ERASMUS Centre for Environmental Studies, Netherlands

TA-Institutionen und -Programme

ERASMUS Centre for Environmental Studies, Netherlands

The Erasmus Centre for Environmental Studies (ECES) was founded in 1984. The core of the ECES-research is a multi-disciplinary approach to societal aspects of environmental problems. The diffusion and adoption of innovations, beneficial for the environment, are focal points in the research questions. The term innovation is broadly defined and comprehends both concrete technologies and products as well as systems and concepts. The research aims at the relationship between, on the one side, the application of technology and, on the other side, the societal conditions under which technology can be applied. Empirical research is done within industries and their surroundings of stakeholders as, among others, competitors, governmental regulatory organizations, environmental movements and consumers.

Several studies deal with one or more of the following research questions: 

Since several years now, 'Sustainable Development' is the central theme in governmental policies in many countries in the world. In the Dutch National Environmental Policy Plan (1989), 'Sustainable Development' is operationalized into three targets: 

Numerous times, the development and dissemination of environmental innovations have been pointed out as crucial to the realisation of these targets. Not only 'Clean Technology' innovations, but also concepts for social and cultural innovations, are more and more explored. Concrete illustrations are environmental care systems for companies, car-pooling, the development and purchase of environmentally sound products, innovative policy-strategies and decision-making processes.

The research programs of the ECES cover the three mentioned targets of Dutch environmental policy. Factors and actors that influence environmental management in industry (research program Cleaner Production) are the focal points.

Research programs and projects

The research questions are elaborated in four coherent research programs: 

In these research programs, the relationship between application of technology and the conditions for application of technology are explored in two theoretical approaches: 

These approaches are being analyzed in a scientific framework of an interaction or network model, in which the relevant variables in policies in a dynamic goalsetting process of the interaction between relatively autonomous and mutually independent actors will be examined.

Research of these variables involve several levels of interaction: 

The following major projects are currently in operation: 


Prof. Dr. W.A. Hafkamp, Director
Erasmus Centre for Environmental Studies
Department of Environmental Science
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Postbus 1738, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Tel.: + 31 10 4082050