In my research work I apply a multi-level social sciences perspective on governance of production and consumption. On the micro level I am looking at individual firms, individual consumers, their motivations and behaviors, in all their diversity (frontrunners, laggards, diverse world-views, varying conditions). On the macro level I am looking at supranational and global trends and developments in sectors, product groups and geographic regions. In between my focus is on new arrangements with intermediate actors and new institutions that enable smart linking between the macro and micro level. We need to connect the three levels.
I have over 35 years experience in analyzing progress in implementing environmental practices in business in many different countries. I have been active as President of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) until 2019, with over 2000 researchers connected all over the world.
As researcher I especially focus on new forms of private governance in international supply chains, both in Europe as in supplier countries worldwide and on corporate sustainability strategies of front running firms and performance measurement. The current practices of circular economy 2.0 and 3.0 are addressed critically, see for example the CRESTING project.
I make connections between, on the one hand prescriptive theories and methodologies for sustainable production and consumption, and on the other hand (quantitative) scientific analysis of the practices of application of these theories and methods, applying a broad social science approach. A recent example is the introduction of the Oiconomy Pricing method, supporting companies to calculate their distance-to-sustainability by identifying the costs of prevention of all Planet, People and Prosperity related externalities.
At Utrecht University I have been active as program leader of the International Master Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, annually attracting over 100 students from all over the world and collaborating with 8 universities around the world. I also contributed to the development of the master Sustainable Business and Innovation in Utrecht, educating future business leaders for sustainable development.
I have published over 280 articles, reports, books, chapters, advices etc., including 75 articles in Scopus registered international journals. I am member of the Editorial Boards of four scientific international journals: the journals Sustainable Development, Business Strategy and the Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Strategy and Development, and Environmental Management and Progress in Industrial Ecology.
See for more information:
Utrecht University: www.uu.nl/staff/WJVVermeulen