Institute for Economy and the Environment

Institute for Economy and the Environment

This sustainability centre is part of NBS's Sustainability Centres Community, representing business schools from around the world. Find out more.

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Institute for Economy and the Environment

St.Gallen, Switzerland 

University of St.Gallen


The Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWOe-HSG) sees itself as a practice-oriented, interdisciplinary institute of the University of St.Gallen. It is characterized by a pluralistic culture that champions a diverse range of scientific approaches and methods. Above all, the objective of the work done at the Institute is to contribute to a sustainable market economy and to further develop sustainable business management models.
The Good Energies Chair for Management of Renewable Energies at the University of St.Gallen aims to become a competence centre for managers, entrepreneurs, scholars and political decision makers who share its vision that renewable energy is on the road from 20:80 to 80:20.

Main Activities 

The IWOe-HSG is involved in finding solutions to problems of sustainability in business and society through its scientifically-based work and practice-oriented approach.
Research and teaching activities of the Good Energies Chair for Management of Renewable Energies are focusing on various aspects related to the promotion of renewable energies - from energy policy, to business models and investor behaviour, to marketing and consumer behaviour and beyond.
Research of the Chair for Sustainability Management deals mainly with issues surrounding strategic sustainability management and the development and implementation of sustainability innovations, focussing on the following three research fields in particular: sustainability management, sustainability strategies, sustainability and innovation

The intention of the courses is not to train students as specialists in ecology or sustainability, but rather to make them economists and management experts who are sensitive to the issues of ecology and sustainability. First, ecological knowledge is integrated into the general course offerings at the HSG. In addition to numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s theses, more than 20 doctoral theses are currently in progress at the IWOe-HSG.

St. Gallen Forum
Each spring, the HSG hosts the St. Gallen Forum for Management of Renewable Energies to address current issues in an international context. The programme includes both lectures and workshops. In addition, current research findings and topics will be examined in greater depth as part of special conferences and workshops.

Executive education
January 2011 marked the first year of the executive education programme „Renewable Energy Management“ (Diploma of Advanced Studies in Renewable Energy Management (REM-HSG)). An innovative executive education programme “Diploma in sustainable business“ started in autumn 2011.

Members of the IWOe-HSG are responsible for the administration of numerous domestic and international mandates in research and advisory panels and associations. They participate in the publication of scientific journals, supervise work groups and committees, give lectures, provide consulting and training, and are commissioned by partners – both public and private – to develop concepts and strategies.

Organizational Structure 

The Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWOe-HSG) was founded on October 1, 1992. Its employees do their research, teach and counsel in the areas of sustainability management and management of renewable energies.

The Institute for Economy and the Environment is comprised of the following two chairs:

The Good Energies Chair for Management of Renewable Energies was founded in 2009. It is the first of its kind at a leading European business school. It is led by Prof. Dr. Rolf Wuestenhagen. The research conducted by the Chair aims at achieving international recognition through the consistent combination of relevance and rigour in addition to providing significant insights into the decision-making processes of customers and investors, business models and their interaction with effective energy policies. The Chair offers future managers a variety of learning opportunities through its innovative training and executive education programmes in order to inspire them to pursue a career in the exciting sector of renewable energies.

The Chair for Sustainability Management (formerly Environmental Management) has been led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Dyllick since 1996. The activities of the Chair are geared towards innovation and a high level of practical relevance, guided by the conviction that overcoming the great challenges of sustainability in today's world is not only a business responsibility but a business opportunity - for the development of innovative solutions to problems in growing markets - as well.


Rolf Wuestenhagen