Sustainability and Participation

A department in the field of products

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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).


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


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".



Lightweight transport boxes made of bioplastics

Hollow chamber multiwall sheets are currently manufactured from fossil plastic. A biobased alternative comes from researchers at Fraunhofer UMSICHT who have developed a tailor-made blend system made of bioplastics for this application.



Sustainable alternatives for hard-soft compounds

Within the framework of the joint research project "CA-2K", bio-based hard-soft compounds are being developed for the 2K injection moulding process. The modification of the hard component led to significantly improved adhesion of both materials to each other.