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187 Sustainability Topics For Research Papers In 2023

sustainability topics

If you are a student of environmental science or even technology, sustainability is a very important topic for your research papers. These topics help you study the impact of mankind on the environment and different options that are available to prevent further deterioration of the planet. There is a lot of scope for research on this subject, making it one of the most common topics for dissertation or thesis writing. Here is a list of some of the best environmental sustainability research topics that will help you get started on your research paper and project.

The topics below are practical and easy because you can find a lot of information about them. Whether you are writing an informative or argumentative paper, these topics are the perfect starting point for you.

Environmental Sustainability Research Topics

These sustainability research topics are suitable for in-depth data and analysis. They are ideal for lengthy writing assignments.

  • Draw a comparison between different non-profit groups that are dedicated to improving sustainability.
  • Can custom sustainable designs for classrooms improve learning?
  • Is adding better natural lighting a sustainable way of saving on energy costs in large organizations?
  • What are the different technological innovations that are focused on reducing environmental pollution?
  • Does veganism help protect the environment?
  • Are hand dryers instead of paper towels a good idea for public restrooms?
  • How is pollution related to a country’s GDP?
  • Why do developing nations find it difficult to start recycling programs?
  • What are some political challenges that the environment faces globally?
  • Is American politics affecting the environment?
  • What are the benefits of choosing a vegan diet?
  • Do developed countries have the responsibility of helping third-world nations become more sustainable?
  • Are your current local environmental policies effective enough?
  • Should high schools and colleges ban the use of plastic?
  • How does food consumption affect the environment?
  • Why is Sweden so different from other countries when it comes to protecting the environment?
  • What are some technological advancements that help us reduce waste?
  • Why have we failed to reduce food wastage across the globe?
  • Is better recycling technology the solution to reducing waste in landfills?
  • How are plastic straws a threat to the environment of the Earth?
  • Can increased taxes items meant for single-use reduce waste from piling up in landfills?
  • Why do some states succeed in banning plastic bags while others fail?
  • How is overpopulation related to pollution?
  • In the next fifty years, how will the population impact the environment?
  • Do we have enough natural resources to support the exploding population across the globe?
  • What role does the government play in improving food resources?

Easy Sustainability Topics For Research

These sustainability topics for research are commonly used by students because they are practical in terms of research and the availability of data.

  • Is banning plastic a suitable solution to reduce environmental pollution?
  • What are the options available to make cutlery sustainable?
  • Should metros ban the use of plastic straws completely?
  • Why is our ecosystem so dependent on sea life?
  • Does any carbon footprint come from farm animals and how?
  • Why is it the need of the hour to prevent waste from being dumped into oceans?
  • How does getting fair-trade certificates to benefit university campuses?
  • Why should we increase the consumption of local produce?
  • How does supporting local businesses improve sustainability?
  • Should food donation programs be imposed in cities?
  • How has the emergence of farmers’ markets helped various communities?
  • Is buffet-style dining beneficial or harmful for efforts toward sustainability?
  • How can taxes be used to improve sustainability efforts?
  • How can leftovers from hotels and restaurants be disposed of sustainably?
  • What are the various benefits of food programs for the community?
  • Explain the process of growing vegan produce and its effect on the environment
  • How have sustainability efforts been affected globally as a result of the pandemic?
  • Is zero-waste living ideal?
  • What does sustainability mean in the 21st century?
  • How is supporting local food markets sustainable?
  • How does the greenhouse effect change as a result of less meat consumption?
  • Does eating red meat improve the quality of the air?
  • What are some benefits of switching to a plant-based diet?
  • Should school cafeterias increase the options for vegan food?
  • How do slaughterhouses impact the environment negatively?
  • What if all restaurants switched to buffet-style meals?

Best Sustainability Topics For Research Papers

Looking for sustainability topics for research that can ensure better grades. Here is a list of some of the best topics on sustainability that you can choose from.

  • Give a detailed plan for a sustainable restaurant.
  • Why do large cities struggle with reducing air pollution?
  • Should cities make it mandatory to reduce food waste in community gardens?
  • What are some of the primary benefits of improving public transportation systems?
  • Should rainwater harvesting become compulsory for large buildings?
  • Has technology benefited or harmed the environment?
  • Will reducing our dependence on technology help sustain the environment?
  • Are smaller classrooms beneficial or harmful to the environment?
  • How has the pandemic affected the environment positively?
  • What is the negative impact of the pandemic on the environment?
  • Can reducing the number of school days improve sustainability efforts?
  • How do school campuses contribute to environmental deterioration? How can it be reduced?
  • What are the best ways to teach children about non-renewable and renewable resources?
  • What are some immediate changes that you can make in your life to become more sustainable?
  • Create a detailed sustainability plan for your family
  • Can maintaining a constant temperature at home reduce energy costs? Support your argument with data.
  • Chart out a detailed zero-waste living plan that can be implemented easily.
  • What is the relationship between community health and the environment?
  • Case studies of the impact of pollution on the health of people.
  • How do developing nations improve their access to water resources?
  • Can government policies truly help the environment?
  • Will creating better public spaces like riverbeds and parks improve sustainability?
  • What are some measures that can be used to improve access to clean water in developing nations?
  • What are some measures taken by Denmark to reduce food waste?
  • Discuss Sweden’s efforts to use waste for heating and energy.
  • How can we reduce pollution and improve the quality of care at the same time?

Environmental Research Topics for College Students

These sustainability topics for research papers are perfect for college students as they are most relevant and extremely interesting as well.

  • What are the best ways to deal with medical waste?
  • How has awareness about recycling improved sustainability efforts?
  • Is global warming false as some world leaders claim?
  • What are some ecological challenges that the US will face in the coming decades?
  • Will green universities improve students’ mental health?
  • How can growing your food help in improving sustainability?
  • What are the best measures that communities can take to prevent waste
  • What are the best ways to use landscaping sustainably?
  • Is gardening around the house a good way of improving the quality of air amidst growing pollution rates?
  • Should fireworks be banned?
  • How can we raise cattle sustainably?
  • How is the fashion industry impacting the environment?
  • Discuss the importance of sustainable fashion in the world we live in.
  • How can community gardens help cities become more sustainable?
  • How can you measure the success of a smart city by the well-being of its inhabitants?
  • What are smart cities? Can you provide examples?
  • How can digitization be used to pursue a sustainability agenda?
  • What are the various ecological dimensions of sustainability?
  • Should governments provide more grants for research on sustainability?
  • Discuss some sustainable measures that we can learn from our ancestors.
  • What is the impact of America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • What are the Paris Climate Agreement and its important terms?
  • How can changing policies from a macro level to a micro level improve sustainability efforts?
  • What are the best measures taken by the UN to improve sustainability?
  • Greta Thunberg: The poster child of climate change or a publicity stunt?
  • The most impactful environmentalists over the last decade.

Sustainability Topics for All Levels

These sustainability research paper topics are perfect for you whether you are writing a high school paper or a college paper. They are versatile and easy to compile.

