Society and Environment

There is growing recognition of the need to integrate conservation more fully into the fabric of society. But the implications of this for our lifestyle, industries and overall consumption are still being worked out. In some ways we are making progress; in others we seem to be losing ground. There are disagreements between and even within conservation organisations about the best way to tackle many issues.

Equilibrium Research undertakes assessments of the industrial world's footprint and addresses solutions, for instance providing advice to companies on improving environmental performance. We have worked with everyone from governments and United Nations agencies to village communities and believe that this integration is essential to success.

Our work has spanned a wide range of issues; among the core themes are:

  • Forest conservation: we have analysed the timber trade and its impacts on forests, including reports on the tropical and temperate timber trade for Friends of the Earth International and WWF. We undertook a study of forest quality and its assessment, analysed forest status across Europe and more recently focused on modelling different potential forest futures including identification of forests at risk.

  • Agriculture: our work on the relationship between agriculture and environment has included research projects into threats from intensive farming, including pollution from agrochemicals and the rapid spread of plantation crops such as soy; practical advice on ways to minimise these; and links to several organic sector bodies.

  • Pollution: including analysis of the pesticide and fertilizer trades and the long range transport of air pollution. Equilibrium Research produced the first detailed overview of the UK’s role in freshwater acidification in Europe, detailed analysis of the impacts of pesticide spray drift from ground and aerial application and work on the impact of nitrate fertilizers on health and the environment. More recent work includes policy recommendations for how the conservation movement should respond to threats from systemic pesticides.