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Potentials and main results of simulating resource policy - Final report of the project „Models, Potential and Long-term Scenarios for Resource Efficiency“ (SimRess) (German report)

Human use of natural resources poses a great challenge to social-ecological and socio-technical sys-tems alike: supply risks, pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation on the one hand, but also issues of global justice and societal well-being on the other hand. In order to test potential impacts of developments and strategies relevant to resource policy, the SimRess project first identified trends that positively or negatively affect resource use in Germany and globally in the future. These trends were then incorporated into resource relevant scenarios (without as well as with assumptions of further resource and climate policy measures), which served as frames for simulating potential im-pacts via the econometric model GINFORS3 and the system dynamic model WORLD6 as well as through a soft-link of both models.
The simulation results show on the one hand that continuing existing resource policy efforts on na-tional and international level will remain an important contribution to increasing resource productivi-ty and economic development. On the other hand, however, it was found that achieving targets for per-capita resource use, as called for by national and international sustainability scholars, needs a much greater level of ambition in national and international resource policy. This demands widening re-source policy’s focus from increasing productivity in production structures to also tackling changes in consumption and investment patterns. Correspondingly, it seems important to expand the toolkit of resource policy instruments to much more integrate both economic and regulatory measures.

The German report can be downloaded here.


System analysis for environmental policy – System thinking through system dynamic modelling and policy mixing as used in the SimRess project

Diverse and complex interactions as well as multi-actor systems characterise resource use and re-source policy. This makes system analysis a relevant tool to orient resource policy towards the long term. Analysing such complex systems requires systemic thinking, consideration of causal loops as well as time-lags and delays in system responses.
In the SimRess project, system analysis encompassed participatory conceptual system modelling via involving external stakholders into identifying system boundaries and elements via causal loop dia-grams (CLDs). The CLDs were than reflected in the parametrisation of simulation models and the de-velopment of policy mixes.
Only a limited number of stakeholders participated in two of the five workshops needed for a fully fledged group modelling process. Therefore, the project team finalised internally the conceptual sys-tem model. Although this reduced ownership and transparency of the system model, the two work-shops provided relevant system knowledge for further modelling work and policy mix development.
During policy mix development in SimRess, we needed to deviate from the theoretical concept of pol-icy mixing based on available project capacities and stakeholder decisions. On the one hand, under-standing and assessing cumulative effects of policy mixes challenged conceptual policy mix devel-opment and simulation capacities. On the other hand, stakeholder decisions impacted on the depth at which system analysis via simulation models could be undertaken.

The English report can be downloaded here.


Presentation for the Workshop "Resource conservation and resource productivity: modelling approaches for assessment of economy-wide material flows and potential policy impacts ", 7/12/2016, Ecologic Institute, Berlin


Looking to the Future: Trend Report for a Forward-Looking
Resource Policy

In this Trend Report Ecologic Institute's Susanne Langsdorf and Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers analyse more than 300 individual trends, allocated to 12 trend themes. They discuss the potential developments and relevance for German resource policy.


Project flyer SimRess (English)


First Group Modelling Workshop Report

This report written by Deniz Koca and Harald Sverdrup presents the major outcomes from the first group modelling workshop; as well as an overview of the group modelling work we expect to complete with a series of workshops in Berlin.

Second Group Modelling Workshop Report

This report contain the results of the second group modelling workshop.


Full write-up: A Progress Report of the Two SimRess Group Modelling Workshops.


PPT: The World Model and the SimRess-Project. Limits to growth. Simulation of resource efficiency policies


Workshop invitation: Resource Conservation and resource productivity - Modelling approaches and policy options, 7/8 December 2016, Berlin


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Die Zukunft im Blick: Trendbericht für eine vorausschauende Ressourcenpolitik

In diesem Trendbericht untersuchen Susanne Langsdorf und Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Ecologic Institut) mehr als 300 Einzeltrends, die zu zwölf Trendthemen zusammengefasst wurden. Sie erörtern deren mögliche Entwicklung und potentielle Bedeutung für die nationale Ressourcenpolitik.


PPT: Das Modell GINFORS3 in SimRess


Projekt-Flyer SimRess (deutsch)


Einladung zum Workshop: Ressourcenschonung und Rohstoffproduktivität -Modellierungsansätze und politischer Handlungsspielraum, 7./8. Dezember 2016, Berlin




  Ecologic Institute





Lund University


sponsored by:


Federal Environment Ministry
FKZ: 3712 93 102.