SERI Germany e.V.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany e.V. is a private, independent, not-for-profit research centre founded in 2005. Since more than 10 years we are dedicated to sustainable development research that is comprehensive, transdisciplinary and practically relevant, covering environmental, social, institutional and economic sustainability. SERI Germany explores sustainable development options for Europe, and analyses the impact of European policies on other parts of the world.

To be comprehensive, we work in interdisciplinary teams with expertise across natural sciences, economics, social sciences and humanities. To practice transdisciplinarity, we emphasise stakeholder participation from the onset of each project, and have been active in conceptual and methodological work on how to involve them throughout a project. Practical relevance implies not relying on a world view which narrows down the richness of available concepts and methods to a selected few but endorsing conceptual pluralism.

SERI Germany is dedicated to high standards of research quality, including participation in international research consortia and publications in internationally recognised journals, but also emphasises the necessity of knowledge transfer, science-policy-society interfaces, and results having to stand the test of real world applicability. Diversity of concepts and methods is a matter of democracy in science; however, diversity must not impinge on the coherence of the work done.

To facilitate such outreach, SERI Germany offers free access to studies, publications and educational material we produce as far as publishers’ restrictions permit doing so; we strongly support open access for all publications of research results. Our staff members are active in civil society organisations, from environmental and environmental justice organisations via trade unions to religious institutions, and they are available for presentations, discussions, as mediators and meeting moderators.

Our areas of activity:


Biodiversity loss, the most significant transgression of the planetary boundaries so far, is going on almost unabated. At a time of rapid global change humankind is destroying its most important means of biological adaptation, and the fundamental...

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Strong sustainable consumption

Where can households make a difference to reduce the environmental aspect of their every day life? How can the external factors shaping consumption decisions set supportive incentives? To which extend does consumption contribute to our happiness and...

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Environmental justice

The access to a healthy environment and to natural resouces is rather unevenly distributes between countries and among the inhabitans of countries. Therefore, envorinmental conflicts rise over resource extraction, the locations of procuction sites or...

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Resource efficiency and demateralisation

The reduction of natural resource use – in terms of materials, energy and land area – for production and consumption activities is a central prerequisite for achieving environmentally sustainable development in Europe.SERI develops new approaches of...

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Degrowth, labour and reproduction

Work and ecology are policy issues highly relevant on the agenda for both the EU as a whole and all Member States. The European Treaties require an integration of environmental, economic and social policies in order to allow for a Sustainable...

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Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services ESS are providing the benefits humans derive from nature. Many services are at risk today, from natural and – more so – from human-made impacts. How to best analyse the process is disputed; some scholars use the conventional...

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Stakeholder activation

Vox populi, or: democracy requires listening. Conceptually, stakeholder participation in sustainability research and governance is necessary for several reasons, including higher legitimacy and easier implementation of plans and...

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Science-Policy Interface

“Truth speaks to power, and power implements” is still how many scientists understand their role (if they talk to decision makers at all). However, we are aware that in a knowledge society, expertise is dispersed and knowledge no academic privilege...

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