About us


Message from the Director

Welcome to Social Systems Division!

The goal of our research is to elucidate how our production and consumption activities interact with environmental factors such as climate, natural resources and the atmosphere, and how we can improve our affluence while solving environmental problems like climate change, wastes and air pollution. Such environmental issues have been affecting the lives of human beings and other living creatures alike. They may also affect future generations with severe impacts, although current and past human behaviors have created the causes of such problems.

We have been imposing heavy burdens on the earth by extracting excessive resources and emitting pollutants to gain economic wealth, based on the idea that the use of environment is free. However, we have finally realized that such actions are not sustainable, and there arose many movements to review our past behaviors. Some of the examples of these movements are the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement (to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Although many private companies and local governments have begun to take actions for these targets, they are not enough. On the other hand, some regions such as developing countries still need to pursue economic growth, thus careful consideration should be given to these areas.

Our research at the Social Systems Division covers a very wide range of research subjects, but they all have one theme in common. It is to identify the initiatives that will contribute to sustainable development and economic affluence while preserving the environment, and to show how these initiatives can be realized. We will continue our efforts with respect for nature, intergenerational perspective, and empathy to the vulnerable.

Toshihiko Masui
Director, Social Systems Division

NIES Social Systems Division Pamphlet

NIES Social Systems Division Logo Mark

In this logo mark, the “S” road, which stands for Society and Sustainability, is drawn across the earth extending toward the “house” that represents human society and the “trees” that represent the environment. The logo mark expresses how we are heading toward a bright future in which human activities and the environment are in harmony.