WWF: Living Planet Report 2016

Risk and resilience in a new era.

For WWF’s landmark biennial Living Planet Report, Metabolic contributed a chapter that outlined how a systems approach is required to address the planet’s biggest challenges.

  • Client: WWF
  • Date: 2016
The challenge

The Living Planet Report – published every two years since 1998 and based on the Living Planet Index – has become the most influential and important science-based analysis on the health of the planet and the impact of human activity. For the 2016 report, WWF – confronted by devastating statistics around wildlife degradation – asked Metabolic to outline possible solutions to some of these challenges.

Our approach

Based on our expertise in systems thinking, we developed the ideas and content for Chapter 3 of the report, titled: Exploring Root Causes. We highlighted that a systems approach is essential if we are to steer the course of socio-economic development onto a pathway that does not conflict with the biosphere or long-term human welfare. By focusing in on the food system, we explained how this systems approach can help identify levers for change that address endemic unsustainable mechanisms currently ‘locked in’, and provided a guide for how other challenges can be similarly approached.

The outcome

Our contribution to the Living Planet Report has made a significant contribution to the global understanding of the importance of taking a systems approach to solve major sustainability challenges, and crucially helped more people to understand how to apply it. It has also led to further growing our long term working relationship with WWF with further major collaborations underway.

Want to learn more?

“It is clear that efforts directed at sustainability have been far from sufficient. We need to shift from short-term decision-making toward a long-term, comprehensive vision. We often turn to superficial solutions when trying to solve complex problems. However, finding genuine solutions requires a much deeper understanding of pressures, drivers, root causes, and the basic dynamics of systems.”

- Eva Gladek

Senior Consultant


For more information about this project, please get in touch.