Formally, IED belongs to the Department of Environmental Systems Science. Its members are various professors from the departments of Humanities, Social and Poltical Sciences, Environmental Systems Science, Health Sciences and Technology, and Management, Technology, and Economics.
IED focuses on research as well as on teaching at different levels. The Institute is responsible for the Social Sciences segment of the ETH Master program in Environmental Sciences. National and international seminars and conferences on environmental decision making are coordinated in cooperation with educational institutions and organizations.