In 1998 the study "Greening the North" was carried out by the Wuppertal Institute. This book presents a path-breaking analysis as well as highly innovative proposals for managing a transition to sustainability. It stirred up a major new debate in Germany on radical, but feasible, directions in which the governments of industrial societies ought to be moving.
A decade later, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst - EED) and "Bread for the World" launched a communication campaign in the year 2008 to stimulate the social discussion on a globally sustainable development. To ensure a thorough preparation for such an initiative, the Wuppertal Institute was commissioned to outline a book project which should be as summarising and as orientating as the work at that time. However, the new research project is not just a new edition. It should be asked whether "Germany has become more sustainable". Moreover, the point of the project is to link developmental and environmental organisations, church and non-church commitment as well as the main topics global justice and ecological change like in the previous project.
The project was highly interdisciplinary; researchers from the four research groups and the Berlin Office participated in it. A high-ranking scientific advisory board accompanied the research process. To conduct the study, an intensive dialogue process was initiated by the clients BUND, "Bread for the World" and EED. They formed together with the project co-ordination a managing group. The research topics were presented to the public with the help of events and a homepage.
In the middle of October 2008, the results of the study were published in a book of 656 pages.