Networks and partnerships

The centre offers access to the many competences at the University of Copenhagen and welcome you to contact us for research purposes or strategic partnerships.

Use our research network

We provide you with an overview of relevant research groups and initiatives based at University of Copenhagen. In cooperation with researchers around the world, they gain access to the most current research results pertaining to sustainable development.

If you are a researcher looking for new colleagues at the University of Copenhagen to set up a cross-disciplinary study, please contact us for more information on how we can help you in the process.

Active collaborations

The sustainability challenges facing humankind require the concerted efforts of researchers from around the world to solve. Find descriptions and information on some of our active collaborations below. 



In addition to active collaboration with other Danish universities, the University of Copenhagen supports the Sustainability Science Initiative of the International Association of Research Universities (IARU).

Read more about IARU




In 2014 we joined a strong sustainability collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). This Copenhagen Sustainability Initiative (COSI) brings together research, education and outreach from three leading universities.

Read more about COSI

Joint sustainability courses

In a joint COSI collaboration, we bring students from all three universities together in two sustainability courses drawing from science, engineering and business studies.



In 2014, the Sustainability Science Center became a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Through a global network of universities, research centers, and other knowledge institutions, the SDSN is supporting the international discussions on framing the Sustainability Development Goals. It is promoting high quality education and research collaboration for sustainable development and supporting governments in better understanding and addressing challenges for sustainable development.

Read more about SDSN


UCPH cross-faculty centres

Find information on other UCPH entry points and cross-faculty centres dedicated to sustainable change and development.


UCPH Green Solutions Centre was established in 2021 with a genuine desire to collaborate on research-based green solutions across the faculties of University of Copenhagen (UCPH). The aim of the centre is to develop interdisciplinary solutions to obtain societal and global green goals. Read more.


Environmental Humanities provide crucial knowledge about the structures of everyday lives and the resources needed to make human behavior sustainable. Read more.



UCPH networks 

Below you find a list of active research-based networks supported by UCPH within the framework of sustainable transition. 


Cross‐disciplinary Network for a Green Transition in the Danish Aquaculture Sector (AquaNet)

Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector for animal production for consumption globally and has become an increasingly attractive approach to enhance food production with high quality proteins. The GGE from aquaculture is low compared to e.g. ruminant meat products, and the efficiency of feed conversion into biomass in fish production is 3-10 times higher than in terrestrial livestock farming.

The relatively low emission from animal aquaculture production represents a strong potential as a sustainable future food supply. The proposed network will be an excellent starting point for pursing long-term goals for a green transition of the Danish food production by focusing on aquatic production, and at the same time identifying specific research projects that can target national and international funding and help to move the field forward.

The aim of the research network is therefore to:

  • Map the cross-disciplinary expertise on aquaculture-based food production at KU, including technical, environmental, health, socio-economics and ethical aspects of the production and consumer chain
  • Identify external national and international research groups, stakeholders and aquaculture-related industries to establish partnerships aimed for specific research proposals
  • Prepare a catalogue of potential research projects involving KU researchers, which target specific research calls from national and international funding agencies

Read more about AquaNet


Climate Arctic Governance (CArGo)

The purpose of CArGo is to advance research in Arctic governance to meet the climate and sustainability challenges the world is facing. CArGo’s subject areas and activities will focus on Arctic socio-economic systems and the different legal, political, geographical and cultural regimes at play. The network incorporates scholars from law, political science, geoscience and humanities to explore research synergies on this topic.

While CArGo’s founding partners represent law, political science, humanities and science, the network is open to all disciplines and researchers, and it is the goal of CArGo to incorporate more scholars over time to broaden views, approaches and funding opportunities.

Read more about CArGo



The UCPH Network on Reducing Emissions from Agricultural Soils (REAS)

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Soils (GGAS). Controlling greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils constitutes the single largest greenhouse gas emission reduction potential in Denmark. Emissions derive from two main sources: Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from poorly drained, yet still cultivated and fertilized fields, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from drained organic wetlands.

Changed land management to stop these emissions will help mitigate climate change and holds the potential to increase biodiversity, provide new recreational and/or conservation areas, and reduce nutrient loads to the aquatic environment. Yet, change occurs slowly, hampered by a combination of natural, economic, and social processes and historical perceptions of the soils, their use, and their cultural contexts. Further, changing the management of these soils could also carry adverse effects as increased phosphorus leaching, waterlogging of neighboring fields, and increased N2O emissions in rewetted areas.

