Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • Centre for Sustainability
  • 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.

I am a member of the Consumer and Behavioural Insights Group (CBIG) at the CBS Sustainability centre.

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:
Suci Lestari Yuana; Wendi Wiliyanto; Tane A. Hadiyantono; Maria J. Figueroa; Maharani Hapsari; Milda Longgeita Br Pinem / Mundane Circular Economy Policy : Mainstreaming CE Education Through the Agency of Schools.
In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 440, 2.2024
Journal article > peer review
Andre Sanchez Montoya; Matthew Burnett; Iddo Goren; Maria J. Figueroa / Social Practice Design as a Green Transition Tool for Sufficient Living
In: Design for Climate Adaptation: Proceedings of the UIA World Congress of Architects Copenhagen 2023. Vol. 4. . ed. /Billie Faircloth; Maibritt Pedersen Zari; Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen; Martin Tamke. Cham : Springer 2024, p. 797–817 (Sustainable Development Goals Series)
Article in proceedings > peer review
Megan Resler; Nina Toudal Jessen; Bruce Campbell; Benedict Smith; Lavinia Perumal; Maria J. Figueroa; Derrick Locha Mayika; Neil Burgess; Bo Holm Jacobsen; Dave Chadwick; Marianne Thomsen; Muhammad Saidam / Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Nutrition
In: Transformation Labs: Ideas for Fast-tracking Research Into Societal Transformation. . ed. /Nina Toudal Jessen; Rune Larsen; Lise Kjølbye. Copenhagen : University of Copenhagen 2024, p. 74-78
Report chapter > peer review
Felix Creutzig; Leila Niamir; Xuemei Bai; Max Callaghan; Jonathan Cullen; Julio Díaz-José; Maria J. Figueroa; Arnulf Grubler; William F. Lamb; Adrian Leip; Eric Masanet; Érika Mata; Linus Mattauch; Jan C. Minx; Sebastian Mirasgedis; Yacob Mulugetta; Sudarmanto Budi Nugroho; Minal Pathak; Patricia Perkins; Joyashree Roy; Stephane de la Rue du Can; Yamina Saheb; Shreya Some; Linda Steg; Julia Steinberger; Diana Urge-Vorsatz / Demand-side Solutions to Climate Change Mitigation Consistent with High Levels of Well-being
In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1.2022, p. 36-46
Journal article > peer review
Shobhakar Dhakal; Jan Christoph Minx; Ferenc L. Toth; Amr Abdel-Aziz; Maria J. Figueroa; Klaus Hubacek; Inge G. C. Jonckheere; Kim Yong-gun; Gregory Nemet; Shonali Pachauri; Xianchun Tan; Thomas Wiedmann; Barbara Amon; Girma Mamo Diga / Emissions Trends and Drivers
In: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Geneva : IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2022
Report chapter > peer review
Maria J. Figueroa / Examining Feasibility for Early Carbon Neutrality in Latin America
Poster session presented at Forum on Scenarios for Climate and Societal Futures 2022, 2022
Poster > peer review
Gabriel Blanco; Heleen de Coninck; Lawrence Agbemabiese; El Hadji Mbaye Diagne; Laura Diaz Anadon; Yun Seng Lim; Walter Alberto Pengue; Ambuj Sagar; Taishi Sugiyama; Kenji Tanaka; Elena Verdolini; Jan Witajewski-Baltvilks; Maria J. Figueroa / Innovation, Technology Development and Transfer
In: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Geneva : IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2022
Report chapter > peer review
Andre Sanchez Montoya; Matthew Burnett; Iddo Goren; Maria J. Figueroa / Make Room : Social Practice Design as a Green Transition Tool for Sufficient Living.
Poster session presented at Forum on Scenarios for Climate and Societal Futures 2022, 2022, 1 p.
Andre Sanchez Montoya; Matthew Burnett; Iddo Goren; Maria J. Figueroa / Make Room : Social Practice Design as a Green Transition Tool for Sufficient Living .
Paper presented at Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference: Emergency and transformation, 2022
Paulina Jaramillo; Suzana Kahn Ribeiro; Peter Newman; Subash Dhar; Ogheneruona E. Diemuodeke; Tsutomu Kajino; David S. Lee; Sudarmanto Budi Nugroho; Xunmin Ou; Anders Hammer Strømman; Jake Whitehead; Maria J. Figueroa / Transport
In: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. 2022
Report chapter > peer review
More results... (total 48 results)
Research Projects
Outside activities

Name of contractual partner

Duration of activity

Type of activity

Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change - IPCC 2019-2022 Lead Author - Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group III - Climate Mitigation
Academy of Finland Environmental and Social Science Committee March 2021 Member of Expert Panel
Nordic chapter Global UN-SDSN, Sustainable Development Solutions Network 2020 - Leadership Council Member
AU-EU High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science Technology and Innovation 2020- Member of Expert Panel: Climate Change and Sustainable Energy
ENVSOC 22 Panel of Finland Academy of Science 2022 Member of Expert Review Panel
Institute of Sustainable and Renewable Energy, University of Malaysia, Sarawa. 2022-2024 Research Fellow
EU Project DISTENDER 2022-2025 Member External Expert Advisor Board Committee
UN-Habitat World Cities Report 2024 ('Cities and Climates') 2023-2024 Member of Advisory Board