FrontPage 2020-11-25T22:42:18+00:00

Application open for our new courses in sustainable energy and transport systems

Curious about how current energy and transport systems can be transformed to full sustainability? The SustainTrans team offers in late fall and early spring 7,5 credit distance courses in English about how to achieve a sustainable energy and transport systems that can comply with principles for a social, ecological, and economical sustainable future. Link to further description of the sustainable energy course and the sustainable transport course and other open sustainability courses offered by the TISU department.


September 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

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“Sustainable transport is urgent – but possible and affordable”    

Dr. Henrik Ny, at the Department of Strategic Sustainable Development at Blekinge Institute of Technology    

Read more about how this can be achieved in the English summary report or in the main report page (in Swedish).


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Education for sustainability



– Are you interested to learn more about transitions to full sustainability? 

Our team is involved in, and responsible for, several courses open for international students at BTH. Below is an excerpt of these courses where strategic sustainable development is the core theme.

From late fall 2020, we have the pleasure to offer a distance course in English about sustainable energy systems. The aim of the course is to develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of current energy systems, their sustainability consequences, and how they can be transformed strategically to sustainability. Some previous knowledge about strategic sustainable development is required, as well as earlier university studies.

The SustainTrans team offers a new distance course in English about how can we transform to sustainable transport system based on renewable sources and efficient use of energy carriers that can comply with principles for a social, ecological, and economical sustainable future. The course runs in 2021 between 18th of January and 28th of March on 50% and requires some previous knowledge about strategic sustainable development.

Welcome to apply via universityadmissions.se

Foundations for Strategic Sustainable development, 7,5 cr

In early fall and early spring, we and colleagues at the TISU department offer 7,5 credit distance courses in English about introduction to strategic sustainable development. The hybrid course SL2545 combines distance and BTH-campus learning, and runs in parallell with the distance course SL2539. This is a great opportunity to learn about the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD), principles that defines sustainability, and the ABCD-approach to guide planning towards sustainability.

Green Transition Strategist, 2×7,5 cr

This certificate program is for early to mid-career professionals who have been partly or fully laid off in the tourism and manufacturing industries, and/or for people who have an interest in supporting these sectors in the transition. It comprised of two distance courses (7,5 ECTS each), and are given online from January to June 2021 at 50% speed. The first course is about understanding green and sustainable transitions explores key sustainability challenges and the underlying drivers of the current societal and ecological problems. The second course builds on the first and focuses on how to instigate and navigate these transitions, both in an organizational and sectoral context.

Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, 60 cr

The TISU department hosts a 1-year international master’s program in English on BTH campus about strategic leadership towards sustainability. This is highly recommended for anyone with a bachelor degree who would like to know more about how to support a transition to global sustainability by creating and implementing economically beneficial development of products, systems, organisations and societies. 

Environmental Management, 7,5 cr

This distance course runs in late spring on 50% in Swedish. The aim is to provide basic and broad knowledge in the area of ​​environmental management and to develop student’s ability to identify and strategically address primarily ecological aspects, and to some extent also social aspects, from the implementation of selected parts of an environmental management system in companies and other organizations.

Our research team

FSSD wide 2

We are a research team within the research area of  Strategic Sustainable Development at the TISU department within Blekinge Institute of Technology. Guided by the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD), our research is focusing on accelerated transformation of energy and transport systems towards sustainability. 


Henrik Ny
Henrik Ny
Henrik is the research team leader and an associate professor. Besides PhD supervision he focus his research on development of methods and strategies for sustainable development.
Varvara Nikulina
Varvara Nikulina
Varvara is since 2017 a PhD student within the team and focus on the comparative analysis of transitions towards sustainable future within the transportation sector.
Sven Borén
Sven Borén
Sven is a researcher within the team and focus his research on sustainability assessment of transport and development of methods, strategies and actions towards sustainability.
Giles Thomson
Giles Thomson
Giles is a researcher with a background in urban planning. He completed a PhD on regenerative urbanism and his focus is the intersection between urban planning and transport systems.
Göran Broman
Göran Broman
Göran is a Professor within Strategic Sustainable Development and the head of the TISU department, with supervision and development of transitions towards full sustainability as the main focus.
Karl-Henrik Robért
Karl-Henrik Robért
Karl-Henrik is a professor within Strategic Sustainable Development. He focuses on co-authorship of articles and mentorship within the team, and development of the Framework of Strategic Sustainable Development.
Abdellah Abarkan
Abdellah Abarkan
Abdellah is a professor at the department of Spatial Planning at Blekinge Institute of Technology. He is associated to the SustainTrans team through common research on sustainable mobility and urban planning. Abdellah and Henrik Ny jointly supervises the PhD student Judith Oginga Martins within this area.
Judith Oginga-Martins
Judith Oginga-Martins
Judith is an urban planner and PhD student at the department of Spatial Planning at Blekinge Institute of Technology. She is working with the SustainTrans team through her supervisors Abdellah and Henrik within the UN Habitat project, Solutions Plus, which has a strong focus on electric mobility solutions in East Africa.
Read more about the team members