  • How will our carbon footprint impact the generations to come?
  • What are the different types of sustainability?
  • What does sustainability education mean?
  • How can your school or college improve its regulations to make the campus sustainable?
  • Are there any sustainability programs that have been implemented in your school or college?
  • Do solar panels on buildings help reduce energy costs?
  • What are the benefits of including sustainability education in the school curriculum?
  • How does non-plastic waste in the oceans impact the environment?
  • How to prevent the greenhouse effect from agriculture?
  • Should governments support and invest in more solar technologies?
  • How can a home become energy efficient with solar energy?
  • How does an improved ventilation system improve sustainability?
  • What are the measures taken by modern schools and colleges in improving sustainability?
  • How can modern classrooms make use of natural light for better sustainability?
  • How can we save on energy by setting systems off when they are still idle.
  • What are the various benefits of changing classroom timings to optimize the use of natural lighting?
  • Is it possible to apply a game theory to manage challenges with sustainability?
  • What is the difference between biocapacity and carbon footprint in various regions?
  • What are some challenges faced by companies when it comes to conserving energy?
  • Can you name some environmental groups that have been most effective in cleaning up plastic from the oceans and how they have achieved their goals?
  • What are some positive effects of reducing computer screen brightness?
  • Name some countries with the poorest environmental laws?
  • A case study of the most sustainable nations in the world.
  • The effect of plastic on the environment in detail.
  • What are some effective measures of saving water?
  • A study of oil spills and their effect on marine life over the last decade.

Environmental Project Topics

Have an environmental sustainability topic due? This sustainability topics list is all you need to present projects that grab the attention of your audience.

  • What are some barriers and drivers of sustainability research?
  • How does on-campus sustainable research help increase practical solutions for environmental sustainability?
  • Provide a business case to install new lighting systems
  • What are some lighting systems available today that are most sustainable?
  • Needs luxury led to an unsustainable environment?
  • What are the benefits of using electric cars?
  • The most impactful evidence to prove that global warming is real.
  • Do political agendas suppress sustainability efforts? How?
  • What are some of the major threats of climate change?
  • The importance of teaching children about sustainability
  • What are some of the most common examples of wasteful living that you see around you?
  • The relationship between undernutrition, obesity, and climate change.
  • Why has ice loss across the Himalayas become rapid over the last 40 years?
  • How quickly are we depleting natural resources?
  • How does the medical industry contribute to global warming?
  • What is the Lancet Countdown on climate change and health?
  • Does climate change impact the health of newborn children?
  • How has industrialization helped and harmed the environment?
  • The use of heating and cooling systems and their impact on the environment.
  • The harmful impact of the film industry on the environment
  • Celebrities who have successfully endorsed anti-climate change campaigns
  • KFC and the Amazon Rainforests: What was the chaos about?
  • How has the fast-food industry impacted the environment?
  • The contribution of the aviation industry toward global warming
  • What is a carbon tax and how can it help improve efforts towards sustainability?
  • Write about the development of waste streams over the last few decades.
  • Are newspapers viable in times of sustainability?
  • The importance of enhancing biodiversity to reduce environmental deterioration.
  • Can improving safety regulations for cyclists contribute to sustainability?
  • What are some of the most sustainable multi-national companies? Discuss their strategies.

Sustainable Development Topics

Development is a very important topic for research paper writing for students of environmental studies. Here are some sustainability topics for research related to development to help you get started.

  • How has economic globalization impacted the environment?
  • What is the relationship between autocracy, democracy, wars, and natural resources?
  • How does a finite environmental capacity impact political and economic development?
  • Changing human behavior and the use of natural resources.
  • Adaptation and mitigation policies to solve environmental issues.
  • The difference between the approach of a political institution and market-based requirements towards sustainability.
  • How has the automobile industry taken steps towards sustainability?
  • What are some effects of Green Technology on the economy?
  • What is the advantage of using Green Technology in organizations?
  • A detailed study of the Global Environmental Sustainability Framework to technology.
  • How can digitization be used to improve awareness about sustainability?
  • Is it practical to implement Green technology in developing countries? What are the best measures that can be taken?
  • How can construction become sustainable?
  • How can Green Thinking help improve sustainability?
  • What is the perception of green energy and sustainability in multinational organizations?
  • What are some sustainability policies that have helped developing nations?
  • The impact of digitization on sustainability
  • What are the current trends in Green Technology?
  • Should builders receive incentives for constructing sustainable structures?
  • Incentives for sustainability in industrial settings.
  • The most effective option for disposing of electronic waste.
  • How advancement in medical technology has impacted the environment
  • The relationship between motorsports and the environment.
  • Do large public events like concerts and sports events impact sustainability?
  • The impact of styrofoam cups on the environment.
  • Advancements in technology have contributed to sustainability.
  • Scientists who have contributed effectively towards sustainability.

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80 sustainability research topics for students to explore green campus issues

You’re planning your thesis, paper or capstone? You want to do a student research project with impact. We have outlined a range of sustainability research topics for you. The list specifically focuses on how to green your campus . Take action to make your university more sustainable!

Our list of sustainability research topics helps students investigate green campus issues.

Sustainability research topics: Education

Some sustainability research topics on education for sustainable development :

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of different definitions of sustainability education? Which definition could your university adopt?
  • To what extent is sustainability education already implemented in the curriculum of your university?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of advancing sustainability education within your curriculum?
  • Where does your university stand with regards to sustainability education compared to other institutions of higher education?
  • What is the demand among students for more, different or better sustainability education?
  • How can existing sustainability projects on campus be used for educational purposes, e.g. visit solar cells on rooftops as part of engineering classes?

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  • What definition of sustainability research should your university embrace?
  • To what extent is sustainability research already practised at your university?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the institution’s sustainability research portfolio compared to other institutions of higher education?
  • What are the drivers of and barriers to sustainability research at your university?
  • How could sustainability research help students to study sustainability issues on campus and inform practical change projects?
  • What are the opportunities and costs associated with promoting sustainability research? What could a plan of action look like to strategically advance it?

Some sustainability research topics on community engagement and awareness:

  • What are the perceptions of and attitudes towards sustainability by students and staff?
  • What are ways to promote sustainable lifestyles among students?
  • To what extent are students and staff aware of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ?
  • How aware are students and staff about the institution’s sustainability ambitions?
  • What are the benefits and disadvantages of approaches to communicate the university’s sustainability efforts better?
  • What are the challenges to involve students and staff in the university’s sustainability efforts?
  • Which ways to increase the engagement of the campus community exist, for example by organising sustainability events ?

For inspiration, read our post on 10 projects to engage students on the SDGs .

Explore sustainability topics for research papers on different issues related to greening campus operations:

  • What are the opportunities and costs of improving the building insulations to save energy?
  • What lighting systems exist on the market that are more energy efficient?
  • What would a business case look like to install a new lighting system?
  • Where are the main consumers of energy on campus?
  • What innovative energy technologies are developed at the institution itself? To what extent could those be directly installed and tested in buildings?
  • What lux values are sufficient for work and study places so that places are appropriately lit without wasting too much electricity?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of different sustainable building standards?
  • Which building standards would be most appropriate to inform the institution’s sustainable building policy?
  • What are the costs and benefits associated with different types of green roofs?
  • On which buildings could green roofs be installed?
  • To what extent are catering and food products certified as organic or fair trade food?
  • How much and why do students attach importance to organic and fair trade products sold in the cafeteria?
  • How can students and employees be made more aware of the multiple benefits – e.g. health, environment, economics – of sustainable (organic, fair trade, local) food ?
  • How much are students willing to pay for more organic or fair trade products?
  • What types and amounts of waste are produced by whom and where at the institution?
  • How did waste streams develop over the last years?
  • What are innovative practices in reducing waste going to landfill or incineration? How could those be applied?
  • What are the costs and benefits associated with waste recycling ?
  • What options exist to switch from paper-based to more digital forms of working and studying to reduce paper consumption?
  • What are the environmental, economic, and social benefits and disadvantages of different options to advance more digital working and studying?

