Land use is the starting point for the production of all types of biomass and food. The space required for this is a finite resource on this planet. Sustainable and efficient land use is therefore a key issue and requires ecological and social principles to be implemented on a global scale. Land-use change as a result of increasing land consumption can have serious consequences. On the one hand, these include changes in the carbon storage of the land cover which cause greenhouse gas emissions (summarised using the acronym LULUCF in Kyoto jargon). The consequences may also be reflected in the loss of biodiversity through changes to soils, influences on water bodies or other ecosystem services.
In a global context, the social aspects of land-use change are also often of crucial importance. We have developed models to take account of land-use changes in greenhouse gas emission analyses, and to include other environmental and socio-economic consequences in life cycle assessments and further sustainability studies, and we work closely with international experts on these issues.