Our Research

SMART identifies the factors that enable businesses and other market actors to realise their unfulfilled potential to contribute in their own way to development-friendly, environmentally and socially sustainable business, trade and investment.

Enabling Sustainability

Global economic development has been a world-changing phenomenon, bringing immense benefits and opportunities. Simultaneously, the impacts of climate change and global loss of natural habitat is becoming far too evident. This urges scientific inquiry that can contribute to a global sustainable development within a circular, zero-emission economy compatible with planetary boundaries in line with international development goals.


SMART does research that serves to promote global, sustainable development within a circular, zero-emission economy compatible with the planetary boundaries and in line with international development goals. We respond to the EU’s call for greater Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), with the emphasis that development must be sustainable – socially, environmentally and economically.


Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life-support system on which the welfare of current and future generations depend.


Planetary boundaries define global sustainability criteria for critical environmental processes that regulate the stability of Earth system components. By quantifying boundaries, based on the scientific assessment of when these critical processes enter a danger zone with risks of large-scale thresholds, the framework can define a safe operating space for world development on Earth.

SMART seeks to advance understanding on how non-development policies and regulations reinforce or undermine development policies. We analyse the regulatory complexity within which European market actors operate, both the private sector and the public sector in its many market roles with a focus especially on international supply chains of products sold in Europe.