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About Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra)

Clearly, challenges such as food supply, climate change and the sustainability of our economy are increasingly demanding attention. These challenges are about the quality of life on Earth in general. The solution to many problems is anchored in the domain of the research of Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), the leading research institute for our green living environment.

Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) offers a combination of practical, innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research across many disciplines related to the green world around us and the sustainable use of our living environment. Aspects of our environment that Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) focuses on include soil, water, the atmosphere, the landscape and biodiversity ‒ on a global scale as well as regionally, from the Dutch polders to the Himalayas and from Amsterdam to the Arctic.

Focus of Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) research:

    Making sustainable contributions

    To meet the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow, our focus on science allows us to unite our skills in cooperation between teams of subject specialists. Our 400 staff members are divided over 11 teams, each focused on a particular topic to develop innovative solutions that are practical, efficient and cost-effective. We execute research in the field of flora and fauna, soil, water, climate, vegetation, land cover and land use, the use of geo-information and remote sensing, environmental risk assessment, landscape and spatial planning, forestry, recreation and governance.

    Matching your challenges

    Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) engages in integrated research to support design processes, policy-making and management at local, national and international levels. We have given ourselves the clear aim of strengthening our position as a leading institute for innovative strategic research and its practical application. We provide wide ranging consultancy and advisory services, matching our wealth of environmental expertise to the needs of the society, policymakers, academia, industry, government and the research community.

    Collaborating in business and research

    Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) has always taken pride in our knowledge exchange and training activities and our links through collaborations with external partners, both in business and with research institutes. Among our national and international partners are the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER), Global Water Partnership (GWP), World Water Council (WWC), Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), Landscape Europe, Climate Change and Biosphere (CCB), the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), the European Forest Institute (EFI) and many others.

    Close cooperation with Wageningen University

    Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) is unique in the way we fulfil our assignments. We are a scientific research institute with a high level publication record, that also gives advice to policy institutions, business and societal organisations. We work in close cooperation with Wageningen University and focus on strategic and applied research, which makes our work both scientifically sound and practically applicable. The art of our work is to offer our clients the expertise needed tailored to their situation.

    Clients and partners

    Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) clients and partners are large and small, international and national organisations, governments and companies. We provide them with knowledge, advice, suggestions and designs, based on a wide range of research disciplines. Our client and partner list includes the European Commission, the Dutch Government and the World Bank, APP, Heineken, WWF, BASF, Arcadis, Rabobank, UNEP and many others.

    Aspiring highest standards

    We aim to achieve the highest standards of service by developing quality skills in our own people. Our research drives our activities on modelling studies, assessments and capacity building, keeping them up-to date and accurate. The information we gather from real-life experience in the field is funnelled back into our research and advisory work. The challenges we encounter in consulting activities inspire us to pursue new research and to refine our methods and models.

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    Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) maintains an ISO certified quality management system, according to the standard ISO 9001:2008 that ensures that the quality aspects of all our assignments are planned for and managed in a systematic and measurable way. Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) works with an environmental management system that satisfies the requirements of ISO 14001:2004. In addition we adopted the international standard NEN-EN-ISO 26000 ‘Social responsibility of Organisations’ to shoulder our social responsibility in a positive and transparent fashion.

    CO2 footprint

    Graphic representation of the CO2 footprint in tons of CO2, of the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University and Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra). The larger a theme in this diagram, the greater its contribution to the emissions of greenhouse gases. No CO2 figures have been assigned to waste. Since 2011 we compensate our CO2 emissions as much as possible; the compensation amount is in the orange columns.

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