Sustainability is one of the key themes in which ACT researchers are active. At the core of this theme is the question of how we move towards a future that can sustain itself both ecologically and socially. At ACT, we are interested in the transformation toward sustainability in a twofold manner. In the first place, we seek to understand transformations towards sustainable goals, such as a carbon neutral economy, the social sustainability of business practices, land use and regulation. However, the path towards these goals is as important as the goals themselves. That is why, second, we want to understand the sustainability of transformations themselves. We are particularly interested in exploring whether the process of transformation is conducted in an equitable and socially sustainable manner with due regard to the different approaches to governance and transformation. Balancing these choices will be a key element of our research interests exploring, understanding and fostering sustainable transformation. In both roles we do not see private law as merely instrumental, but also as a strong normative agent of change.
These starting points translate into current and future research projects in a multitude of ways. Firstly, we recognize and embrace pluralism in the understanding of the concept of sustainability and welcome reflections on its meaning. Second, we map, analyse and develop new ways of thinking about finance, consumption, property, nature, labour and social justice. Third, we identify the structuring effects of law in setting up and entrenching ways in which we interact with one another, and articulate how those may aid or hamper our path toward a sustainable future.