Sustainable Biotechnology (2024)

Course manager

Esperanza Jurado

Semester schedule

Autumn (13 week period)



Language of instruction


Course type



Competences corresponding to the participation in the courses Project 1-4, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Chemical unit operations, is recommended.  


The purpose of the course is to give the student knowledge on sustainability in the frame of biotechnology. For this, the three main pillars of sustainability; Economic, enviromental and social sustainability will be presented and discussed.


Introduction to sustainability concepts bases on the triple bottom line (enviromental), social and economic growth).

Environmental sustainability

  • Principles for production of energy and biochemicals from waste resources.
  • Outline of the principles of a biorefinery process
  • Developments in molecular biology for sustainable biotechnology
  • Introduction to Life cycle assessment as a tool to assess sustainability.

 Economic sustainability 

  • Presentation of circular economy concept and its implicatios in sustainability.
  • Description of bioeconomy as a sustainable economic model.
  • Corporate and financial sustainability. 

Social sustainability 


  • Social corporate responsibility as a sustainable management strategy.
  • Presentation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from United Nations
  • ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) analysis and reporting.
  • Regulations and Compliance.


Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to:


  • Discuss the main issues related with sustainable biotechnology as life cycle or enviromental impact.
  • Describe the Sustainable Development Goals and discuss strategies to achieve such goals, and their incorporation in project design, planning and implementation.
  • Describe the most common technologies to achieve these goals for production of energy and commodity chemicals reducing waste materials.
  • Understand economical sustainable concepts as cirkular economy or bioeconomy.


  • Analyze interconnections between natural resource and risks associated with climate change.
  • Evaluate sustainability of biorefinery concepts.
  • Be able to evaluate pros and cons for the selection of different types of technology for biorefineries.
  • Develop perspective on biotechnology considering the whole life cycle when evaluating sustainability.


  • Develop critical thinking on the area of sustainability.
  • Be able to evaluate the economic and societal factors influencing bioenergy and biochemicals production. 

Teaching method

Seminars, supervision, individual work and company visits.  

Qualifications for examination participation 

  • Fulfilment of the reguirements for compulsory participation as given in the study program part 2.4.
  • Active participation in all planned company visits.
  • Participation in all planned teaching activities involving external lecturers

All shall be executed and submitted pursuant to guidelines set out by the external lecturers.

Examination and aids

There will be a continuous evaluation of active participation and submission of deliverables during the course.




The 7-point grading scale