Sustainable Production Management

Current projects

NASCENT - New chances for a sustainable food industry due to transformative economic systems

The established global food industry is stuck in a crisis. It is not only affected by the increasing vulnerability due to climate change, scarcity of resources, pollution or competition for land, but also by the rising food prices, loss of biodiversity, over-fertilization, supply problems in rural regions and other factors. Production and trading of food has to undergo a comprehensive change in order to ensure a permanent socially and environmentally acceptable food supply.

With this in mind numerous business and self-sufficiency initiatives were founded, from urban-gardening projects, producer-consumer communities and solidary agriculture to manufactory cooperative and regional food supply networks.

The project ”NASCENT” examines their potential for development towards a sustainable transformation of the food economy. The particular focus of interest is the description and systematization of the new economic systems, whereby chances, possibilities and hindrances of transformative diffusion process are analyzed. To accomplish this goal, initiatives in five regions of Germany are investigated:

  • Oldenburg and surroundings
  • Berlin and surroundings
  • Leipzig and Dresden
  • Munich and surroundings
  • Freiburg and surroundings

The Chair for Sustainable Production Management analyses the new economic systems from a production and consumption perspective. Different concepts of production, supply chain and supplier management are used and analyzed with regard to their potential for transformative economic systems. The focus of these studies lies in particular on the resilience, the relevant sustainability principles (efficiency, consistency and sufficiency), the rebound effects and life-cycle assessment approaches.


Affiliated partners

Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Department für Wirtschafts- und Rechtswissenschaften
Dr. Irene Antoni-Komar (Operational Project Management); Dr. Christine Lenz; Carsten Sperling

Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften München
Prof. Dr. Cordula Kropp; Sven Stinner M.A.

Stiftungsgemeinschaft anstiftung & ertomis gemeinnützige GmbH
Dr. Christa Müller; Dipl.-Soz. Andrea Baier

NEDS - Sustainable energy supply Lower Saxony

Subproject 2: Transformation of energy systems as social diffusion

Focus of the diffusion research is the distribution of innovations. We focus on both technical and social social innovations. Moreover, we study changes in the behavior of individuals, as well as organizational level developments.

The relevant elements of the transformation of the energy system of Lower Saxony include plants for energy production, information systems and efficiency innovation on a technical level. On a social level we consider behavioral patterns of consumers with regard to energy consumption, the usage of information systems, as well as prosumer activities (e.g. investments in small plants for energy production).

Within the subproject possible transformation paths for energy supply will be presented and evaluated under this premise. This also includes an explanation of the diffusion system on a macro level, its participants and dependencies. On a micro level individual courses of M&A decisions will be considered.

Based on that, management concepts for non-technical framework conditions for the transformation of the energy system of Lower Saxony can be developed.

Project Management: Prof. Dr. Christian Busse

Scientific Assistant: Julien Minnemann and N.N.

VALUEWORKSEffects of financialization alongside the copper supply chain

The transdisciplinary project examines the effects of financialization of commodity trading on people`s local living environment by the example of the copper supply chain from the mines in Sambia, the harbors in South Africa, the emporia in Switzerland to the producers in China. The field research takes place in Africa, Europe and Asia. The main focus lies on ethnological analyses, which are extended by both sociological, geographical and economical scientific perspectives and insights of real-world participants like various NGOs. A detailed project description can he found here.

Project management: Dr. des Rita Kesselring, Ethnologisches Seminar, Universität Basel

Associated project member: Prof. Dr. Christian Busse.