Sustainability and Participation

© shutterstock

To ensure that planetary needs of today are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own; we have to reassess our way of life, our current production systems and our resource consumption. Our aim is to enable our customers to contribute to sustainable development through their actions and decisions.

We prepare customized sustainability strategies, help to close loops in the circular economy and to assess the sustainability of products, processes, and services. We support you with sustainability driven innovation processes through active stakeholder engagement, and new formats of citizen involvement. This way sustainable innovations can be realized.


Sustainability Assessment

In collaboration with environmental scientists, engineers and sustainability management professionals we carry out ecological, economic and social evaluations of products, services, and organizational footprints. We provide decision making support in sustainable product development. For this purpose we use life cycle assessment (LCA) and social impact assessment tools, feasibility studies, and strategic analysis tools.

Urban Transformation

Our topics are urban concepts, potential studies, efficient resources management as well as strategical studies. We focus on current and future challenges of society. We investigate the spatial layout of urban, industrial, and natural areas. We plan the intelligent use of raw materials, develop methods and strategies to align urban areas for the future. We engage stakeholders and present potentials, interactions and material flows spatially with the help of geographic information systems.

User-centered Technology

We integrate user and stakeholder perspectives into product development and research projects focusing on bioeconomy, demographic change, digitalization and circular economy. We offer access to user-centered innovations with our design-oriented workshops, our stakeholder management methods and formats, which are open to citizens.

Information material of the department Sustainability and Participation

You will find the complete press releases at the respective links marked (press release).


Mushroom materials

Bio-based materials based on residual materials are an important component of a sustainable bioeconomy and contribute to the raw material turnaround. Fraunhofer UMSICHT has many years of experience with the production of fungal materials as a biogenic material source.


Participatory science communication

Fraunhofer UMSICHT has been engaged in participatory science communication since 2013. The goal: to promote direct exchange between society and science in the sense of experience-based learning.


Start for Life Cycle Impact Zero Project

The electrolyser producer Enapter has set itself the goal of developing its entire production process to run without negative impacts on the environment. Now the company wants to investigate what other measures can be implemented to achieve its “Life Cycle Impact Zero” aspirations – together with researchers from Fraunhofer UMSICHT, the Wuppertal Institute and the Institute of Sustainable Nutrition (iSuN) of FH Münster.  


Sustainability Reporting

Transparent information for your stakeholders


Circular Systems

Understanding – Detecting – Optimizing – Managing


Intelligent Use of raw Materials

Analysis of the activities and performance of products in light of sustainable development. Support in the measurement, quantification and documentation of the contribution.


Planning with GIS

Explore biomass potentials with geoinformation systems (GIS)


Energy Potential Analyses

In the context of climate protection concepts energy potential analyses enable systematic and long-term actions within a municipality.

New Research

Citizens and innovation

Reference projects of the department Sustainability and Participation



Circular Economy in the automotive industry

In the "EKODA" project, researchers are exploring alternative utilization routes, levers and barriers to the circular economy, working on acceptance in practice, and developing business models to reuse, rather than recycle, used automotive components.



Creative lab for Oberhausen

The creative lab for transformation c.lab represents a participative learning, exchange and production process for a sustainable devlopment of the inner city. The aim of the project is to bring forward a more needs-oriented city development in the sense of the community.  



development of tourism destinations

Within the project KlimaCent an industry-wide financing and steering instrument for climate protection in the tourism industry has been developed.


Fraunhofer Charter

Sovereign Value Cycles

Fraunhofer is working with a total of 14 institutes to develop a Fraunhofer Charter, which sets the guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research into sovereign value creation cycles, a new production and consumption concept.



Recycling of building materials

Recycling building materials sustainably conserves resources and creates new recyclable materials for the construction sector. The newly developed process combines the three business areas of product development, sorting technology and marketing.



Tire and road wear
particles in Germany

The spread of tire and road wear particles in Germany is being investigated, modeled and presented based on extensive mobility, geo and weather data.



Metallic residues for
energy storage

Industrial vanadium-containing residues are processed into a quality-assured vanadium electrolyte. These are then available to operate efficient energy storage systems.



Accounting of plastics in the environment

Estimation of a plastics budget and development of methods for impact assessment of plastics in the environment for life cycle assessment This is a quantitative basis for future political decision-making processes.



End-of-life pathways for photovoltaic backsheets

Using life cycle assessment, scientists at UMSICHT have compared the environmental impacts stemming from the End-of-life (EOL) treatment of fluorine-free and fluorinated backsheet material used in photovoltaic modules.



Climate protection through bio-based

The development of new bio-based adhesive and adhesives based on polyurethane dispersions (PUD) was the focus of the project "Thermoactivated bioadhesives".



Mushroom based sound insulation

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is researching sound absorbers that are produced on the basis of fungal mycelium and feed on plant residues.


Farming the Uncanny Valley

Discourse on bioeconomy and Biotechnology

In the project "Farming the Uncanny Valley", Fraunhofer UMSICHT and its partners are developing new participation concepts to bring together citizens and scientists on the topic of bioeconomy.



Establishment of a living lab for sustainable and creative work

In the Laboratory for Urban Futures and Innovation, or LUZI for short, a transdisciplinary empirical investigation is being conducted in a creative environment into how and by which target groups a Maker Space can function sustainably.



Urban agriculture – Innovation

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is developing new participation concepts with partners to bring citizens and scientists together on the topic of bioeconomy.