This interdisciplinary research network, spanning the Faculties of Humanities, Social Science, and Science, will identify systemic barriers to re-wetting, propose research to overcome the barriers, and device applicable action points for policy-makers to reduce Danish greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils and improve the accuracy of national emission inventories. The main aim of the network is to identify sustainable solutions to decrease GHG emissions from agricultural soils while controlling adverse effects and optimizing co-benefits of changed land management.

Read more about REAS



The Green Labels Network (GreenLab)
Creating effective governance structures for the green transition 

The green transition will generate new types of products and services in all stages of the value chain and in all sectors. In order to create behavioral change, the sustainable character of these products and services must be documented and communicated to potential buyers. Green labels are going to be an important tool in this regard. Already, numerous green labels exist worldwide, some representing public, some private and some hybrid governance systems, and studies show that labels often play an important role for buyers’ decisions to acquire a specific product or service.

However, it is also common knowledge that not all labels are equally trustworthy and that labels may be (mis)used for ‘greenwashing’. Thus, a major challenge in the coming years will be the creation of effective green label systems that correctly assess and communicate the ‘sustainability’ of a specific product or service. Meeting this challenge, requires expertise from a variety of different disciplines, including natural science, political science, sociology, ethnology, law and psychology.

The purpose of the network is to bring together researchers from all of these disciplines to analyze the challenges in creating effective label governance schemes that can support the green transition.

Main participant and contact

Professor and Center Manager Vibe Garf Ulfbeck
Centre for Private Governance (CEPRI)
Faculty of Law



Spanning across social sciences, humanities, law ,and natural-technical sciences, the UCPH network on The Governance of Green Transition seeks to develop new comprehensive and transdisciplinary approaches to the governance challenges of green transition. Green transition governance comprises the means of exercising control over, steering, or directing society and its organizations, institutions, and practices in the process towards enhanced sustainability. The network is organized around four sub-themes of transition governance:

  • Socio-technical transition networks and partnerships

  • New institutions of deliberation and inclusive decision-making

  • Civil society participation and experimentation in reform nexuses

  • Cultural models of transition in-between expert planners and citizens

Overall, the network will lay the foundation for crosscutting as well as more sector-specific future research collaborations. By entering into partnerships with national and international research environments and stakeholders, the network aims to help place the social sciences and humanities (SSH) more centrally in research into green transitions writ large.

Main participant and contact

Associate Professor Anders Blok
Department of Sociology
Faculty of Social Sciences



Scenarios for Sustainable Animal Production in the Future

Many people love a good steak, or they use eggs or dairy products in their daily cooking. But this comes with a price because animal production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems. Hence, if we want to keep using animal products, we must come up with more clever and sustainable ways to produce them.

Research in sustainability of animal production is currently compartmentalized in unproductive ways. Natural scientists work to make the production as sustainable as possible; economists and sociologists analyze how animal products are valuated and consumed, and anthropologists and humanities address the relations between humans and animals.

This way, sustainability of animal production is a challenge conceived in very different ways by different disciplines and each of them chart different and most often uncoordinated solutions. The new UCPH Scenarios for Sustainable Animal Production in the Future-network will provide an interdisciplinary probing of what animal production may be in the future. The purpose is to bring different disciplines and approaches into conversation and facilitate a cross-disciplinary understanding, which will empower well-coordinated joint ventures in animal sustainability research.

Read more about the Sustainable Animal Production network 



The Sustainable Drug Discovery Network connects scientists interested in all aspects of sustainable drug discovery to foster collaborations seeking green solutions funding.

The Sustainable Drug Discovery Network has focus on the multitude of factors involving sustainability in drug discovery and production. Particular focus is on the bioactive compounds sourced from traditional medicinal plants with local indigenous ownership. The compounds can e.g., be used as drugs, health-promoting agents, flavors, and fragrances as well as a reservoir for larger chemical biodiscovery work.

Today, the path from biodiscovery in nature to development and large-scale sustainable production remains largely unchartered and disconnected, especially when it comes to sustainability.

