Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • CBS Sustainability
  • Center for Civil Society Studies
  • Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS)
Associate professor

Room: DH.Ø.2.35

I am Associate Professor in Sustainability Management at the Department of Management Society and Communication at Copenhagen Business School.  My research intersects scholarship from urban sustainability science, comparative international politics of climate mitigation, innovation, and partnerships for sustainable development. In my research I focus on the assessments of drivers, trends and challenges of low carbon transitions and sustainable development. With this focus in mind I aim to advance research and academic work that has a strong scholarly interdisciplinary and systemic approach. I work to understand drivers and trends for systemic low carbon and sustainability transitions at different geographical and administrative levels.

I have been involved in high level International and European research studies contributing to assess the potential of social innovation for sustainability. In my latest research I have been focusing in assessing the sustainability and climate mitigation impacts of innovative business models in areas such as collaborative and sharing economy, circular economy, and smart city solutions. I am a lead author of the ongoing Sixth Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (AR6 -IPCC) report that will be finalized in 2022. I have been a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report 1.5oC published 2018, and was a Lead author also in the 5th Assessment IPCC Report (AR5 -IPCC), published in 2014. I worked as Convened Lead Author in the Sustainability aspects of Energy and Transport Chapter of the international project Global Energy Assessment led by the International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Austria (IIASA) and published by Cambridge in 2012. I have been a contributor to several large European (Impact of Third Sector as Social Innovation ITSSOIN); and Danish Strategic Research Council funded projects (SUSTAIN Sustainability at national level) and (REBECa on Biofuels and Drivers & Limits) all dealing with sustainability transitions in Denmark. Among other book collaborations, I co-edited a book with several colleagues at Roskilde University titled “A New Sustainability Agenda” published by Ashgate in 2010.

Primary research areas
  • Interdisciplinary research for climate and sustainability management assessments
  • International comparative assessment of climate mitigation and sustainability transitions.
  • Drivers/trends social conditions for stability, change and innovation for climate solutions
  • Urban innovation, mobility studies, digitalization and low carbon transitions
  • Governing Sustainability Transitions, partnerships, non-state actors – democratic participation
  • Integrating quantitative/qualitative assessments & social science tools (life-cycle- circular economy, scenarios, indicators)
  • Frameworks for understanding shared business & society responsibility in low carbon transitions.
Administrative tasks
  • Coordinator and Academic Director of the COSI: Copenhagen Sustainability Initiative. COSI offers a joint Science, Technology, Business and Society education certificate to students from three Universities in Denmark, Copenhagen University KU, Technological University DTU and Copenhagen Business School CBS.
  • Co-Academic Director of Master Science Education Center for Business and Development CBD
  • Sit on the Study Board of Bachelor of Business Language and Communication BLCA
  • Representing CBS at CLEAN Cluster
  • Representing CBS at IPBES Denmark (Danish network point for Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services)
  • Member of CONCITO, Danish Think Tank- Climate Work and the Future of Cities 
Curriculum Vitae
Social media
Link to this homepage

I have supervised two PhD students. I welcome applications from potential PhD students working in areas of any of my core research themes.

I am pleased to supervise undergraduate and graduate students with project and thesis ideas relating to my research expertise.

Other teaching activities

Supervisor of projects at undergraduate and graduate levels (BSc. and MSc BLC; BSc. and MSc. IBP; HA (kom.) and cand.merc (kom.).

Selected publications

Figueroa, M., Nielsen, K., Creuzigt, F., Döbbe, F. (2019- forthcoming) Shared Mobility, a systematic review- Journal Environmental Research Letters

Figueroa, M., Köberle, A., Villamizar, A., Blanco, G., Cruz-Núñez, X., Keesler, D., Flores, C., Schaeffer, R., Gomez, J. (2019-forthcoming) ”Comparing Conditions Shaping Mitigation Pathways across Latin America. Journal Climate Policy

Figueroa M. (2019) A practical take on Business Sustainability. Book Review in, Boganmeldelse for Effektivitet, Nr.1, 2019

Figueroa M, Jiri Navratil, J., Turrini, A., and Krlev,G.(2018) “Social Innovation in Environmental Sustainability: Promoting Sharing Public Spaces for Bicycle Use” Chapter 7 in Social Innovation Comparative Perspectives, Edited by Anheier,H., Krlev, G., Mildenberger, G, Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN

Figueroa M; Lah O; Fulton L; McKinnon A; Tiwari G. (2014). Energy for Transport. In Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, Vol. 39: 295-325 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-environ-031913-100450 (listed in JCI Impact Factor 4.968)

Sims, R., Schaeffer, R., Creutzig, F., Cruz‐Núñez, X., D’Agosto, M., Dimitriu, D., Figueroa, M., Fulton, L., Kobayashi, S., Lah, O., McKinnon, A., Newman, P., Ouyang, M., Schauer, J.J., Sperling, D., Tiwari, G.
(2014). Transport in Climate Change Working Group III contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report, Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) in: Climate Change 2014- Mitigation of Climate Change, 5th Assessment Report. Working Group III. Cambridge University Press.

Figueroa, M; Fulton, L; Tiwari, G. (2013) Avoiding, Transforming, Transitioning: Pathways for Sustainable, Low Carbon Passenger Transport for Developing Countries. Journal Current Opinion for Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2013, pp 184-190

Figueroa M & Kahn-Ribeiro S. (2013). Energy use for road passenger transport and sustainable development: policies and goals interactions. Journal Current Opinion for Sustainability, Volume5, Issue 2, June 2013, pp 152-162

Figueroa, M.J.; Elling, B.; Erling, J., Aagard, K. (2010) “A New Sustainability Agenda: An Introduction” in “A New Sustainability Agenda”, Ashgate, London.

Publications sorted by:

The Greta Syndrome: How a Swedish girl became a world-wide climate phenomenon - and why she is making some people absolutely furious

558 forskere og undervisere: Universitetets formålsparagraffer skal skrives med grønt


Fire veje til halvanden grad

Danske Jens er blandt verdens førende klimaforskere: Der er altid nogen, som vil overbevise mig om, at det er forkert

International opgave: CBS-lektor skal rådgive ledere om klima

Debat: Klimaopråbets medunderskrivere

Maria Figueroa is going to advise world leaders about climate change


Klimaekspert: Danmark kan gøre mere på transportområdet

Bilerne kan punktere alle klimaplaner

Research Projects
Outside activities

Currently no outside activities