Professor Karin Buhmann receives major Semper Ardens research grant from the Carlsberg Foundation

Karin Buhmann

MSC professor Karin Buhmann has been awarded the Carlsberg Semper Ardens Accomplish grant of almost DKK 10 mio for the project 'Frontiers of Natural Resource and Sustainability Governance for a Just Energy Transition'.


This five-year collaborative research project will examine how corporate sustainability due diligence, a rights-of-nature thinking, and pressure from institutional investors can shape organizational practices for energy transition mining to respect the interests and rights of affected communities and nature.


Corporate sustainability due diligence is a sustainability governance frontier that is becoming increasingly pressing as regulators, such as the EU, adopt mandatory requirements on companies,

complementing existing soft-law expectations from the OECD and United Nations. Social and environmental impacts related to the exploitation of minerals required for low-greenhouse-gas (GHG) energy production is already a pressing issue for the green transition to be just and fair.


Adding to the complexity and challenge, the project will not only look at land-based minerals, but also sea-based minerals exploration and exploitation, as the resource frontier is pushing into deep-sea mining for the transition with potentially huge ecosystem implications. Institutional investors have important roles to play as they are called upon to finance low-GHG energy production or the required access to minerals, for example for solar power panels, wind turbines and batteries for electric vehicles and other energy storage.


Funded by the Carlsberg grant, Professor Buhmann will lead a team of two PhD students (to be recruited in 2024), three Post-Docs and a series of visiting scholars. In collaboration with institutional investors, including AkademikerPension, Professor Buhmann and her team will examine the correlation between governance and natural resource frontiers with the aim of advancing a transition respectful of human rights and the natural environment where minerals are located.


The overall aim is to generate knowledge to support a transition with a high degree of social and environmental responsibility that may help avert delays due to uncertainties on its legitimacy associated with harmful impacts.

For further information, see the website of the Carlsberg Foundation or contact Karin Buhmann,