This paper reveals a process for how rapid scenario planning can support a regional sustainability transformation. Read more about the paper through this link.

The 3rd paper in the electric bus study has after four years of work been completed by Anders Grauers at Chalmers, SustainTrans member Sven Borén, and Oscar Enerbäck at RISE.

Read more about the paper.

Written by Jyane Bryant and Giles Thomson and published in Sustainability Science in 2020, this paper presents a case study about embedding sustainability into a local government in Perth, Western Australia, through the introduction of a sustainability policy and the accompanying education and culture change program. Read more about the paper.

This report is a summary of a project conducted in 2019 about finding Challenges and Opportunities for shipping at large and Wallenius Marine towards sustainability.

Read more about the report

This paper by Sven Borén published in the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation (2019) describes how significant savings in societal costs and total cost of ownership when electric buses were compared to diesel and biogas powered buses, mainly due to decreased noise, no emissions in the use phase, and decreased energy use.

Read more about the paper

Highlights of this paper written by Varvara Nikulina et al. (2019):

A conceptual framework for analysing complexity of transdisciplinary co-production settings with regards to three aspects.

• Selected aspects: epistemic communities, linguistic diversity, culture.

• Some aspects that a process leader/facilitator would likely need to deal with when preparing for a co-production process.

• Linguistic equality, disciplinary integrity, culture of mutual respect, simultaneous mitigation, informed facilitation.

Read more about the paper.

The paper work primarily developed two stakeholder collaboration models, suggesting that charging infrastructure should be designed separately from the common procurement process. In these models, energy companies, electric grid owners, charging infrastructure operators, regional public transport authorities, and municipalities need to collaborate. The first model is designed for a system that includes chargers at certain locations along a route and/or stakeholders with a low level of experience of electric bus systems, while the second is designed for a system that includes bus charging at the depot and/or stakeholders with a high level of experience of electric bus systems.

Read more about the paper on this webpage.

This licentiate thesis by Varvara Nikulina was defended the 25th of January 2019 at Blekinge Institute of Technology. The overall conclusion is that there is a need for research that would show how mobility actors can contribute to resolve pressing issues related to climate change fast enough without compromising other aspects of sustainability, including how temporary trade-offs can be addressed in a strategic way.

Link to further information about the thesis

This PhD thesis Sven Borén was defended the 18th of October at Blekinge Institute of Technology. It revealed if, and then how, electric vehicles (primarily electric cars and buses) can contribute to a sustainable development. Click this link to read more about it.

This roadmap report aims to investigate how electric vehicle systems can contribute to a faster transition to sustainable passenger transport in Southeast Sweden, as well as to present a methodology for guidance of similar work for faster transitions in other regions and sectors.

Here you can find this English short version of this report – with a foreword by Peter Newman from the IPCC.

Rapportens resultat visar att dagens fokus på fossilfrihet och klimatåtgärder måste breddas till hela hållbarhetsfrågan  så att även andra hållbarhetsproblem adresseras och så att inte lösningar på vissa hållbarhetsproblem skapar nya. Rapporten tydliggör också att det är nödvändigt, praktiskt möjligt och ekonomiskt fördelaktigt för Sydostregionen att göra en snabbare hållbarhetsomställning av persontransporterna  än vad som har föreslagits i tidigare studier och utredningar.

Läs mer om rapporten

In Lisiana Nurhadi’s licentiate thesis it was shown how to develop and test a new approach to examining the economic socio-ecological sustainability effects of various road vehicles for private travelling, and business model.

