Kriterien zur Erfassung des Transformationspotentials von Nachhaltigkeitsinitiativen (Quelle: Ecologic Institut 2019)

From Niche to Mainstream – How to Scale Sustainable Practices


Despite many efforts and policy initiatives to strengthen sustainability in business and society the efforts taken so far do not seem to be sufficient to address current sustainability challenges and environmental degradation. However, there are numerous local initiatives, companies and social innovators that have successfully established sustainable practices. They often operate in a niche but provide innovative ideas and alternatives that have the potential to improve sustainability at a greater scale.

To provide an overview of the added value of these initiatives the Ecologic Institute developed a novel system for assessing the transformation potential and sustainability of civil society activities. It applies a broad understanding of sustainability and allows a rough qualitative estimation of sustainability effects, without an in-depth gathering of quantitative data. The system aims for an integrated assessment of the activities of civil society initiatives and their societal impact.

A second part of the project reflected on the state of transformation research and provides an overview of its underlying theoretical concepts, foci, and frameworks [pdf, 2.9 MB, German].

The project was funded by the German Federal Environment Agency and German Federal Environment Ministry and led by the Ecologic Institute with DRIFT as a partner institution. It runs from March 2015 until December 2018.

More content from this project

Stephanie Wunder
Katharina Umpfenbach
Lucas Porsch
Stefanie Albrecht
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