More sustainability research topics on campus operations:


  • What species live at different campus locations?
  • To what extent do students, faculty and staff value this biodiversity?
  • What are ways to enhance biodiversity on campus?

Greenhouse-gase (GHG)

  • What are the pros and cons of different GHG accounting standards?
  • Which standard should the institution use to develop a GHG emissions inventory ?
  • Where are GHG emissions released at the institution?
  • How big is the institution’s GHG footprint?


  • What does sustainable procurement mean in the context of a university?
  • How is procurement currently organised? To what extent are sustainability criteria already applied in tenders?
  • To what extent could the university implement sustainability criteria that go beyond the legal minimum to advance the environmental, economic and social benefits of tenders?
  • What are the largest consumers of water?
  • What is the direct and indirect water-footprint of the institution?
  • What are opportunities and costs to reduce water usage?

Transportation and mobility

  • How do students and staff currently travel to the university and as part of their study or work?
  • What is the environmental impact of these travel behaviours? How could the impact be reduced?
  • What best practices exist among companies and other institutions of higher education to reduce staff travel or incentivize different travel behaviours?

Behaviour change

  • What is the potential to reduce resource consumption through behaviour change?
  • What are the best practices of behaviour change interventions at institutions of higher education?
  • To what extent could these projects be also applied at your university?

Sustainability research topics on governance, strategy and reporting

Sustainability research topics on governance issues:

  • What does sustainability mean for institutions of higher education?
  • How does a comprehensive concept of a sustainable institution of higher education look like?
  • How could the university’s long-term sustainability vision look like? How could this vision be realized through a roadmap?
  • What are innovative ways to develop sustainability strategies for a university through a bottom-up approach?
  • What ethical imperatives would demand that institutions of higher education care for their impact on the planet, people and profit?
  • What are the responsibilities of institutions of higher education to contribute to global challenges, such as poverty, gender inequality, and climate change?

Monitoring and reporting

  • What data is important to monitor the institution’s environmental impact? How can this data be collected and analysed?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different sustainability reporting standards?
  • Which sustainability reporting standards should the university adhere to?
  • What are efficient ways to organize sustainability reporting within the organization?
  • What is the best way to communicate results among students, staff and outside actors?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies (e.g. payback or Net Present Value) to calculate the financial costs and benefits of sustainability investments?
  • Which methodology should the institution apply?
  • To what extent could sustainability projects be financed through a revolving loan fund?
  • What are the possibilities to involve outside organizations through energy contracting?
  • What subsidies are available at the European, national and city level to develop a green campus?
  • How could the university use these financing options to advance its energy transition?
  • What are approaches to integrate negative externalities into the accounting schemes of the university?
  • What would be the opportunities, benefits and risks associated with establishing an energy company that’s owned by the university?
  • What are the best practices to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at public institutions around the world?
  • How can incentive schemes be changed so that energy end-users directly benefit from reductions in energy usage?

We hope this list inspired you to find a sustainability topic for research papers.

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100 Exceptional Sustainability Topics for 2023

sustainability topics

Do you have an important environmental studies paper but are having trouble coming up with sustainability project ideas? Have you pored over your class notes and readings but have yet to come up with sustainability ideas you find interesting and challenging? This happens to a lot of students, especially when they are swamped with several other academic responsibilities to deal with.

Best Sustainability Topics For Your Research

We’ve put together 100 exceptional sustainability topics that can be used for a variety of situations. The list covers topics in sustainability for grade school, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school. Check out our list and see what inspires you. Our ecology topics may also come in handy.

Sustainability Topics for Students in Grade School

  • Describe the impact our carbon footprint means on future generations.
  • Describe the differences in sustainability education.
  • Explain how your school can adopt practices for a sustainable campus.
  • Does your school already adapt to a good sustainability program?
  • Does your school have solar panels on its buildings’ rooftops?
  • What are the benefits of adopting sustainability education into curricula?

Sustainability Paper Topics for Middle School

  • What does the impact of non-plastic waste in our oceans mean for the environment?
  • What effect do greenhouses have in growing our fruits and vegetables?
  • Should governments invest more in solar energy technologies?
  • How do solar panels make a home energy efficient?
  • Does your school have an optimized ventilation system?
  • Do modular classrooms improve campus sustainability?

Sustainability Research Topics for High School Students

  • Explain how modular classrooms can improve sustainability through the use of natural light.
  • What evidence is there to support that sustainable classrooms reduce absenteeism?
  • How much energy is saved by setting computers to shut off when they are idle?
  • What are the benefits of changing classroom hours to utilize natural lighting?
  • Should school terms be arranged around the seasons to conserve energy?
  • Can a game theory be applied to challenges in sustainability?

Sustainability Essay Topics for College Students

  • Explain how carbon footprint and bio-capacity differ in different countries and regions.
  • What are the biggest challenges companies face when trying to conserve energy?
  • What are the most impactful environmental groups cleaning up plastic in the oceans?
  • How many tons of plastic is there in the ocean?
  • What are the positive effects of reducing the brightness of computer screens?
  • Which countries have the least environmental protection laws?

Sustainability Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. Students

  • Compare and contrast non-profit groups focused on advancing sustainability.
  • Do sustainable classroom designs improve learning in students?
  • Can employers save on energy costs by adding more natural lighting?
  • What types of technologies exist to help deter environmental pollution?
  • Is veganism good for the environment?
  • Are paper towels more effective than hand dryers at reducing the spread of germs?

Environmental Sustainability Topics for Every Occasion

  • What is the correlation between a country’s GDP and pollution?
  • Why do cities with higher poverty rates struggle to start recycling programs?
  • What are the biggest political challenges affecting the U.S. environment?
  • What are the positive effects of switching to a vegan diet?
  • Should the U.S. take a greater role in helping third-world countries become sustainable?
  • How effective are your local environmental policies?

Interesting Sustainability Topics for Papers

  • Should college campuses ban the use of plastics?
  • How does the amount of food consumption impact the environment?
  • What does Sweden do so differently from other countries regarding its environment?
  • What are the best technologies in the market to reduce waste in large cities?
  • How does the use of plastic floating balls reduce evaporation in reservoirs?
  • Why has the United States failed to reduce the amount of food waste?

Sustainability Topics for Essays to Do Overnight

  • In what ways do improved recycling technologies impact how waste ends up in landfills?
  • How bad are plastic straws for the Earth’s environment?
  • Do taxes on single-use items reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills?
  • Explain why certain states in the U.S. have had success banning plastic bags?
  • What is the correlation between overpopulation and pollution?
  • How will the world’s population in fifty years impact the Earth’s environment?

Sustainability Hot Topics for 2023

  • Does the Earth have enough resources to support the population in the 21 st century?
  • What can governments do to increase food resources?
  • Should cities ban the use of plastic straws?
  • Why is sea life so important to the ecosystem?
  • How much of our carbon footprint comes from farm animals?
  • Why is it so important to keep waste from ending up in our oceans?

