The concept of sustainability builds on the premise that „sustainable development […] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN, 1987. Our Common Future.). Since the 1990s, numerous UN conferences aimed at realizing sustainable development step by step by making commitments, assessing their fulfilment, and reacting on emerging needs. These efforts culminated in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all UN member states in 2015. These highly interconnected goals address the most urgent needs for action in the three dimensions economy, society, and environment. (UN, 2021. Sustainable development. Available from: https://sdgs.un.org/)
Sustainability research is accompanying this process by providing targeted information on sustainable development. Indicators help to make sustainability measurable, tangible, and visible. The local level, that is local authorities and civil society, has always played an important role in sustainable development. This is, where economy, society, environment, and people directly and constantly interact and where solutions need to be found for a fruitful, sustainable development. Our institute wants to shed light on this dynamic interface by providing data and information to support knowledge transfer and decision-making processes. We have an expertise in long-term sustainability monitoring, in the development of sustainability indicators as well as in communicating targeted information to interest groups.