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    Koppels Allé, Building 404

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Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The research within the Section of Design for Sustainability (DfS) is driven by the need to integrate sustainability considerations into systems, the built environment, products and services, within companies and society, plus the need to ensure the design of sustainable production and consumption systems.

The Section’s research combines deep theoretical studies with highly applied action research methodologies, aiming at contributing both to basic knowledge on Design for Sustainability and to ensure its implementation into industry and society, at large.

Solutions to societal challenges
The research within the Section is focused on seven sustainability areas:

  • Design for Sustainability (including ecodesign, sustainability maturity, sustainability screening, trade-off management for sustainability deployment, design for disassembly of buildings)

  • Circular Economy, CE (including product/service-systems, eco-innovation, CE readiness, business processes for CE, take-back systems, value chain collaboration)

  • Reboundless Design (including identification of rebound effects, quantification and simulation, rebound prevention by design, system dynamics, agent-based modelling)

  • Absolute Sustainability (including science-based targets, design within biophysical boundaries, company boundaries, product boundaries)

  • Business Innovation for Sustainability (including life cycle economics, sustainable business models)

  • Sustainability Transitions (including system dynamics, transition theory)

  • Remanufacturing (including Design for Remanufacturing, remanufacturing process design, disassembly & reassembly techniques)

The Section of Design for Sustainability (DfS) is one of the Founding groups behind DTU’s Centre for Absolute Sustainability, which has the mission of bringing together leading competences in technology research and sustainability assessment to foster research and innovation that enables fact-based and strategic sustainability decision-making and implementation in Denmark and the world.

Our research within the Section comprises numerous projects, ranging from Danish projects supported by the Innovation Foundation and Industry Foundation, through Nordic projects financed by NordForsk and Nordic Innovation, to European frameworks such as the EuroTech Alliance, the Horizon Europe programme and the European Research Council. In addition, we are active in a host of national and organisations, such as the Manufacturing Academy of Denmark (MADE), the Design Society and the System Dynamics Society.

The Section contributes with teaching and supervision within all of DTU’s educational channels, including Bachelor, Diploma, Masters, PhD and Executive (lifelong learning) degrees. Topics taught reflect our research and we cover numerous study lines offered by DTU.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


Dive into the research topics where Design for Sustainability is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or