Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft

What is sustainability science?

Sustainability research means many things to many people!

Here, it is understood as research into the preconditions that make possible the future existence and continued development of societies on the basis of their functioning at present without either substantial degradation of the environment or violation of minimal humanitarian standards in terms of individual, social and economic welfare, as well as research into the strategic implications for societies of these preconditions in the context of rapidly changing variables in the environment (e.g. climate change, deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution) and in societies (e.g. technisation, globalisation, population growth) in this century.

Sustainability science, as understood here, is hence not research into optimisation and best practice, environmental friendliness or lifestyles in a general sense, or environmental research of a more general nature. Sustainability science here is to mean science producing strategic knowledge for societies, in the absence of which substantial detrimental consequences might occur without forewarning due to environmental, social or economic developments. (W. Lucht)