Brief description of the field of competence

The guiding principle of sustainable development and its implementation in business activities and at municipal business locations are the focus of the work in the competence field of sustainability. In transdisciplinary research and consulting projects, we support organisations in the development and implementation of approaches in the broad spectrum of sustainability issues: from the design of work systems to the management of supplier relationships and adaptation to the consequences of climate change.

Corporate sustainability

The concepts of sustainable corporate management and work system design as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are becoming increasingly important - be it from a purely operational rationality or a corporate conviction, due to social pressure or new legal regulations. In order to act sustainability-oriented, companies often cannot stop at their internal processes. As a result, there is also a growing awareness of their responsibility in the supply chain or value-added system for achieving sustainability goals. The sustainable design of globally distributed work and production systems is a challenging task. This is because compliance with social and environmental standards must be ensured in the context of diverse stakeholder requirements in different countries on the one hand and complex supply chains and supplier relationships on the other.

Against this background we support companies professionally and methodically

  • in the design and implementation of strategies and measures for CSR and sustainable supply chain management, e.g. in the definition of essential social and environmental standards
  • in working up the state of the art and learning from the competitors,
  • in creating approaches to work system design, risk management, due diligence or supplier development.

In doing so, ITA builds on experience from publicly funded research projects and long-term industrial cooperations.

Sustainable municipal business locations

The sustainable development of cities, districts and municipalities as business locations and centres of life for citizens means meeting global challenges where their effects are felt: locally, on the ground, with the people. In this context, sustainability does not only mean the consideration of ecological goals, but also the integrative consideration of economic, social and ecological effects and their interrelationships in strategic decisions that can have an impact on the future of a community. After all, the major challenges of our time, such as demographic change, climate impact adaptation and climate protection, regional structural change, generational equity, integration and inclusion, are ultimately more cross-cutting issues and municipal design tasks than the subject of individual measures of limited duration.

However, the implementation of sustainable and future-oriented strategies is not trivial and can only be conceived individually with the local people involved, because each community is as unique as the ideas of the people who live and work in it. It is often helpful to integrate already implemented or ongoing measures into an overall strategic concept in order to be able to select and implement future measures more efficiently. Or there is a need for even better coordination of the many active volunteers with the local government, so that everyone pulls together and the resources arrive directly where they are needed.

News from the competence field of sustainability

205, 2022

New book publication: Working in global supply chains

Working conditions in global supply chains and the social responsibility of principals are attracting increasing interest in civil society, politics and jurisprudence. This reader provides legal, economic and labour science basics for all those who are or will be involved in the globalisation of labour. Furthermore, it contains suggestions for the further development of science dealing with the design of work.

Projects in the competence field of sustainability


Dipl.-Komm.-Wirtin Marina Jentsch

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