School of Earth and Environment

Oliver Zwirner

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: Fairbairn House, G13

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


Oliver Zwirner is a specialist in analysing and designing environmental and sustainability statistics, accounts, indicators and indices from a statistical, policy and political perspective. He is drawing from a broad range of experience in business (mainly the financial industry), research (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ & University of Leeds), and policy. For about 10 years he has worked at the European Commission, Environment Directorate-General on environmental and sustainable development indicators and measuring overall societal progress to go 'beyond GDP'.

In 2016 he moved to University of Leeds and worked inter alia to improve sustainability impact assessment methods and methodology in the CVORR project. In May 2018 he started working on 'Natural capital accounting: distribution of benefits'.


Diplomoekonom (MA Economics and Social Sciences), University of Augsburg, Germany


  • International & European Society of Ecological Economics
  • Federal Working Committee on Economics and Finance of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND)

Research Interests

  • Policy-science-statistics interface
  • Beyond GDP - summary metrics to measure societal progress
  • Natural capital and integrated environmental economic accounting
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI)
  • Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) methods and methodology
  • Environmental Macro-Indicators (EMI)
  • Composite indices
  • Good practice of communicating of and with numerical knowledge
  • Ecological economic and macro ecological theory

Project details

Project title

Natural capital accounting: distribution of benefits


Dr Julia Martin-Ortega (Sustainability Research Institute)

Dr Kirsty Blackstock (The James Hutton Institute)


The James Hutton Institute / The Macaulay Development Trust

Start date

1 May 2018


Recently published:

'Fully integrated modelling for sustainability assessment of resource recovery from waste.'

Science of The Total Environment, 612, 613–624, (2018).

Millward-Hopkins, J., Busch, J., Purnell, P., Zwirner, O., Velis, C. A., Brown, A., … Iacovidou, E. (open access)

'Metrics for optimising the multi-dimensional value of resources recovered from waste in a circular economy: A critical review.'

Journal of Cleaner Production, 166, 910–938, (2017).

Iacovidou, E., Velis, C. A., Purnell, P., Zwirner, O., Brown, A., Hahladakis, J., Millward-Hopkins, J., Williams, P. T. (open access)

'A pathway to circular economy: Developing a conceptual framework for complex value assessment of resources recovered from waste.'

Journal of Cleaner Production, 168(Supplement C), 1279–1288, (2017).

Iacovidou, E., Millward-Hopkins, J., Busch, J., Purnell, P., Velis, C. A., Hahladakis, J. N., Zwirner, O., Brown, A. (open access)

For more please visit ResearchGate: