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Sustainability Science

Sustainability Science is a thematic subject that uses concepts, theories, methods and models to describe and answer questions related to the interrelationships between the environment, people and technology.

Sustainability Science offers education at first cycle (Bachelor of Science), second cycle and third cycle level. Research in the subject is primarily connected to the Strategic Research Area Sustainable Urban Development. There is also some connection to the Strategic Research Area Intelligent Industry. The subject area has several professors, employs 10-20 doctoral students and all education and research is performed in close collaboration with the community at large.

The overall objective of Sustainability Science is to reduce human negative environmental impact, with specific focus on climate impact, while building local socio-ecological resilience. The joint objectives for research and education in the field of Sustainability Science are to contribute to reducing the impact on the natural environment by means of good management, planning and conservation of natural resources and limiting emissions to air, soil and water. These objectives are achieved through the analysis and development of technical solutions (systems, processes, products and services), psychological factors and behavioural changes, as well as their interaction and integration into socio-technical and socio-ecological systems which have in common that they directly or indirectly have an impact on the natural environment.

Research in Sustainability Science

Research in Sustainability Science focuses on three thematic areas, with a range of research projects within each focus area. Several of the PhD students in Sustainability Science belong to the Future-Proof Cities graduate school

Fossil-free society

This focus area works to facilitate and accelerate a fundamental transition to a fossil-free future. The focus is on renewable energy and how new technology and different stakeholders collaborate in a transition. Among other things, it examines the value chains for transport and energy supply, including fuel processes, vehicles, infrastructure, user behaviour, sector linkages, etc.

Green urban living

This focus area deals with sustainable urban development, including the construction and planning of housing, infrastructure, public spaces, transport, recycling and safer chemicals handling, which in turn demand new technology and multi-sector collaboration.

Resource management

The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy as of today. Instead of manufacturing, buying and then discarding various types of products, they are used for as long as possible in a circular economy. After that, they are reused and recycled – all to save the earth’s resources.

Degree programmes in Sustainability Science

Third cycle education
Sustainability Science is one of the University’s ten third cycle subject areas and was established in 2020. Between 10 and 20 doctoral students are admitted in Sustainability Science and a similar number are supervisors in this subject or associated subjects such as energy systems. A number of licentiate and doctoral degrees are taken every year. A number of third cycle courses in Sustainability Science are also offered.


Here you can find all of the researchers and doctoral students in Sustainability Science.

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Gunilla Mårtensson Updated: 2023-06-12
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)