HISTORY – partnering sustainable development since 1992

ECO was founded in 1992, year of the Rio United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), under the conviction that pro-poor forest policies are an important element in a strategy to reduce poverty, especially in the forest-rich developing countries. Due to its experienced team and well-wrought approaches ECO made a headstart as a contractor to the German Government for bilateral assistance particularly in the area of renewable and climate-smart wood energy and forestry.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, implementing agency to the German Government’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has remained one of our major clients. Further commissioning bodies include KfW Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Commission.

In the 1990s, ECO Consult provided technical assistance and advise in many aspects of forest sector development and rural development on contracts financed by GIZ. Crosscutting evaluations of programmes by e.g. the European Commission, complemented the portfolio. Expertise and advisory services were delivered to Eastern Europe and CIS countries e.g. under the EC’s TACIS Programme.

Meanwhile the company’s focus has expanded from essentially forest and rural development oriented technical advice to a rather governance-centered perspective. Policy, and sector reforms, with an emphasis on decentralization, democratization and civil society empowerment today constitute a major share of ECO's activities.

ECO Consult has actively accompanied the negotiation of multilateral sustainable development goals and the evolution of international climate-protection policies. Since 2010, capacitation of stakeholders in climate adaptation strategies (e.g. ecosystem-based adaptation, integration of ecosystem services in development planning, community-based action plans) and preparation for innovative financing instruments (REDD+, carbon markets) has grown a major pillar of ECO's training portfolio. Assessing capacity needs and capacity development with regard to climate-relevant policies is still meeting rising demand from partner countries. At the same time, modernizing wood energy value chains in Subsaharan African with the aim to bring wasteful combustion techniques to a halt, now finally receives increased attention.

Joyful envisaging of the company's forthcoming 25th anniversary was overshadowed by the tragic illness of company founder and chief executive Cornelia Sepp.

In 2017, ECO celebrated 25 years of business as a consolidated family enterprise with a sturdy management and motivated crew. For our status as a major employer of our domestic home region and reliable development partner ECO Consult was awarded a honorary certificate by the Chamber of Commerce.

Our anniversary logo reflects the idea behind the whole of our activities: push things forward in an integrative, consultative manner and create momentum for development.

In 2019, ECO won the certificate for standardised quality management along EN ISO 9001:2015 — start of another ongoing process of optimising our business demeanor and operational routines.

ECO's anniversary logo

Our mission: creating momentum for change

ECO Consult helps clients move things forward, in a consultative manner. This is both, the ultimate goal of our activities in project implementation and a benchmark for success.

ECO's corporate label

Three dimensions of one brand

Deriving from Greek 'oikos' (household), the prefix "eco" has remained in many languages a common denominator of both 'ecology', and 'economy'.

As a consultancy "ECO"'s philosophy is to meet both economic and ecological requirements, by dealing with limited resources in a "household-sensible" (economic) way. The prefix that parents our company signifies this. The corporate colour of purple stands for social sustainability.


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