economic, legal and environmental dimensions of policies and strategies for environmental improvement.
  • Assessments of the use of natural resources, including effects on air, water and ground quality as well as biodiversity.
  • Research on public acceptance, governance and citizen participation at regional, national and supranational levels.

Legal analysis

Our Ecologic Legal Team links environmental analysis and policymaking to legal frameworks and law-making processes. Our team of specialized lawyers works on various aspects of international, European and domestic environmental law. They analyze the governance challenges at hand and develop practical legal solutions.


A solid knowledge foundation helps build a better future. Ecologic Institute engages in education and capacity building around the world. This includes long-standing collaborations with Duke University, CU Denver, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Maryland. We also teach at German universities and offer national and international training covering the design and implementation of environmental policies. In addition, our international study tours convey knowledge across borders and open up spaces for discussion.

Inspiring & innovative events

We create memorable events - be they conferences, summer academies, workshops, webinars or other formats. Our dedicated Events Team develops concepts fit for purpose, integrates innovative and interactive elements and ensures professional organization.

Targeted communication

Excellent results need excellent outreach to create impact. Our Communications Team develops successful strategies to disseminate our research findings to targeted audiences. Our specialized information designers and web developers create classic and innovative online and offline materials such as websites, infographics, brochures, audio podcasts and videos. Team members have an in-depth understanding of the intersection between science and policy.



We provide multi-faceted analyses of today’s environmental challenges, using a broad range of methods, including empirical social research, action research and transformation research. We undertake qualitative and quantitative assessments, conduct surveys and analyze laws. We investigate indicators, trends and processes to provide fact-based recommendations to policy makers and change agents.

As a research institute, we always apply scientific best practices to our work. For us, this includes embracing a diversity of opinions within the institute, constantly challenging our research results and encouraging feedback on our work. For this reason, the institute has created its own guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practices [pdf, 49 KB, English].

Inter- and transdisciplinary

Drawing on our network of partners and a staff versed in different disciplines, Ecologic Institute is well equipped to address cross-cutting and systemic challenges. We work with stakeholders to develop solutions that work.

Collaborative, future oriented, and innovative

Complex systemic challenges like transitioning to a circular economy or implementing forward-looking agricultural policy cannot be successfully addressed by one country alone nor tackled by one specific actor. We believe in cooperation and engage with partners from around the globe and across the political spectrum.

Our highly dynamic world is facing fundamental changes, presenting us with many challenges and opportunities. Ecologic Institute is regularly called upon to tackle novel issues and develop solutions for a sustainable and resilient future. Many complex problems require new ways of thinking. We use forward-looking approaches to find innovative solutions where old ones have failed – be it with respect to policy challenges, formats for international exchange, scientific methods or in gender equality (see our Gender Equality Plan [pdf, 145 kB, English]).

Neutral and reliable

Ecologic Institute provides advice to a wide range of political institutions. This advice is politically and ideologically neutral. Ecologic Institute does not engage in lobbying for third parties and the vast majority of its work is carried out for public institutions or other not-for-profit clients. Ecologic Institute publishes all fundamental information regarding current and past projects on its website.

Our team is committed to our mission as an institute, partner and employer. Our Board of Shareholders, Director and Steering Group provide strategic direction and a robust institutional framework.


With over 100 team members from over 20 countries, we are a diversity of stories and perspectives. Curious, responsible and engaged - we work for a future conducive to human thriving and environmental sustainability. Ecologic Institute is a work place where each person can contribute with passion in line with his or her greatest talents.

We aspire to be a family-friendly workplace where everyone has the opportunity to expand his or her capacities. Our individual professional development policies support our employees' personal and professional growth. Ecologic Institute's staff is employed in accordance with applicable statutory requirements on social security.

We regularly have the pleasure of hosting visiting fellows and scholars from all over the world and offer international internships. Ecologic Institute is proud to be recognized as a training center by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Berlin (IHK Berlin) and enriched by the bright young apprentices on our teams. We are also pleased about the commitment of young people who spend their voluntary ecological year with us. Legal trainees can spend their elective period with us and get to know the legal practice in a research institute and in politics.


The Ecologic Institute is a not-for-profit private organization committed to its statutes and statutory purposes. It is tax-exempt, because these purposes are of general benefit. A distribution of profits is excluded. The annual financial statements of the Ecologic Institute have been audited by chartered accountants since 2005 and were always given an unqualified audit opinion. You can support our work with your donation. Donations are tax-deductible.

The Ecologic Institute works independently and finances itself from its projects. It receives its project funding in particular from parliaments, governments, federal, state and local administrations, environmental and consumer protection organizations as well as foundations.

Funding sources Ecologic Institute 2019