Collective action across continents is needed to combine societal challenges such as minority and intellectual properties rights, regulatory frameworks, and equitable access to medicine with sustainable drug discovery and transition to large-scale green production of drugs.

The network will bridge all UCPH faculties and focus on the exciting but challenging research questions arising by combining research disciplines in order to explore and combine moral, legal, and social sustainability with green development and production. The aim is to develop and mature grant applications through a series of online and in-person meetings.

Read more about the Sustainable Drug Discovery Network



Plant Food and Pleasure
Food consumption's sustainability and pleasure schism

A significant share of the necessary green transition must come from changes in behavior towards a more sustainable food consumption pattern. However, embedded conflicts of interest may impede optimal decision making at both a personal, household, community, organizational and societal level.

This dietary shift therefore requires that citizens themselves (individually and collectively) are agents of change. To achieve this goal of substantial individual and collective change, the multi-disciplinary approach provided by this network is crucial to overcome the barriers to adopting alternative diets.

The Plant Food and Pleasure network will identify the most relevant research and the needs for interdisciplinary research related to sustainable food consumption. This will create a holistic roadmap necessary to accelerate the necessary transition to a sustainable plant-based diet. The research network consists of researcher from 5 different departments, spanning faculties of humanity, social sciences, law, and science.

Main participant and contact

Associate Professor Michael Bom Frøst
Department of Food Science
Faculty of Science 


The transition towards sustainable food packaging demands technical solutions in terms of new materials and technologies for recycling. However, the food itself has a much bigger footprint than the packaging and food waste minimization is central to sustainable solutions; new recycling technologies require standards that affect international trade; and legislation needs to balance consumer protection and sustainability. Finally, this transition co-exists with other transitions that affect the availability of energy and resources. Given this complexity, interdisciplinary research is essential and in response to this, we establish an interdisciplinary network running over a funding period of two years.

The network includes scientific disciplines belonging to four faculties of University of Copenhagen:

  • Science (Department of Food Science, Chemistry, Plant Science, Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Food and Resource Economics, and Computer Science)
  • Law (Centre for Private Governance)
  • Social Sciences (Department of Economics)
  • Humanities (The Saxo Institute)
  • Other partners include Lund University and Copenhagen Business School.

A living scientific community is established by biannual workshops involving network members as well as invited external speakers in order to develop a common language and mature research ideas. Network funding is allocated for hiring young researchers as support for developing larger research projects on EU and national level. Highlights of the network process is integrated as modules and cases in teaching at three faculties at the University of Copenhagen in order to link education and ongoing interdisciplinary research within the green agenda.

Main participant and contact

Associate Professor Jens Risbo
Department of Food Science
Faculty of Science




The currently accelerating loss of biodiversity globally calls for new solutions to the old problem of sustainable coexistence between humans and nature. Two opposed approaches to providing habitat for wild species exist, i.e. setting aside near-intact ecosystems separate from production areas (land sparing) or integrating habitat in ‘nature-friendly’ farming, forestry and urban infrastructure (land sharing).

The TRIAD network seeks to investigate a three-compartment TRIAD strategy (combining high-yield farming/forestry, extensive land-use and set-aside near-intact ecosystems) as a framework for co-existence of nature and production, when further societal goods are considered (e.g. recreation, livelihood in rural areas).

This three-legged strategy has received little attention in terms of interdisciplinary research, which has mainly focused on either land sparing or land sharing approaches.

 The ultimate purpose of the Biodiversity TRIAD network is to develop a knowledge base to underpin new societal solutions to this complex problem, with Denmark in focus. Cross-disciplinary research on how biodiversity may be accommodated in the intensively used Danish landscape is needed.

The society demands knowledge on 1) synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity and other societal goods in order to inform spatial planning and regulation, and 2) efficient nature restoration from current production areas. The immediate purpose is to develop approaches in a network of researchers spanning multiple disciplines.

Main participant and contact

Associate Professor Hans Henrik Bruun
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science 




More to come

Additional cooperative agreements have been entered or are under negotiation with:

Enter a strategic partnership with us

Corporations can enter strategic partnerships with the Sustainability Science Centre through a sponsorship, and access the sustainability competences at the University more generally for “sparring” in relation to internal and customer-related dialogue.

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