Study launch and panel discussion: Effects of digitalization on sustainability

Does digitalization reduce the burden on the environment or does it increase it on balance? This question is the subject of extensive research. For the first time, a meta-study has critically assessed the international state of research. The study will be launched on February 14, 2024 at 5.30 p.m., followed by a discussion of the results. ECDF Professor Tilman Santarius will be on one of the panelists. The event will take place digitally via MS Teams. 



Digital innovations and key technologies are penetrating more and more areas of our economy and society. Digitalization has ambivalent effects on whether ecological sustainability goals are achieved or not. While it offers opportunities for better climate and environmental protection, it also increases the consumption of energy and resources. The meta-study "Sustainability effects of digitalization: Potentials for digital sustainability innovations", which will be published on 14 February 2024, is the first comprehensive assessment of the sustainability effects of digitalization. We present key findings and discuss conclusions.



  • Mario Brandenburg | Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research
  • MinDir Stefan Müller | Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Head of Department 7 | Provision for the Future - Research for Basic Principles and Sustainable Development
  • Dr. Christian Lautermann | Institute for Ecological Economy Research
  • Dr. Jan Stede | Technopolis Group
  • Lena Steltzner | Germanwatch
  • Prof. Dr. Tilman Santarius | IÖW I ECDF

The meta-study "Sustainability effects of digitalization" was commissioned by the BMBF and carried out by the Technopolis Group and the IÖW. It reviews the international scientific studies on the environmental effects of digitalization for various topics such as climate, energy, circular economy and mobility. With a focus on studies with quantified effects, the meta-study identifies research gaps/needs and makes recommendations for research and research funding.