Socio-Ecological Systems and Sustainability R&D projects

NETGREEN – Network for Green Economy Indicators R&D projects

Financed by: European Comission, FP7 - Technological Development and Demonstration, Grant Agreement no. 603877. 2013-2015.


 NETGREEN develops a systematic and consistent overview on the existing efforts to measure sustainable development and the transformation to green economy. By collecting existing initiatives and indicators, NETGREEN will provide guidance to policy makers and researchers who want to use and further develop indicators and tools in the field. The selection of indicators and policy issues was in part informed by consultations with green economy experts from all over Europe as well as countries in other parts of the world.

 Contact: Rui Santos

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OpenNESS - Operationalisation of natural capital and ecosystem services

Financed by: European Comission, FP7-ENV, Collaborative project, ENV.2012.6.2-1. 2012-2016.

Partners: Finnish Environment Institute - SYKE, Finland (coordination); Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany; Wageningen University and Research Centre – Alterra, Netherlands; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency – PBL, Netherlands; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology – CEH-NERC, United Kingdom; University of Oxford – UOXF-ECI, United Kingdom; University of Nottingham – UNOTT-CEM, United Kingdom; Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA, Norway; Research Institute for Nature and Forest – INBO, Belgium; Joint Research Centre – JRC-IES, Italy; University of Helsinki – UH, Finland; ECNC–European Centre for Nature Conservation – ECNC, the Netherlands; National Research; Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture – IRSTEA, France; Centre for Ecological Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - MTA ÖK, Hungary; University of Bucharest – UB-DSES, Romania; Forest Research and Management Institute – ICAS, Romania; Institute of Landscape Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences – ILE SAS, Slovakia; Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research, University of Lisbon – CENSE FFCT-UNL, Portugal; Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation – TECNALIA, Spain; Autonomous University of Madrid – UAM, Spain; Autonomous University of Barcelona – UAB, Spain; Aarhus University – AU, Denmark; Environmental Social Science Research Group Ltd – ESSRG, Hungary; Environment Bank Ltd – EBL, United Kingdom; Hugin Expert AS – HUGIN, Denmark; Vista Analysis AS – VISTA, Norway; REGIOPLÁN Nitra – RP, Slovakia; Iridra SRL – IRIDRA, Italy; Geoflux GbR – GEOFLUX, Germany; Indian Institute of Bio-Social Research and Development – IBRAD, India; Wing Process Consultancy BV – WING, Netherlands; Kinross Estate Company Ltd – KEC, United Kingdom; São Paulo State University – UNESP, Brazil; Austral Scientific Research Centre – CADIC CONICET, Argentina; Kenya Forestry Research Institute – KEFRI, Kenya. .


OpenNESS aims to translate the concepts of Natural Capital (NC) and Ecosystem Services (ES) into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for integrating ES into land, water and urban management and decision-making. It examines how the concepts link to, and support, wider EU economic, social and environmental policy initiatives and scrutinizes the potential and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC.

Contact: Rui Santos

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SPS – Sustainability Performance Assessment and Benchmarking Framework of The Public Sector

Financed by: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), PTDC/AAC-AMB/119508/2010. 2012-2015.

Partners: Coordinated by CENSE/FCT-UNL; ISEGI-UNL; Prof. Donald Huisingh (University of Tennessee), Prof. Richard M. Walker (City University of Hong Kong).

 The main aim of this research project is the development of an innovative Sustainability Performance Evaluation Framework for the Public Sector (PS), allowing the integration of operational and strategic levels, including operational activities (e.g water, materials and energy consumption, waste production, air emissions), public policies and strategies, mandatory regulations and voluntary practices or standards. Specific goals are: (i) The characterization of sustainability profile of the PS; (ii) The development of a sustainability self-assessment framework for public services backed by a checklist approach and indicators. A national case study – Portuguese PS – will be used to evaluate the usefulness, credibility and accuracy of this methodology; (iii) The definition of a set of criteria to give the label “sustainable public service”; (iv) The development of an interactive guidebook to support the use of the self-assessment framework and to present guidelines for the implementation of sustainability good practices for each topic of the framework; (v) The development of a web-based graphical interface for sustainability performance benchmarking of PS organizations and for the publication and communication of result with all stakeholders involved. This study wants to contribute to the ongoing debate about frameworks for PS public sector-sustainability integration, including to how to evaluate the evaluations, as a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an evaluation, and conclusions about its overall utility, accuracy, validity, feasibility and propriety.

Contact: Tomás B. Ramos

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