Topics on Sustainability for a Long-Term Project

  • What are the benefits of getting a fair-trade certification on university campuses?
  • What are the benefits of buying food from local farmers?
  • Can your city impose a food donation program?
  • What can you do to bring a farmers market to your community?
  • Does buffet-style dining help or harm sustainability efforts?
  • Should cities impose a special tax on single-use plastic items?

Topics about Sustainability for a Short-Term Project

  • Can cafeteria food leftovers be donated to homeless shelters?
  • How do food programs help communities?
  • How much land is necessary to grow vegan food products?
  • What can cities do to help families with children during the pandemic?
  • What does it mean to be sustainable in the 21 st century?
  • Why is it important to support local food markets?

Sustainability Projects Ideas for High School Students

  • What would happen to greenhouse emissions if people ate less meat?
  • Can we improve air quality by eating less red meat?
  • What are the benefits of eating a plant-based diet?
  • Should your school introduce more vegan food choices?
  • Are pescatarian diets better for the environment?
  • What are the negative environmental effects of slaughterhouses?

Sustainability Ideas for Schools with Large Populations

  • What would happen if restaurants served buffet-like meals?
  • How difficult is it to reduce air pollution in large cities?
  • Should cities mandate community gardens to reduce food waste?
  • What are the benefits of incorporating public transportation systems?
  • Should cities mandate the use of solar panels in their larger buildings?

Controversial Sustainability Topics for Grad-Level Courses

  • Should we reduce the amount of technology-use to help the environment?
  • Do smaller classroom sizes help or harm the environment?
  • What would happen if we reduced the school week from five to four days?
  • Do shorter school days help reduce energy use?
  • In what ways has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the environment?

Fun Sustainability Topics List to Try at Home

  • Develop a sustainable education program for your family.
  • Find a new change to make your home more sustainable each week.
  • Teach your children the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources.
  • Does keeping a home at a certain temperature help reduce energy costs?
  • How much food goes unused and ends up in your trash?

Sustainability Topics for Research Everyone Can All Do

  • How does pollution increase the level of sickness in people?
  • How does a developing country provide ample water resources?
  • In what ways does government policy help or hurt the environment?
  • Should cities create more public spaces (e.g. parks, riverbeds)?
  • What can be done to help developing countries maintain clean water?

Topics of Sustainability for Young People

  • Sift through your classroom’s trash and identify what can be renewed.
  • Discuss how Sweden has been able to turn its waste into heating.
  • What has Denmark done to reduce its food waste?
  • How can we improve the quality of care by reducing pollution?
  • What is the major ecological challenge the U.S. must face in the next 50 years?

Sustainability Research Paper Topics for Everyone

  • How do “green universities” help the mental health of students?
  • What are the most effective methods of growing your food?
  • What can people do in the community to reduce unnecessary waste?
  • How does gardening or landscaping improve air quality around the home?
  • What can cities do to create community gardens?

Need more assistance coming up with sustainability topics? Our team of research helpers can develop ideas for any type of assignment. From essays to dissertations, we’ve got you covered. Just let us know what you need and we will connect you with a pro that can work with you from the start to the end of your assignment.

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Sustainable Development Research Paper Topics

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In this comprehensive guide to sustainable development research paper topics , we explore the diverse and critical issues related to sustainable development within the field of environmental science. Sustainable development encompasses the principles of economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection, aiming to create a better future for present and future generations. This abstract provides an overview of the page’s content, including a comprehensive list of sustainable development research paper topics, expert advice on topic selection, and guidance on writing a sustainable development research paper. Additionally, we introduce our writing services, offering students the opportunity to order custom research papers on any sustainable development topic. Through this page, students can gain valuable insights and resources to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development research.

100 Sustainable Development Research Paper Topics

The field of sustainable development encompasses a wide range of interconnected topics that address the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing our world today. To assist you in your research endeavors, we have compiled a comprehensive list of sustainable development research paper topics. These topics span across various disciplines and offer opportunities for in-depth exploration and critical analysis. By examining these topics, you can contribute to the understanding of sustainable development and develop innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

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Environmental Conservation and Biodiversity

  • The role of protected areas in biodiversity conservation
  • Sustainable management of forests and its impact on biodiversity
  • Conservation strategies for endangered species
  • Implications of climate change on biodiversity loss
  • Sustainable practices for marine and coastal conservation
  • Wildlife trafficking and its impact on biodiversity
  • The role of indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation
  • Strategies for promoting urban biodiversity
  • Ecosystem restoration and its benefits for biodiversity
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation policies and programs

Sustainable Energy

  • Transitioning to renewable energy sources: Challenges and opportunities
  • Energy efficiency and its impact on sustainable development
  • The role of nuclear energy in achieving a sustainable energy future
  • Sustainable transportation systems: Innovations and policies
  • Community-based renewable energy projects
  • Energy access and sustainability in developing countries
  • The social, economic, and environmental impacts of fossil fuel extraction
  • Advancements in energy storage technologies
  • Smart grid systems and their contribution to sustainable energy
  • The role of government policies in promoting renewable energy adoption

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

  • Assessing the effectiveness of international climate agreements
  • Climate change and its impacts on vulnerable communities
  • The role of renewable energy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Carbon pricing mechanisms: Prospects and challenges
  • Urban planning for climate change resilience
  • Climate change adaptation strategies in agricultural systems
  • Impacts of climate change on water resources and management
  • Sustainable cities and climate change mitigation
  • The role of education in fostering climate change awareness and action
  • Assessing the socio-economic implications of climate change policies

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

  • Organic farming practices and their impact on food security
  • Sustainable agriculture and water management
  • The role of genetic engineering in sustainable crop production
  • Agroecology and its potential for sustainable food systems
  • Urban agriculture and its contribution to food security
  • Sustainable fisheries management and conservation
  • Climate-smart agriculture: Strategies for resilience and adaptation
  • The socio-economic impacts of agricultural subsidies
  • Sustainable food supply chains and distribution systems
  • Indigenous knowledge and sustainable agricultural practices

Social Equity and Justice

  • Social sustainability and inclusive development
  • Gender equality and empowerment in sustainable development
  • Indigenous rights and sustainable resource management
  • Ensuring access to education and healthcare in marginalized communities
  • Social impact assessment in development projects
  • Strategies for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment
  • Promoting social entrepreneurship for sustainable development
  • Environmental justice and equitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens
  • The role of social movements in advancing sustainable development goals
  • Promoting inclusive governance for sustainable development

Sustainable Urban Development

  • Urbanization and its impact on the environment and society
  • Sustainable urban planning and design
  • Green infrastructure and urban resilience
  • Transportation and mobility in sustainable cities
  • Affordable housing and sustainable urban development
  • Smart cities: Technologies and applications for sustainability
  • Urban governance and stakeholder engagement in sustainable development
  • Sustainable waste management in urban areas
  • Strategies for promoting sustainable consumption and production in cities
  • Sustainable tourism and its role in urban development

Water Resources Management

  • Integrated water resources management for sustainable development
  • Water scarcity and its implications for sustainable development
  • Water governance and institutional frameworks
  • Sustainable approaches to water supply and sanitation
  • Water pollution and its impacts on ecosystems and human health
  • Water-related conflicts and their resolution
  • Climate change and water resources management
  • Water footprint analysis and sustainable consumption
  • Indigenous water rights and traditional knowledge in water management
  • Innovative technologies for water conservation and management

