Aerial Photography - The River

The ecological, social and economic future of industrial, emerging and developing economies depends primarily on sustainable management of raw materials and natural resources. Increases in consumption of resources, the resulting damage to economic systems, conflicts over the distribution of water, forests, energy and materials as well as the growing pressure on urban centres and conservation areas demand sustainable strategies from political decision-makers and businesses. adelphi works towards strategies for and implementation of resource governance: We investigate the effects of unsustainable resource usage on conflicts and security; highlight options for socially and environmentally fair mining and the added value of extractive commodities; and we research and advise on water resource management at the nexus of energy and food production. Through our work, we strengthen the public’s and decision-makers’ awareness of and participation in protection of biodiversity.

  • Sustainable management of water resources demands secure water supply be considered in combination with energy and food production and that conflicts of aims are solved constructively. adelphi’s Water Team integrates multidisciplinary perspectives and develops tailored solutions for diverse socioeconomic and natural frameworks. Our international projects evaluate and implement sustainable technologies and innovative solutions for water supply and wastewater disposal in rural and urban areas. We analyse political, institutional and economic conditions and shape cooperation processes at the local, national and international levels. In this way, we support stakeholders worldwide in the development and implementation of integrated water resource management and in exploiting the full potential of cooperation.

    Work area "Water Cooperations"

  • When considering sustainable use of resources, it is essential that the ecosystems producing these natural resources are also taken into account. Biodiversity, the extraordinary variety of ecosystems, species and genes that surround us, makes life on earth both viable and worth living. Nonetheless, species are being lost at an alarming rate – 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural rate and 60 per cent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably. In addition to raising moral questions about our treatment of other species, this has enormous financial repercussions for society. For this reason, adelphi has established biodiversity and nature conservation as a field of action with a number of projects focusing on awareness raising, dialogue and exchange of proper practice.

  • The concept of circular economy has become increasingly important in the public eye and is heralded as an effective approach to securing the long-term resource requirements of modern societies for the years to come. Essentially, the model describes an economic system that causes neither waste nor pollution. Products are redesigned to be high quality so that they circulate for as long as possible in the consumption and production system. The resources then flow back into technical or biological cycles at the end of their usage. adelphi is developing solutions for the transition to a closed circular economy. Our projects promote the eco-designing of products, the introduction of resource-saving production methods, the increase of resource efficiency and cleaner production, the development of sustainable business management and circular business models, as well as the implementation of effective waste management systems and closed-loop solutions worldwide. The concept of circular economy goes beyond traditional approaches and requires fundamental, system-wide changes along global value chains. By supporting decision-makers in politics and the private sector and through taking into account the diversity of interest groups, adelphi is promoting the transformation to closed-loop production and sustainable consumption.

  • Due to the scarcity of raw materials, the waste industry is one of the most dynamic markets of our times. Local utility and disposal infrastructures have long since become a globally interconnected secondary market in natural resources. adelphi advises political decision makers, businesses and donor institutions on matters of innovative waste economics and current issues such as urban mining, applied material flow management, infrastructure planning, technology transfer, disposal logistics, use of biomass and recycling of electrical waste. Various adelphi projects deal with the integration of the informal sector into formal waste management systems. Alongside these issues, we offer our customers training and education programmes, organise study trips and political field analyses as well as the technical analysis of eco-industrial estates and landfills.

  • Extractive commodities like minerals and metals are important non-renewable resources, playing a key role in economic development and technological innovation. Increasing demand and the accompanying competition for raw materials are already leading to unstable and often sharply increasing prices, volatile markets and bottlenecks in supply. Likewise, the exploration, construction, processing and transport of these raw materials are linked with significant environmental and social impacts and even violent conflicts. To better deal with these effects and risks and prevent conflicts, we analyse the criticality of raw materials, advise companies and organisation in Germany as well as abroad on socially and environmentally sound, conflict-sensitive exploration and value extraction. Additionally, we advise governments and development organisations on the development of policies, strategies and programmes that can treat these challenges with a fully integrated approach.