Read more about the thesis

The overall aim of this licentiate thesis presented by Sven Borén in mid-April, was to elaborate methodological support for development of sustainable personal road transport systems that is informed by a strategic sustainable development perspective. Secondary aims where to find a vision for sustainable transport, initial development plan, sustainability effects, barriers and enablers for an increase of electric vehicles.

Read more about the thesis

The results show a large potential to decrease the environmental impact for both techniques, but it is strongly dependent on the electricity mix. Furthermore, this work shows that…

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This study identified sustainability effects and quantified environmental impacts from current road vehicles, and projected how battery and hydrogen fuel cell EVs can contribute towards EU goals for 2050 and a sustainable future. Except for being adopted in the upcoming GreenCharge roadmap for fossil free personal road transport, the authors believe the results can contribute to planning in the upcoming decades for a sustainable increase in numbers of EVs in Europe, and potentially serve as an inspiration for other smaller or larger regions.

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This study has clarified that electric buses have low energy use and low external noise levels, and receive positive opinions from passengers, drivers and other stakeholders in real-life use during wintertime in the south of Sweden.

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A new report by BTH conducted jointly with researchers from Copenhagen Business School and Innoventum has compared instruments for electric vehicles in eight countries. Recognized predecessor as Norway, the Netherlands and China were included, but also some who like Sweden, have been more cautious (Germany, France, the UK and Denmark). The report concluded that Norway is located far to the front, while Sweden finished in last place. The report also shows that there is a clear correlation between the strength of the instrument operations and the number of electric vehicles on the roads in the studied countries.

Read more…

Paper highlights:

  • Gasoline car causes the most emissions from its manufacturing and use phases.
  • Local jobs from renewables give positive contribution to social sustainability.
  • Renewable electricity in electric carpool cause least socio-ecological impact.
  • Car Pooling is more cost-effective for those who drive from 2000 to 8500 km.
  • People travel less than 13,500 km/year should not consider owning a car.

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Applying the FSSD-based strategic model for cross-sector and inter-disciplinary community planning suggested in the first paper of this tandem, this second paper has arrived at…
… a preliminary sustainability vision for EV systems in southeast of Sweden.
… an initial development plan for road transport towards sustainability.
… a validation of the four planning perspectives and the iterative process suggested in paper 1.

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The study found an approach for strategic sustainable development of transport, and…
… an iterative planning process for cross-sector community cooperation,
… four planning perspectives to ensure quality and anchoring of the process results,
… validation via a case study about sustainability visioning for EV’s, and
… usefulness of the approach for sustainable community planning beyond transport.

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Övergripande slutsats: Eldrift av bussar har en stor potential att fungera i dagens och morgondagens kollektivtrafik.

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Slutsatserna från studien under 2013 är att bussar för stadstrafik i medelstora städer som primärt drivs av el (från lokala vindkraftsandelar) jämfört med dieseldrift är…

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The study aims to emphasize on sensitivity analysis for the total cost of ownership (TCO) to reduce uncertainty by identifying which factors of interest that most likely cause the estimated cost values for the electric bus. The result shows that the percentage change of line distance (km/year), operational years, and investment cost would be the most influential and significant factors on TCO.

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Some see the possibility to move beyond a narrow focus on efficiency or carbon dioxidereductions towards an integrated sustainability perspective. This paper uses this perspective to build and test a new assessment approach that should enhance decisions on bus transport powertrains and energy carriers for Swedish medium-sized cities. The study suggests that a superiority of electric powertrains is revealed if a traditional economic analysis is integrated with a strategic sustainability perspective.

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Our main contact point is henrik.ny(at)bth.se and/or telephone +46455385500

Less sky version

We are located at BTH campus at the beautiful naval town Karlskrona, about 3 hours from Copenhagen by train, and 2 hour flight from Stockholm via Ronneby airport, and 8 hours ferry trip from Gdansk in Poland. Please check BTH website for further guidance, and the local public transport Blekingetrafiken or ’Resrobot’  to arrive in a convenient and environmental friendly way.

Arriving with an electric car? Electric-Car-Batteries-620x256There are several fast charging facilities for different cars along the E22
and national roads leading towards Karlskrona from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö/Copenhagen. Find the most recent information about charging locations on the website ’uppladdning.nu’.