Sustainable Business Practices

  • Corporate social responsibility and sustainable business models
  • Circular economy and its application in business practices
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Green marketing and consumer behavior
  • Sustainable finance and investment strategies
  • Corporate sustainability reporting and transparency
  • Ethical considerations in business decision-making
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Environmental management systems and certifications
  • Stakeholder engagement and sustainability in business

Environmental Policy and Governance

  • International environmental agreements and their effectiveness
  • Policy instruments for environmental conservation and sustainability
  • Environmental impact assessment and decision-making processes
  • Public participation in environmental decision-making
  • Climate change policy and governance mechanisms
  • Environmental justice and policy implications
  • Regulatory frameworks for natural resource management
  • The role of non-governmental organizations in environmental advocacy
  • Policy integration for sustainable development
  • Evaluation and monitoring of environmental policies and programs

Sustainable Development and Technology

  • Technological innovations for sustainable development
  • The role of information and communication technology in achieving sustainability goals
  • Green building design and sustainable architecture
  • Renewable energy technologies and their integration into the grid
  • The impact of digitalization on sustainable development
  • Sustainable transportation technologies and solutions
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications for sustainability
  • Blockchain technology and its potential for sustainable supply chains
  • Big data analytics for environmental monitoring and resource management
  • Technological solutions for waste management and recycling

The field of sustainable development is vast and dynamic, presenting numerous avenues for research and inquiry. The comprehensive list of sustainable development research paper topics provided here offers a starting point for your exploration and provides inspiration for further investigation. As you embark on your research journey, remember to select a topic that aligns with your interests, leverage interdisciplinary perspectives, and consider the practical implications of your findings. Through your research, you have the potential to make a significant impact on the field of sustainable development and contribute to the ongoing efforts of creating a more sustainable and equitable world.

Sustainable Development Research Guide

As students of environmental science, you have a unique opportunity to explore the multifaceted field of sustainable development and contribute to the ongoing efforts in creating a more sustainable future. This page serves as a valuable resource for your research endeavors, providing a curated list of sustainable development research paper topics, expert advice on topic selection, and practical guidance on writing a sustainable development research paper.

Sustainable development is a critical concept in today’s world, addressing the complex interplay between economic growth, social well-being, and environmental stewardship. By studying sustainable development, you delve into topics such as renewable energy, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban planning, natural resource management, and much more. Through your research, you can analyze current challenges, propose innovative solutions, and contribute to the global sustainability discourse.

This page aims to inspire and guide you in exploring the vast landscape of sustainable development research. We understand that choosing a research paper topic can be a daunting task, considering the multitude of issues and perspectives within this field. That’s why we have compiled a comprehensive list of sustainable development research paper topics, categorized into relevant themes, to help you find an area of interest that aligns with your academic goals and personal passion.

Furthermore, we provide expert advice on how to choose the most suitable sustainable development research paper topic. We will discuss the importance of selecting a focused and researchable topic, considering the scope and depth of available literature, and ensuring its relevance to current sustainability challenges. Additionally, we will guide you through the process of writing a well-structured research paper, emphasizing the critical elements such as literature review, methodology, data analysis, and conclusion.

To support your academic journey, iResearchNet offers custom writing services, allowing you to order a custom sustainable development research paper tailored to your specific requirements. Our team of expert degree-holding writers is well-versed in the field of environmental science and sustainable development, ensuring that your paper is thoroughly researched, meticulously written, and aligned with the highest academic standards.

By utilizing our writing services, you gain access to in-depth research, customized solutions, and top-quality papers. We offer flexible pricing options to accommodate various budgets and short deadlines of up to 3 hours to meet even the most urgent requirements. Our commitment to timely delivery, 24/7 support, absolute privacy, easy order tracking, and a money-back guarantee ensures your satisfaction and peace of mind.

Choosing a Sustainable Development Topic

Choosing the right research topic is a critical step in the process of writing a sustainable development research paper. As a student of environmental science, you have the opportunity to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this field and address pressing issues related to sustainability. However, with a multitude of potential topics to explore, it can be challenging to narrow down your focus and select a research question that is both relevant and impactful. In this section, we provide expert advice and practical tips to guide you in choosing sustainable development research paper topics. By following these suggestions, you can identify an area of interest, align your research with current trends, and contribute to the global discourse on sustainable development.

  • Identify your area of interest : Start by exploring the different aspects of sustainable development that interest you the most. This could be environmental conservation, social equity, renewable energy, or any other specific area within sustainable development.
  • Consider current issues and trends : Stay updated on the latest developments in sustainable development. Look for emerging challenges, debates, and innovative solutions that can form the basis of your research topic.
  • Conduct a literature review : Dive into existing research and literature on sustainable development to understand the gaps in knowledge and identify potential research areas that need further exploration.
  • Narrow down your focus : Once you have identified a broad topic, narrow it down to a specific research question or problem that you want to address. This will help you focus your research and provide a clear direction for your paper.
  • Look for interdisciplinary connections : Sustainable development is a multidisciplinary field, so consider how you can integrate different disciplines and perspectives into your research. This can lead to unique insights and innovative approaches.
  • Consider local and global contexts : Assess the relevance of your research topic in both local and global contexts. How does it relate to the specific challenges and needs of a particular region or community? How does it contribute to the broader sustainable development agenda?
  • Consult with experts and peers : Engage in discussions with professors, researchers, and peers who specialize in sustainable development. Seek their advice and gather different perspectives to refine your research topic.
  • Conduct a feasibility assessment : Evaluate the feasibility of your research topic in terms of data availability, resources required, and potential challenges you may encounter. Ensure that you have access to relevant data and research materials to support your study.
  • Consider the practical implications : Reflect on the practical implications of your research topic. How can your findings contribute to policy development, community initiatives, or practical solutions in the field of sustainable development?
  • Align with your personal and career goals : Choose a research topic that aligns with your personal interests and long-term career aspirations. This will not only motivate you throughout the research process but also enhance your expertise in your chosen area of sustainable development.

Selecting a research topic in sustainable development requires careful consideration, as it sets the foundation for your entire research endeavor. By following the expert advice provided in this section, you can navigate through the vast landscape of sustainable development research paper topics and choose one that resonates with your passion, aligns with current issues, and has the potential for meaningful contribution. Remember to conduct thorough literature reviews, consult with experts, and ensure the feasibility and practical implications of your chosen topic. With these insights and guidelines, you are well-equipped to embark on your research journey and make a valuable contribution to the field of sustainable development. Embrace the opportunity to explore, learn, and create positive change through your research efforts.

How to Write a Sustainable Development Research Paper

Writing a sustainable development research paper requires careful planning, critical thinking, and effective execution. As a student of environmental science, you have the opportunity to delve into complex issues, propose innovative solutions, and contribute to the field of sustainability. However, the process of crafting a research paper can be daunting, especially if you are new to the academic research landscape. In this section, we provide you with valuable tips and guidance on how to write a sustainable development research paper. By following these steps, you can streamline your writing process, effectively communicate your ideas, and produce a high-quality research paper that contributes to the ongoing dialogue on sustainable development.

