Institutions for Sustainable Policy

Implementing environmental protection and climate measures presents a challenge for conventional national governance structures. Environmental challenges are not limited to existing national borders, and their consequences have an impact that reaches far into the future. This area of research investigates the institutional structures aimed at ensuring sustainable, efficient and effective environmental policy. Of particular interest here are, firstly, democratic institutions for more sustainable policy. A second focus lies on the requisite conditions that allow collective actors, such as states, to exercise their environmental responsibilities.

  • FR

    Institutions pour une politique durable

    La mise en œuvre d'une protection environnementale et de mesures climatiques pose un défi aux structures actuelles de gouvernance axées sur les Etats-nations. Les défis environnementaux ne s'arrêtent pas aux frontières nationales et leur impact se fait ressentir à long terme. Ce domaine de recherche étudie les structures institutionnelles dédiées à la sécurisation d'une politique environnementale durable, efficiente et effective. Il porte en particulier sur les institutions démocratiques en charge d'une politique plus durable et sur les conditions préalables pour que les acteurs collectifs, dont les Etats, assument leur responsabilité en matière d'environnement.

  • DE

    Institutionen für eine nachhaltige Umweltpolitik

    Die Umsetzung von Umweltschutz- und Klimamassnahmen fordert die gängigen an Nationalstaaten orientierten Governance-Strukturen heraus. Umweltherausforderungen halten sich nicht an bestehende Landesgrenzen und deren Folgen wirken sich weit in die Zukunft aus. Dieser Forschungsbereich untersucht die institutionellen Strukturen zur Sicherung einer nachhaltigen, effizienten und effektiven Umweltpolitik. Von besonderem Interesse sind in diesem Bereich zum einen demokratische Institutionen für eine nachhaltigere Politik. Zum anderen stehen die Voraussetzungen im Fokus, damit kollektive Akteure wie Staaten ihre Umweltverantwortung überhaupt wahrnehmen können.


Ivo Wallimann-Helmer

Prof. Dr. phil. in Environmental Humanities, Director of the UniFR_ESH institute

View profile

Edy Portman

Professor, Department of Informatics

View profile


  • Digital ethics: an unavoidable challenge

    Our world is becoming increasingly digital. As a result, and considering the climate, economic and societal challenges, we need guidelines for ethical behaviour in our digital environment. This research project aims to develop a digital sustainability standard and to introduce it into business practice as well as into public discourse in society.

    Digital services have a very high potential to help us meet our challenges of today but they must neither exceed the ecological limits of the planet nor infringe upon the basic conditions of social justice. The energy resources needed for digital services can increase air pollution and contribute to climate change. Digitalization should therefore be limited by planetary boundaries. According to our vision, it is possible to define criteria for ecological boundaries for all kinds of digital services. However, digital services can also undermine basic conditions of justice or risk increasing social inequality. Here too, according to our vision general ethical standards for all digital services can be defined. Taken together, ecological boundaries and basic conditions of justice define the framing of our standard for fair and sustainable Digitalization. 

    This research project consists of three steps. In a first step, the aim is to develop an overall concept of a sustainable digitalization standard by employing concepts and standards widely recognized in the field of ethics and to investigate how they can be linked to specific algorithms. In a second phase, the concept will be institutionalized for commercial use and evaluation with partners from industry and administration. Finally, the goal is to ensure the implementation of these standards, both by creating a recognized standard for sustainable Digitalization and by promoting exchanges between the political, economic and academic worlds.

    Collaborators: Prof. Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Prof. Edy Portmann (HUMAN-IST Institute)

    Contact: ivo.wallimann-helmer[at]

    Visit the project website for more information!


0 Articles trouvés:

Past collaborators