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Research

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I.  Wide-Ranging
, Integrative Research Capability



ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIOPOLITICAL, AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES



    Hoffman and Associates brings an international, interdisciplinary approach to bear on a broad spectrum of important research questions.  Here are a few examples of research we have done:




Sustainable Agriculture
What is the state of environmentally sustainable agriculture in Japan, and how does it compare with the U.S.?  What can Japan learn from U.S. organic certification issues, and vice versa?



U.S., International, Japanese Environmental Business
What is the state of environmental consulting in Japan?  What environmental problems can international firms help solve in Japan?  How can we best support businesses to make positive environmental changes?



Indicators of Sustainability
What environmental and social indicators should be used to evaluate environmental quality and quality of life in China, the U.S., Japan, and other nations?



Environmental Policy:  U.S., Japanese, International
How do interest groups influence environmental policy in the U.S., Japan, China, India, Sweden, England and other nations?  What insights does a global perspective provide to the search for sustainability?



Solid Waste
What are the advantages and disadvantages of 'state-of-the-art' waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and treatment practices used in the U.S., Japan, and Germany?



Environmental Values, Policy and Globalization
How are values changing, and how do these changes affect policy?  How is environmental expertise defined in different cultures, and how does this affect policymaking?



Environmental Education
What environmental education techniques are most effective in the U.S., Japan and China?



Natural Areas, Biodiversity, and Sustainability
 How can we conserve biodiversity while maintaining sustainable lifestyles of rural peoples in the developing world, Japan, and U.S.?  What new programs would help accomplish this?



Environmental Risk
What risks are associated with landfilling waste incinerator ash, and dioxin emissions from waste incinerators?  How serious are health risks from pesticide residues?




II.  Research Approaches


Interviews and Surveys


   
We often conduct interviews and surveys to understand complex issues.  For example, we have used them to:

 
Integrate advice from diverse experts and develop innovative new priorities
Understand how culture affects environmental policy and business in Asia, Europe, and North America, and use this to develop sound business strategy;


Gather groundbreaking ideas to make innovative policy recommendations;


Determine why some companies implement leading-edge pollution prevention and waste reduction measures, while others do not;


Understand how interest groups influence environmental policymaking in Japan, the U.S., Europe and the developing world, and apply this knowledge to advocacy campaigns.

 

Case Studies



    Clients agree that the case study is an effective tool to capture complexity and attain in-depth understanding.  Here are a few examples of our case study research:



Printing companies in the U.S.:  analysis of firms’ environmental practices and thinking to understand why some did not join a groundbreaking environmental program;

 
Well-known international nonprofits:  analysis of approaches to biodiversity conservation and comparison of effectiveness;



"Who won, and why” in environmental controversies around the world:  cross-cultural analysis of state-of-the-art advocacy, strategic recommendations to interest groups;






Integrated Analysis



        Hoffman and Associates takes a comprehensive, integrated view of environmental, sociopolitical, and international issues.  In an increasingly complex world--where information is power--integrative analysis expands thinking in crucial ways.  This holds true across nonprofit, business, academic, and government sectors.  Consider these examples:




We assisted a nonprofit organization to take steps to increase international presence and influence, based on comprehensive analysis of needs.  The organization expanded networking activity, enlisted new board members, and took a position at the forefront of its field;



Based on careful assessment of collaboration among Japanese, Indian, Chinese, and U.S. professionals, we developed new methods to facilitate collaboration among researchers, dramatically improving the quality of an important project;



By unearthing new information about solid waste treatment and bringing it to Wisconsin policymakers, we helped catalyze passage of innovative legislation;




We developed an innovative exchange program, enabling Japanese students to be immersed in field studies of U.S. natural areas and environmental controversies.





Qualitative/Quantitative Combinations



        Contemporary issues are multifaceted, often demanding that analysis is deepened by combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.  At Hoffman and Associates:



Team members possess both qualitative and quantitative skills;



Teams can use tools ranging from sophisticated geographic information system (GIS) analysis to interviews with ordinary people;



We employ all appropriate research tools to provide results of the highest quality.





Collaborative/International/Interdisciplinary Investigations




   
    
As environmental and social issues become increasingly global and complex, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and international research are of increasing value in devising sustainable solutions.  Our network can be mobilized quickly to meet your needs.



Associates possess diverse specialties and expert networks;


We have ongoing collaborative relationships with top professionals the world over.  This includes experts in environmental policy, business, sociology, intercultural relations, advocacy, pollution prevention, waste reduction, conservation, environmental engineering, preventive medicine, environmental psychology, and many other fields;


We have engaged in collaborative research with Japanese environmental, social, and business experts since 1989:  e.g., environmental politics, citizen participation, solid waste, environmental conservation, water pollution, air pollution, environmental consulting, market research, environmental sociology, and other experts.




Field Assessment



         We emphasize research of the real-world.  To date, we have done field research in the following nations:  the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia.




Market Analysis



Hoffman and Associates maintains working relationships with top market experts in the United States and Japan.  Businesses hoping to enter Japan or other Asian nations, as well as those hoping to enter the U.S. or other Western nations from Asia, can benefit from this network;



We offer priority treatment to organizations that plan to introduce innovative and useful environment-related technologies, products, services, and/or ideas.  




  


"If we ask the important questions;
If we listen keenly to the informed and experienced;
And if we persist in applying all that we know; 
Together we arrive at excellent answers."

--Steven M. Hoffman, Hoffman and Associates