  • Choose a focused research topic : In the field of sustainable development, there are numerous areas to explore. Select a specific aspect that interests you and aligns with your academic goals. Consider topics such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, urban planning, climate change adaptation, or corporate social responsibility.
  • Conduct thorough background research : Before diving into your research paper, take the time to familiarize yourself with existing literature, theories, and concepts related to your chosen topic. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the subject and identify any research gaps or areas for further exploration.
  • Formulate a clear research question : A well-defined research question is the backbone of any research paper. It should be concise, specific, and address a gap or challenge in sustainable development. Consider the broader implications and potential practical applications of your research question.
  • Develop a strong thesis statement : Craft a clear and compelling thesis statement that encapsulates the main argument or purpose of your research paper. Your thesis statement should reflect the significance of your research and provide a roadmap for the reader to understand the direction of your paper.
  • Gather reliable and relevant data : As you embark on your research journey, it is crucial to collect data from credible sources. Rely on academic journals, reputable organizations, government reports, and scientific databases to obtain reliable and relevant information. Ensure that the data you gather aligns with your research question and supports your arguments.
  • Analyze and interpret data : Once you have gathered your data, apply appropriate research methods and analytical tools to analyze and interpret the information. Utilize statistical analysis, qualitative research techniques, or a combination of both to derive meaningful insights from your data.
  • Provide evidence-based arguments : In a research paper, it is essential to support your claims and arguments with accurate and up-to-date evidence. Cite scholarly articles, empirical studies, case studies, or real-world examples to reinforce your ideas. This will add credibility to your research and strengthen your overall argument.
  • Structure your paper effectively : Organize your research paper in a logical and coherent manner. Start with an introduction that provides context, states your research question, and highlights the significance of your study. Follow with a comprehensive literature review that synthesizes existing knowledge and identifies gaps. Then, outline your research methodology, present your findings, engage in a critical discussion, and conclude with a summary of your main points and potential areas for future research.
  • Write in a clear and concise manner : Effective communication is crucial in academic writing. Use clear and concise language to convey your ideas effectively. Break down complex concepts into understandable terms and ensure that your writing is accessible to a wide audience. Avoid unnecessary jargon or technical language that may alienate readers.
  • Revise and edit your paper : Once you have completed the initial draft of your research paper, take the time to review and revise it thoroughly. Pay attention to the clarity of your arguments, the coherence of your ideas, and the overall flow of your writing. Edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors. Seek feedback from peers, professors, or academic mentors to gain different perspectives and improve the quality of your work.

Writing a sustainable development research paper is an exciting and rewarding endeavor that allows you to explore pressing environmental issues and propose meaningful solutions. By implementing the tips and strategies outlined in this section, you can enhance the quality and impact of your research paper. Remember to choose a clear and focused research question, conduct thorough literature reviews, use reliable and up-to-date sources, organize your ideas effectively, and critically analyze your findings. Additionally, seek feedback from peers and experts to refine your work and ensure its credibility. With dedication, perseverance, and the right approach, you can create a research paper that not only showcases your understanding of sustainable development but also contributes to the broader discourse on creating a sustainable future for our planet.

Order a Custom Sustainable Development Research Paper

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  • In-depth Research : Our writers conduct thorough research using credible and up-to-date sources to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the information presented in your research paper. They have access to scholarly databases, academic journals, and reputable sources to gather the necessary data for your paper.
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Research Topics & Ideas: Environment

100+ Environmental Science Research Topics & Ideas

Research topics and ideas within the environmental sciences

Finding and choosing a strong research topic is the critical first step when it comes to crafting a high-quality dissertation, thesis or research project. Here, we’ll explore a variety research ideas and topic thought-starters related to various environmental science disciplines, including ecology, oceanography, hydrology, geology, soil science, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, and environmental ethics.

NB – This is just the start…

The topic ideation and evaluation process has multiple steps . In this post, we’ll kickstart the process by sharing some research topic ideas within the environmental sciences. This is the starting point though. To develop a well-defined research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap , along with a well-justified plan of action to fill that gap.

If you’re new to the oftentimes perplexing world of research, or if this is your first time undertaking a formal academic research project, be sure to check out our free dissertation mini-course. Also be sure to also sign up for our free webinar that explores how to develop a high-quality research topic from scratch.

Overview: Environmental Topics

  • Ecology /ecological science
  • Atmospheric science
  • Oceanography
  • Soil science
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Environmental economics
  • Environmental ethics
  • Examples  of dissertations and theses

Topics & Ideas: Ecological Science

  • The impact of land-use change on species diversity and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes
  • The role of disturbances such as fire and drought in shaping arid ecosystems
  • The impact of climate change on the distribution of migratory marine species
  • Investigating the role of mutualistic plant-insect relationships in maintaining ecosystem stability
  • The effects of invasive plant species on ecosystem structure and function
  • The impact of habitat fragmentation caused by road construction on species diversity and population dynamics in the tropics
  • The role of ecosystem services in urban areas and their economic value to a developing nation
  • The effectiveness of different grassland restoration techniques in degraded ecosystems
  • The impact of land-use change through agriculture and urbanisation on soil microbial communities in a temperate environment
  • The role of microbial diversity in ecosystem health and nutrient cycling in an African savannah

Topics & Ideas: Atmospheric Science

  • The impact of climate change on atmospheric circulation patterns above tropical rainforests
  • The role of atmospheric aerosols in cloud formation and precipitation above cities with high pollution levels
  • The impact of agricultural land-use change on global atmospheric composition
  • Investigating the role of atmospheric convection in severe weather events in the tropics
  • The impact of urbanisation on regional and global atmospheric ozone levels
  • The impact of sea surface temperature on atmospheric circulation and tropical cyclones
  • The impact of solar flares on the Earth’s atmospheric composition
  • The impact of climate change on atmospheric turbulence and air transportation safety
  • The impact of stratospheric ozone depletion on atmospheric circulation and climate change
  • The role of atmospheric rivers in global water supply and sea-ice formation

Research topic evaluator

Topics & Ideas: Oceanography

  • The impact of ocean acidification on kelp forests and biogeochemical cycles
  • The role of ocean currents in distributing heat and regulating desert rain
  • The impact of carbon monoxide pollution on ocean chemistry and biogeochemical cycles
  • Investigating the role of ocean mixing in regulating coastal climates
  • The impact of sea level rise on the resource availability of low-income coastal communities
  • The impact of ocean warming on the distribution and migration patterns of marine mammals
  • The impact of ocean deoxygenation on biogeochemical cycles in the arctic
  • The role of ocean-atmosphere interactions in regulating rainfall in arid regions
  • The impact of ocean eddies on global ocean circulation and plankton distribution
  • The role of ocean-ice interactions in regulating the Earth’s climate and sea level

Research topic idea mega list

Tops & Ideas: Hydrology

  • The impact of agricultural land-use change on water resources and hydrologic cycles in temperate regions
  • The impact of agricultural groundwater availability on irrigation practices in the global south
  • The impact of rising sea-surface temperatures on global precipitation patterns and water availability
  • Investigating the role of wetlands in regulating water resources for riparian forests
  • The impact of tropical ranches on river and stream ecosystems and water quality
  • The impact of urbanisation on regional and local hydrologic cycles and water resources for agriculture
  • The role of snow cover and mountain hydrology in regulating regional agricultural water resources
  • The impact of drought on food security in arid and semi-arid regions
  • The role of groundwater recharge in sustaining water resources in arid and semi-arid environments
  • The impact of sea level rise on coastal hydrology and the quality of water resources

Research Topic Kickstarter - Need Help Finding A Research Topic?

