The growth of the world population and our current way of life are intensifying climate change, depleting natural resources and increasing pollution. Only by making living, working, recreation, food production and consumption more structurally sustainable can we turn the tide.

Sustainable use of natural resources is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Doing more with less – and organising this transition well – requires several questions to be answered: Which governance mechanisms are necessary for the management of scarce resources, and how should we organise them? How can the value of ecosystem services be estimated? How will the major food production areas in the world change as the climate zones shift in the future? Which policies are needed to ensure sustainable use of marine and coastal areas? Are alternative sources of energy available and can the use of organic products as raw materials for energy and chemicals offer a solution? 

“Decreases in greenhouse gas emissions may avoid sharply increasing costs in future, and recycling raw materials may help prevent shortages.
Floor Brouwer, researcher at Wageningen Economic Research

While all this shows there is need for a change, it also means that there are opportunities for governments and businesses to make society more sustainable and generate economic value. European environmental and climate policy has major ambitions to make the European economy more sustainable more quickly and to make society ‘climate proof’. This is a challenge that calls for socio-economic insights, and well-founded knowledge, indicators and opinions.

Wageningen Economic Research provides the kind of fact-based information on which companies and governments can base their decisions in this area. We also help our clients in the transition to a more sustainable society by promoting behavioural change through economic incentives and government policies, the development of indicators, and the monitoring and evaluation of policies.