Ecologic Foundation
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Ecologic's Approach

In reviewing Ecologic’s achievements during the 1990s, Ecologic’s Board of Directors concluded that what we have done best has been our high quality research, analysis and development of policy solutions for environmental sustainability. The Board therefore decided in 2002 re-define the organisation as a “sustainability think tank”, to enable us to do more of this work and to become more focused on it. In this way, we hope to expand Ecologic’s influence.

As a "think tank," Ecologic retains its mission of promoting sustainability and its 3E-based core values, but we do this in a somewhat different way than a traditional environmental organisation.

We strongly value the independence required to be a respected source of rigorous analysis on environmental issues. To retain this, it is important for us to be clear about what the organisation does and does not do, and how Ecologic is governed and managed.

The work of Ecologic

Ecologic focuses on selected core projects of high priority, and it also undertakes consultancy work consistent with Ecologic’s mission and values. The research and policy analysis generated by Ecologic is provided to government (local and national), international bodies, business and commercial organisations, philanthropic organisations and private individuals, in New Zealand, the Pacific and internationally.

Core projects

Ecologic has had a four-year grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for a multi-year programme of research on Institutions for Sustainable Development. This project, which involves several other researchers, focuses on two main themes: resolving tensions between democracy and sustainable development, and integrating the cost of resource use into the market economy.

Work on core projects includes research and development of policy approaches, including articulation of principles and solutions. Outcomes of this work are presented as Ecologic’s views and policy, and are publicly available. Journal articles, media releases, newspaper articles, seminars and Ecologic’s own publications and website are all to be used to communicate our findings to key stakeholders and the public. In addition, we sometimes engage key organisations as partners in a research programme, to enhance both the relevance and the uptake of our results.

The cost of core projects is covered by grants, membership funds, donations, and project partners and sponsors.

Consultancy work

Our consultancy work, as well as a source of revenue, provides another means of furthering Ecologic’s mission by directly influencing government and commercial organisations through rigorous research and analysis. Consultancy reports are the responsibility of the author, i.e. are not necessarily presented as the views or policy of Ecologic, and remain confidential to the client if requested. However, Ecologic does not accept consultancy work that is inconsistent with our core values, or could undermine the organisation’s credibility or independence. Ecologic encourages clients to make our consultancy reports available to the public, as our work for Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development has been.

Significant consultancy projects undertaken and the total amount of consultancy income will be listed in Ecologic’s annual report to ensure transparency.

Submissions to government

Ecologic makes occasional submissions to central and local government bodies on the basis of analytical work that Ecologic has undertaken, on priority issues determined by the Board, as a means of promoting discussion and debate of our work. Ecologic does not make submissions on areas of public policy where we have not done research or analysis.

Some of our submissions can be found on the Publications page.

Public communications

Ecologic produces a magazine and maintains a web site to publish project reports, consultancy papers and monographs, as well as news about recent developments in environmental policy and sustainable living in New Zealand and internationally. We occasionally offer feature articles to newspapers and speak at conferences and other events to present work we have done and to present Ecologic’s approach to environmental policy issues.

Ecologic uses press releases to publicise reports and other outcomes of its projects, but it maintains political neutrality. Our focus is on offering constructive solutions to environmental issues.

Governance

Ecologic is an incorporated society, governed by a Board of Directors elected by its members at the annual general meeting. All fully paid members have one equal vote in all matters at the AGM.

The Board sets the strategic direction and core agenda of the organisation, ensures that consultancy projects are consistent with Ecologic’s mission and independence, and monitors the organisation’s policy outputs and financial performance.

How we would like others to think of us

By strengthening our policy research and analysis, we hope that our influence with government and business will increase, and that our views and analysis will be increasingly sought after.

We aim to lift our exposure in the media, not by making provocative statements but by the quality of our ideas and the objectivity of our analysis. When faced with a difficult environmental policy issue, we want politicians, business leaders, journalists and members of the public to ask themselves, “I wonder what Ecologic has to say about this?”

 
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