Walter Kahlenborn
Dipl.-Ing. Business Engineering, M.A. History/Philosophy
Managing Director

Walter Kahlenborn is a co-founder and Managing Director of adelphi research and adelphi consult. The core topics of his research and consultancy work are: sustainable economic development, and climate and energy. He advises federal ministries, the European Commission, companies and organisations.

Since 1995, he has managed more than 100 national and international research and advisory projects with inter-disciplinary teams, predominantly on issues concerning energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate protection and mitigation, urban development, green economy, sustainable consumption, sustainable financial services, and corporate social responsibility.

As adelphi’s Managing Director, he has played a leading role in devising work programmes for international organisations, developing technology road maps, as well as designing and implementing environmental action plans. He was commissioned by the German government to oversee the foundation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and organised a large-scale energy efficiency campaign with several thousand participants for DEHOGA, the German Hotel and Restaurant Alliance. In parallel to these activities, he has initiated and managed numerous European research projects on environmental, economic and political issues and their interactions. Furthermore, he has been being responsible for coordinating and steering secretariats (e.g. hosting the German EMAS Advisory Board, UGA) and coordinating international awards (e.g. European Natura 2000 Award).

He has published more than 200 books, articles and technical papers on issues regarding environmental policy. His regional focuses are Europe, Southeast Asia and the USA. In the past, he has been a member of various scientific advisory boards as well as an expert evaluator for the European Commission’s Framework Programmes. Furthermore, he is fully trained in Capacity WORKS.

He is founder of the German Sustainable Investment Forum and worked many years both as Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of the forum. He also held for several years the post of Vice President of the European umbrella organisation Eurosif, which he helped co-found.

Before working for adelphi, Walter Kahlenborn spent six years at the environmental consultancy company Ecologic and managed the Environmental Finance department. From 1994 to 1995, he worked at the Social Science Research Centre for Professor Meinolf Dierkes in Berlin.

Walter Kahlenborn studied industrial engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) and history and philosophy (M.A.) in Berlin, Bologna and New Orleans.

Selected Projects

Selected publications