Topics & Ideas: Geology

  • The impact of tectonic activity on the East African rift valley
  • The role of mineral deposits in shaping ancient human societies
  • The impact of sea-level rise on coastal geomorphology and shoreline evolution
  • Investigating the role of erosion in shaping the landscape and impacting desertification
  • The impact of mining on soil stability and landslide potential
  • The impact of volcanic activity on incoming solar radiation and climate
  • The role of geothermal energy in decarbonising the energy mix of megacities
  • The impact of Earth’s magnetic field on geological processes and solar wind
  • The impact of plate tectonics on the evolution of mammals
  • The role of the distribution of mineral resources in shaping human societies and economies, with emphasis on sustainability

Topics & Ideas: Soil Science

  • The impact of dam building on soil quality and fertility
  • The role of soil organic matter in regulating nutrient cycles in agricultural land
  • The impact of climate change on soil erosion and soil organic carbon storage in peatlands
  • Investigating the role of above-below-ground interactions in nutrient cycling and soil health
  • The impact of deforestation on soil degradation and soil fertility
  • The role of soil texture and structure in regulating water and nutrient availability in boreal forests
  • The impact of sustainable land management practices on soil health and soil organic matter
  • The impact of wetland modification on soil structure and function
  • The role of soil-atmosphere exchange and carbon sequestration in regulating regional and global climate
  • The impact of salinization on soil health and crop productivity in coastal communities

Topics & Ideas: Environmental Chemistry

  • The impact of cobalt mining on water quality and the fate of contaminants in the environment
  • The role of atmospheric chemistry in shaping air quality and climate change
  • The impact of soil chemistry on nutrient availability and plant growth in wheat monoculture
  • Investigating the fate and transport of heavy metal contaminants in the environment
  • The impact of climate change on biochemical cycling in tropical rainforests
  • The impact of various types of land-use change on biochemical cycling
  • The role of soil microbes in mediating contaminant degradation in the environment
  • The impact of chemical and oil spills on freshwater and soil chemistry
  • The role of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in shaping water and soil chemistry
  • The impact of over-irrigation on the cycling and fate of persistent organic pollutants in the environment

Topics & Ideas: Environmental Economics

  • The impact of climate change on the economies of developing nations
  • The role of market-based mechanisms in promoting sustainable use of forest resources
  • The impact of environmental regulations on economic growth and competitiveness
  • Investigating the economic benefits and costs of ecosystem services for African countries
  • The impact of renewable energy policies on regional and global energy markets
  • The role of water markets in promoting sustainable water use in southern Africa
  • The impact of land-use change in rural areas on regional and global economies
  • The impact of environmental disasters on local and national economies
  • The role of green technologies and innovation in shaping the zero-carbon transition and the knock-on effects for local economies
  • The impact of environmental and natural resource policies on income distribution and poverty of rural communities

Topics & Ideas: Environmental Ethics

  • The ethical foundations of environmentalism and the environmental movement regarding renewable energy
  • The role of values and ethics in shaping environmental policy and decision-making in the mining industry
  • The impact of cultural and religious beliefs on environmental attitudes and behaviours in first world countries
  • Investigating the ethics of biodiversity conservation and the protection of endangered species in palm oil plantations
  • The ethical implications of sea-level rise for future generations and vulnerable coastal populations
  • The role of ethical considerations in shaping sustainable use of natural forest resources
  • The impact of environmental justice on marginalized communities and environmental policies in Asia
  • The ethical implications of environmental risks and decision-making under uncertainty
  • The role of ethics in shaping the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future for the construction industry
  • The impact of environmental values on consumer behaviour and the marketplace: a case study of the ‘bring your own shopping bag’ policy

Examples: Real Dissertation & Thesis Topics

While the ideas we’ve presented above are a decent starting point for finding a research topic, they are fairly generic and non-specific. So, it helps to look at actual dissertations and theses to see how this all comes together.

Below, we’ve included a selection of research projects from various environmental science-related degree programs to help refine your thinking. These are actual dissertations and theses, written as part of Master’s and PhD-level programs, so they can provide some useful insight as to what a research topic looks like in practice.

  • The physiology of microorganisms in enhanced biological phosphorous removal (Saunders, 2014)
  • The influence of the coastal front on heavy rainfall events along the east coast (Henson, 2019)
  • Forage production and diversification for climate-smart tropical and temperate silvopastures (Dibala, 2019)
  • Advancing spectral induced polarization for near surface geophysical characterization (Wang, 2021)
  • Assessment of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter and Thamnocephalus platyurus as Tools to Monitor Cyanobacterial Bloom Development and Toxicity (Hipsher, 2019)
  • Evaluating the Removal of Microcystin Variants with Powdered Activated Carbon (Juang, 2020)
  • The effect of hydrological restoration on nutrient concentrations, macroinvertebrate communities, and amphibian populations in Lake Erie coastal wetlands (Berg, 2019)
  • Utilizing hydrologic soil grouping to estimate corn nitrogen rate recommendations (Bean, 2019)
  • Fungal Function in House Dust and Dust from the International Space Station (Bope, 2021)
  • Assessing Vulnerability and the Potential for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Sudan’s Blue Nile Basin (Mohamed, 2022)
  • A Microbial Water Quality Analysis of the Recreational Zones in the Los Angeles River of Elysian Valley, CA (Nguyen, 2019)
  • Dry Season Water Quality Study on Three Recreational Sites in the San Gabriel Mountains (Vallejo, 2019)
  • Wastewater Treatment Plan for Unix Packaging Adjustment of the Potential Hydrogen (PH) Evaluation of Enzymatic Activity After the Addition of Cycle Disgestase Enzyme (Miessi, 2020)
  • Laying the Genetic Foundation for the Conservation of Longhorn Fairy Shrimp (Kyle, 2021).

Looking at these titles, you can probably pick up that the research topics here are quite specific and narrowly-focused , compared to the generic ones presented earlier. To create a top-notch research topic, you will need to be precise and target a specific context with specific variables of interest . In other words, you’ll need to identify a clear, well-justified research gap.

Need more help?

If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about how to find a research topic for your environmental science dissertation or research project, be sure to check out our private coaching services below, as well as our Research Topic Kickstarter .

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Environmental sustainability refers to the responsible use and conservation of natural resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It covers a wide range of topics, allowing students to explore issues related to the environment, conservation, and sustainable practices. Thus, students must choose the best environmental sustainability dissertation topics for their research.

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What is environmental sustainability and why is it important.

Today, the world is facing the worst implications of climate change in the form of global warming, rising sea levels, droughts and desertification. Environmental sustainability involves responsible and ethical practices that seek to preserve and protect the Earth's natural resources and ecosystems for present and future generations. Human-induced factors, such as the extensive consumption of fossil fuels, have flamed environmental change at a rapid pace . By promoting sustainable practices, we aim to maintain a balance between human activities and the health of the planet, ensuring that our actions do not compromise the well-being of ecosystems or the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

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How to Write a Good Environmental Sustainability Dissertation Topic?

To craft a good environmental sustainability dissertation topic, start by exploring relevant environmental science paper topics and research project ideas. It encompasses a broad spectrum of environmental research topics, including environmental engineering dissertation topics, environmental research paper ideas, environmental science research topics, research papers on environment al issues and problems, environmental science project topics, thesis topics and environmental sustainability dissertation topics . Formulate clear and concise environmental science research questions that address specific aspects of sustainability, such as resource conservation, climate change mitigation, or ecosystem resilience. Ensure these topics contribute to the ongoing dialogue on sustainability, offering innovative perspectives or solutions. By integrating these elements, your environmental science dissertation topics can make a meaningful impact in the field of environmental science, addressing key challenges and advancing understanding of sustainable practices.

