Copenhagen School of Design and Technology


Sustainability in product development (Elective)

Danish title
Bæredygtighed i produktudvikling (Valgfag)
Study programme
Production Technology
Type of education
Full time education
Level of education
Academy Profession
3. semester
Duration of the subject/module
4 Weeks
Programme elements
Start time
Guldbergsgade 29 N, København N
Lygten 16, København NV
Subject number
Responsible for the subject(s)/modul(es)
Dina Jacobsen
  • Purpose and learning objectives

    You will be introduced to specific tools for analyzing product sustainability as well as various design strategies to reduce products' environmental effects.

    To assess environmental effects, we will use data and the analysis model life cycle assessment. We will collect data from literature, databases and generate our own data. We will use the Granta Edupack database and the Eco Audit program. In addition to these, you will expand your competencies in materials and their properties, as you will work 'hands-on' with alternative materials and assessment of environmental effects.

    The activities in the elective course are based on an existing product. You determine the environmental effects of the product and redesign it in order to improve the sustainability of the product.

    The course is methodically exploratory and will be facilitated with student involvement.


    The student has knowledge about:

    • sustainability in a product development process
    • life cycle assessment and software
    • data in sustainability assessment
    • design strategies to reduce the environmental impact
    • relevant standards, certifications and labels
    • circular economy


    The student is able to:

    • perform an evaluation of a product's environmental impact
    • select the right design strategy to improve a product’s environmental impact
    • work experimentally with materials in the laboratory
    • evaluate alternative materials’ environmental impact
    • assess and select the most sustainable material and manufacturing process
    • develop a business model by applying principles of circular economy and environmental sustainability


    In a product development process the student is able to:

    • contribute competently to designing products with minimal environmental impact.

  • Type of instruction
    The form of teaching is a mixture of traditional lectures (here theories, methods and tools are presented), lab work and presentations from relevant companies. There will be weekly plenary presentations and independent lab work. The students will work in groups on a case, presented at the beginning of the course.
  • Exam

    The learning outcomes of the exam are identical with the learning outcomes of the subject(s)/modul(es)

    Prerequisites for access to the examination
    You have passed the 1st year exam.
    Exam in one or more subjects
    Subject/module is tested standalone
    The course/module is tested individually.
    Type of exam
    Oral examination
    Oral presentation of the group work with individual questions to the themes below (exam questions can be related to all topics covered during the course).
    1. Life-Cycle-Analysis
    2. Eco Audit
    3. Sustainable design strategies
    4. Sustainable materials
    5. Sustainable supply chains
    6. Circular economy / Sustainable business models
    Type of assignment
    Presentation and miscellaneous additional materials.
    Individual exam or group exam
    Group, 4-5 participants
    Exam languages
    • The exam is oral with 15 min. for the presentation/group (regardless of size)
    • 10 min. for the individual examination
    • 5 min. for assessment and grading per student
    Type of evaluation
    7-point grading scale
    Internal censure
    Exam criteria
    Exam questions can be related to all topics covered during the course

    1. Life-Cycle-Analysis
    2. Eco Audit
    3. Sustainable design strategies
    4. Sustainable materials
    5. Sustainable supply chains
    6. Circular economy / Sustainable business models
    Deadline for submission
    The deadline for submission is stated on the semester plan. Failure to
    submit work within deadlines may result in projects not being approved and evaluated.
  • Preliminary literature list
    This is a preliminary literature list. A final literature list will be provided in connection with study start.
    See the relevant lesson plans on the programmes roadmap.
hours of teaching
hours of preparation
The figure shows the extent of workload related to the subject divided into different study activities.

In the subject Sustainability in product development (Elective) you will receive 39 hours of instruction, which corresponds to 52 lessons (1 lesson = 45 min.) and 18% of your total workload for the subject.

The teaching primarily consists of the following activities: digital exercises, laboratory work, classroom teaching, group work.
The preparation primarily consists of the following activities: group work, reading the curriculum, exam.

Read about KEAs Study Activity Model

*KEA can deviate from the number of hours if this is justified by special circumstances