Independent Institute for Environmental Issues


The Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU) conducts research in the fields of climate protection  and transformative education, environmental law and participation, nature conservation  and environmental communication as well as energy transition and energy efficiency. Founded in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the institute has an office in Halle/Saale in addition to its office in Berlin. As an interdisciplinary research institute, the UfU employs over 30 scientific staff from the disciplines of sociology, political science, law, economics, ecology, industrial engineering, energy technology, technical environmental protection, environmental management and geography. 

The Department for Environmental Law & Participation has many years of experience in legal empirical research and projects on comprehensive and interdisciplinary digitalization and data management. Given their particular legal focus, UfU lawyers know how to penetrate the many facets of an issue and always include the big picture in their analyses. Thanks to the interdisciplinary composition of its staff, the department can also draw on a wide range of methodological expertise from the social sciences.

UfU employees function as research consultants, experts and contacts for ministries, European Union Directorates-General, local authorities, environmental organizations, companies, citizens’ initiatives and public authorities. The UfU has ties with various stakeholder structures and networks in the environmental movement and environmental research in Germany and internationally. 

The institute is a non-profit organization financed by research contracts and model projects, mainly from federal ministries, EU funds, foundations and funds from various federal states and municipalities.