Transition to a sustainable society

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development is the scientific institute for sustainability research and teaching of Utrecht University. We contribute to the transition to a sustainable society through scientific excellence in a multi-disciplinary environment. 

Our research contributes to improved knowledge related to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as set by the United Nations in 2015. However, we are especially strong in knowledge development related to the eight goals listed alongside.


2 May 2018
Discussions about energy are usually on the subject of electricity, even though more than half of our final energy consumption concerns heat.
2 May 2018
Utrecht University energy researcher Dr Robert Harmsen develops smart road maps to find alternatives to natural gas in neighbourhoods.
Alternatieve scenario's
13 April 2018
Researchers from Utrecht University and PBL conclude that the Paris Climate Agreement goals can be attained with less negative emissions than previously shown.


31 - 4
Oct Nov
31 October 2018 09:00 - 4 November 2018 17:00
The Winter School will combine a series of highly stimulating lectures and dialogues with interactive ‘writeshops’ focusing on participants’ work-in-progress.
5 - 8
5 November 2018 09:00 - 8 November 2018 17:00
Join the 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance, to be held 5-8 November 2018 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.