Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML)

About us

How can we maximize human wellbeing while keeping resource use and emissions of the economic system within planetary limits? The institute of Environmental Sciences aspires to be a global leader in this field. Our staff wants to create impact. We work on future solutions and educate change-makers.

We do this by focusing our research on:

  • Systems approach across ecosystems and socio-technical systems
  • Scaling of analyses from local to global level​
  • Tool and methodology development in our field  ​
  • Societal impacts by using science for high-level policy advice

International and diverse team

CML was established in 1978. Currently about 260 people of over 15 nationalities work at CML.

Within CML there is a strong integration of research and education. We have a divers and international scientific and support staff and our education attracts students from all over the world.

Solve sustainability challenges

Through our education programmes we aspire to educate students to make effective contributions to solve the sustainability challenges the world faces today and in the future.

We do this for example in our master programme Industrial Ecology together with the TU Delft and in our master programme Governance of Sustainability together with de Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs.

Collaboration with governmental institutions

CML collaborates with many Dutch and foreign institutes and companies. But we also work together with local, regional, national government and (inter) governmental institutions, like the UN, OESO and the Asian Development Bank.

Leiden – Delft – Erasmus: work together on sustainability

We are the leading partner in de LDE Centre for Sustainability, an interdisciplinary research Centre in which three universities join forces: Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The aim is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy to achieve a sustainable society and reach out to organizations to help them in their sustainability goals.


CML also has a close link with Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. Our researchers are also involved in projects at Naturalis and vice versa and some Naturalis staff members have also an appointment at CML

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