Course syllabus

KBT140 Global chemical sustainability lp3 VT20 (7.5 hp)

A detailed course instruction document can be found as a pdf document published under Modules - Course information. Please read it thoroughly and always consult this document first if you have questions.

The course is offered by the department of Technology Management and Economics


Magdalena Svanström

Course purpose

This course aims to help engineering students further develop the ability to identify sustainability challenges with regard to technology and industry and envision and develop paths towards more sustainable options.



See details in the course instruction document, published under Modules - Course information.

Course literature

See details in the course instruction document, published under Modules - Course information.

Course design

This course utilizes concepts and tools from industrial ecology to explore industry and technology in a sustainable development discourse. It is directed to master level engineering students (in particular within chemical engineering but all engineering students are welcome). Taking a starting point in the role of industry and technology in socioeconomic development, environmental pollution and resource depletion, it aims at providing tools for identifying needs for change and pathways forward, in industry and technology (in particular in process industry and chemical industry).

Concepts and tools that will be covered include, but are not limited to: Anthropocene; Earth system; Planetary boundaries; Sustainable development goals; Precautionary principle; Industrial ecology; Green chemistry; Life cycle perspective; Human well-being; Environmental worldview; Stakeholders; Holistic approaches; Wicked problems; Futures thinking.

Tools that are practiced include:

  • Different sets of sustainability principles
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Multicriteria analysis
  • Backcasting with scenario planning

Details on the different lectures, exercises or other course activities are found in the course instruction document, published under Modules - Course information.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

  • After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

    • Discuss the role of industry and technology in the Anthropocene and in the context of sustainable development
    • Identify sustainability challenges related to industry and technology and describe sustainability challenges related to process industry and chemicals
    • Describe the field of industrial ecology and apply some of its concepts and tools, and discuss strengths and limitations of these in various contexts
    • Identify needs for change with regard to industry and technology and envision and evaluate solutions and pathways to more sustainable options

    The course also includes experiences of using skills from earlier courses, e.g.

    • Oral and written presentation
    • Working in team
    • Project work

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan

Examination form


Your learning is assessed in different ways in this course. You collect scores by means of your participation or your performance in different activities. Maximum is 100 points and to pass the course you have to reach a minimum combined score of 50 points from different activities in the course (grade 3 from 50p, grade 4 from 70p and grade 5 from 85p). Points can be achieved by participating in different exercises during the course and in a group project, as well as in the written examination in the end of the course.

Scoring system (maximum points for the different activities): Basic concepts quiz 6p, Sustainable Development Goals exercise 3p, Planetary boundaries assignment 2p, Green chemistry exercise 3p, Precautionary principle assignment 2p, Stakeholder analysis exercise 3p, Environmental worldview assignment 2p, Multicriteria analysis exercise 3p, Stakeholder dialogue exercise 3p, Backcasting using principles exercise 3p, Bonus activity 2p, Scenario planning exercise 3p, Written examination 50p, Project presentation and report 15p.

To get any points at all from the written examination you must get at least 40% of the total examination score (i.e., at least 20p). Due to the current situation with the pandemic, the written examination is likely to be an open-book exam that you do from home on Canvas and with proctoring over Zoom. If this changes, we will inform you as soon as possible. Normal years, this exam has been a closed-book exam (where you cannot bring any course material, but you can bring a non-technical dictionary if you wish) and calculators are not allowed (and not needed). Answers are to be written in English.



Course summary:

Date Details Due