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.

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:
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
William F. Lamb; Thomas Wiedmann; Julia Pongratz; Robbie Andrew; Monica Crippa; Jos G. J. Olivier; Dominik Wiedenhofer; Giulio Mattioli; Alaa Al Khourdajie; Joanna House; Shonali Pachauri; Maria J. Figueroa; Yamina Saheb; Raphael Slade; Klaus Hubacek; Laixiang Sun; Suzana Kahn Ribeiro; Smail Khennas; Stephane de la Rue du Can; Lazarus Chapungu; Steven J. Davis; Igor Bashmakov; Hancheng Dai; Shobhakar Dhakal; Xianchun Tan; Yong Geng; Baihe Gu; Jan C. Minx / A Review of Trends and Drivers of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector from 1990 to 2018
In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 16, No. 7, 7.2021
Review > peer review
Maria J. Figueroa / Report : African-European Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Online Seminar Series, 7-28 October 2021.
: Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (CCSE) 2021, 7 p.
Felix Creutzig; Max Callaghan; Anjali Ramakrishnan; Aneeque Javaid; Leila Niamir; Jan Minx; Finn Müller-Hansen; Benjamin Sovacool; Zakia Afroz; Mark Andor; Miklos Antal; Victor Court; Nandini Das; Julio Díaz-José; Friederike C. Döbbe; Maria J. Figueroa; Andrew Gouldson; Helmut Haberl; Andrew Hook; Diana Ivanova; William F. Lamb; Nadia Maïzi; Érika Mata; Kristian S. Nielsen; Chioma Daisy Onyige; Lucia A. Reisch; Joyashree Roy; Pauline Scheelbeek; Mahendra Sethi; Shreya Some; Steven Sorrell; Mathilde Tessier; Tania Urmee; Doris Virag; Can Wan; Dominik Wiedenhofer; Charlie Wilson / Reviewing the Scope and Thematic Focus of 100 000 Publications on Energy Consumption, Services and Social Aspects of Climate Change : A Big Data Approach to Demand-Side Mitigation.
In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2021, 15 p.
Letter > peer review
Kristian S. Nielsen; Paul C. Stern; Thomas Dietz; Jonathan M. Gilligan; Detlef P. van Vuuren; Maria J. Figueroa; Carl Folke; Wencke Gwozdz; Diana Ivanova; Lucia A. Reisch; Michael P. Vandenbergh; Kimberly S. Wolske; Richard Wood / Improving Climate Change Mitigation Analysis : A Framework for Examining Feasibility.
In: One Earth, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2020, p. 325-336
Review > peer review
Maria J. Figueroa; Oliver Lah / What Do We Know about the Role the Human Dimension Plays in Shaping a Sustainable Low-carbon Transport Transition?
In: Energy and Behaviour: Towards a Low Carbon Future. . ed. /Marta Lopes; Carlos Henggeler Antunes; Kathryn B. Janda. London : Academic Press 2020, p. 177-208
Book chapter > peer review
Vladimir Hyánek; Jiri Navrátil; Klara Placier; Maria J. Figueroa; Begoña Alvarez Garcia; Luis Ignacio Álvarez-González / Social Innovation in Consumer Protection : Online Education in Alternative Financial Services.
In: Social Innovation: Comparative Perspectives. . ed. /Helmut K. Anheier; Gorgi Krlev; Georg Mildenberger. New York : Routledge 2019, p. 173-200 (Routledge Studies in Social Enterprise & Social Innovation)
Book chapter > peer review
Maria J. Figueroa; Jiri Navrátil; Alex Turrini; Gorgi Krlev / Social Innovation in Environmental Sustainability : Promoting Sharing Public Spaces for Bicycle Use.
In: Social Innovation: Comparative Perspectives. . ed. /Helmut K. Anheier; Gorgi Krlev; Georg Mildenberger. New York : Routledge 2019, p. 149-172 (Routledge Studies in Social Enterprise & Social Innovation)
Book chapter > peer review
Annette Bauer; Gerald Wistow; Vladimir Hyánek; Maria J. Figueroa; Sarah Sandford / Social Innovation in Health Care : The Recovery Approach in Mental Health.
In: Social Innovation: Comparative Perspectives. . ed. /Helmut K. Anheier; Gorgi Krlev; Georg Mildenberger. New York : Routledge 2019, p. 130-148 (Routledge Studies in Social Enterprise & Social Innovation)
Book chapter > peer review
Joyashree Roy; Petra Tschakert; Henri Waisman; Sharina Abdul Halim; Philip Antwi-Agyei; Purnamita Dasgupta; Bronwyn Hayward; Markku Kanninen; Diana Liverman; Chukwumerije Okereke; Patricia Fernanda Pinho; Keywan Riahi; Avelino G. Suarez Rodriguez; Fernando Aragón–Durand; Mustapha Babiker; Mook Bangalore; Paolo Bertoldi; Bishwa Bhaskar Choudhary; Anton Cartwright; Riyanti Djalante; Kristie Ebi; Neville Ellis; Francois Engelbrecht; Maria J. Figueroa; Mukesh Gupta; Amaha Medhin Haileselassie; Karen Paiva Henrique; Daniel Huppmann; Saleemul Huq; Daniela Jacob; Rachel James; Debora Ley; Peter Marcotullio; Omar Massera; Reinhard Mechler; Shagun Mehrotra; Peter Newman; Simon Parkinson; Aromar Revi; Wilfried Rickels; Diana Hinge Salili; Lisa Schipper; Jörn Schmidt; Seth Schultz; Pete Smith; William Solecki; Shreya Some; Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu; Adelle Thomas; Penny Urquhart; Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh; / Sustainable Development, Poverty Eradication and Reducing Inequalities
In: Global warming of 1.5°CGeneva : IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 (IPCC Special Reports, Vol. SR15)
Report chapter > peer review
More results... (total 39 results)
Academic Interests


Research Projects
Outside activities

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Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change - IPCC 2019-2022 Lead Author - Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group III - Climate Mitigation
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
Academy of Finland Environmental and Social Science Committee March 2021 Member of Expert Panel