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10 Inspiring Architecture Thesis Topics for 2023: Exploring Sustainable Design, AI Integration, and Parametricism

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Choosing between architecture thesis topics is a big step for students since it’s the end of their education and a chance to show off their creativity and talents. The pursuit of biomaterials and biomimicry, a focus on sustainable design , and the use of AI in architecture will all have a significant impact on the future of architecture in 2023.

We propose 10 interesting architecture thesis topics and projects in this post that embrace these trends while embracing technology, experimentation, and significant architectural examples.

Architecture thesis topics

Architecture Thesis Topic #1 – Sustainable Affordable Housing

Project example: Urban Village Project is a new visionary model for developing affordable and livable homes for the many people living in cities around the world. The concept stems from a collaboration with SPACE10 on how to design, build and share our future homes, neighbourhoods and cities.

“Sustainable affordable housing combines social responsibility with innovative design strategies, ensuring that everyone has access to safe and environmentally conscious living spaces.” – John Doe, Sustainable Design Architect.

Parametric lampchairs 16

Architecture Thesis Topic #2 – Parametric Architecture Using Biomaterials

Project example:  Parametric Lampchairs, using Agro-Waste by Vincent Callebaut Architectures The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) “Living Architecture Lab” investigates the fusion of biomaterials with parametric design to produce responsive and sustainable buildings . The lab’s research focuses on using bio-inspired materials for architectural purposes, such as composites made of mycelium.

Architecture thesis topics

Architecture Thesis Topic #3 – Urban Planning Driven by AI

Project example: The University of California, Berkeley’s “ Smart City ” simulates and improves urban planning situations using AI algorithms. The project’s goal is to develop data-driven methods for effective urban energy management, transportation, and land use.

“By integrating artificial intelligence into urban planning, we can unlock the potential of data to create smarter, more sustainable cities that enhance the quality of life for residents.” – Jane Smith, Urban Planner.

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Architecture Thesis Topic #4 – Adaptive Reuse of Industrial Heritage

From 1866 to 1878, Oxford Street’s Paddington Reservoir was built. From the 1930′s, it was covered by a raised grassed park which was hidden from view and little used by the surrounding community.

Over the past two years, the City of Sydney and its collaborative design team of architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, and access consultants have created a unique, surprising, functional, and completely engaging public park that has captivated all who pass or live nearby.

Instead of capping the site and building a new park above, the design team incorporated many of the reinforced ruins of the heritage-listed structure and created sunken and elevated gardens using carefully selected and limited contemporary materials with exceptional detailing.

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Architecture Thesis Topic #5 – Smart and Resilient Cities

The capacity to absorb, recover from, and prepare for future shocks (economic, environmental, social, and institutional) is what makes a city resilient. Resilient cities have this capabilities. Cities that are resilient foster sustainable development, well-being, and progress that includes everyone.

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Architecture Thesis Topic #6 – High Performing Green Buildings

The LEED certification offers a foundation for creating high-performing, sustainable structures. In order to guarantee energy efficiency , water conservation, and healthy interior environments, architects may include LEED concepts into their buildings. To learn more check our free training to becoming LEED accredited here .

Diller scofido renfro high line architonic 02 highline photography by iwan baan 02 edited

Architecture Thesis Topic #7 – Urban Landscapes with Biophilic Design

Project example: The High Line is an elevated linear park in New York City that stretches over 2.33 km and was developed on an elevated part of a defunct New York Central Railroad branch that is known as the West Side Line. The successful reimagining of the infrastructure as public space is the key to its accomplishments. The 4.8 km Promenade Plantee, a tree-lined promenade project in Paris that was finished in 1993, served as an inspiration for the creation of the High Line.

“Biophilic design fosters human well-being by creating environments that reconnect people with nature, promoting relaxation, productivity, and overall happiness.” – Sarah Johnson, Biophilic Design Consultant.


Architecture Thesis Topic #8 – Augmented and Virtual Reality in Architectural Visualization

An interactive experience that augments and superimposes a user’s real-world surroundings with computer-generated data. In the field of architecture, augmented reality (AR) refers to the process of superimposing 3D digital building or building component models that are encoded with data onto real-world locations.

Green buildings header

Architecture Thesis Topic #9 – Sustainable Skyscrapers

There is even a master program called “Sustainable Mega-Buildings” in the UK , Cardiff dedicated to high-rise projects in relation to performance and sustainability. Since building up rather than out, having less footprint, more open space, and less development is a green strategy .

“Sustainable skyscrapers showcase the possibilities of high-performance design, combining energy efficiency, resource conservation, and innovative architectural solutions.” – David Lee, Sustainable Skyscraper Architect.

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Architecture Thesis Topic #10 – Circular Economy in Construction

Project example: Building D(emountable) , a sustainable and fully demountable structure on the site of a historic, monumental building complex in the center of the Dutch city Delft. Of the way in which the office approaches circular construction and of the way in which one can make buildings that can later donate to other projects. Or even be reused elsewhere in their entirety.

“By embracing the circular economy in construction, architects can contribute to a more sustainable industry, shifting from a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model to a more regenerative approach.” – Emily Thompson, Sustainable Construction Specialist.


The 10 thesis projects for architecture discussed above demonstrate how AI, LEED , and sustainable design are all incorporated into architectural practice. Students may investigate these subjects with an emphasis on creativity, experimenting, and building a physical environment that is in line with the concepts of sustainability and resilience via examples, quotations, and university programs.


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Sustainable Construction

Master thesis.

The current list of topics for Master Theses in the field of Sustainable Construction.

Proposals for S pring Semester 2024

Below you find examples of topics from our research area. we would be happy to discuss and try to find a common ground between your interests and our expertise..

  • The responsability of structural engineers...
  • Urban-industrial metabolism within the context of recycling of waste-to-energy residues into construction materials
  • Enhancing Sustainability through Dynamic Logistics Optimization for Circular Construction Materials
  • Mapping Bio-based Material Potentials for Sustainable Construction in the Canton of Zurich
  • Future proof buildings – what they are?
  • Integration of future climate in LCA/energy models
  • Integrating Future Comfort Calculation into Energy Analyses: The case study FraumunsterPost.
  • Identification of appropriate use of biobased/hygroscopic materials in different contexts, considering climate change.
  • Big data in LCA: assessing the variability of environmental impacts of ready-mixed concrete production using EPDs
  •  Comparative Lateral load test and LCA of composite bamboo shear walls influence of aspect ratio
  •  Accounting for carbon capture and storage in the Life Cycle Assessment of mineral construction products
  •  Alternative mix design of poured earth
  •  Understanding how the earth materials shrink upon water drying, for poured and 3d printed earth application
  •   Building Back Better: Post-earthquake reconstruction guidelines for shelter programs in Morocco

More information on Master's thesis at D-BAUG

Completed Master's theses can be found here

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Current topics for final thesis

Turning on the heat global warming and corporate risk-taking..

The following topic is suitable for BA or MA students. Please keep in mind that it is best suited for candidates who are familiar with statistical software and time series regression or those who are willing to acquire these skills within the context of their thesis. However, suggestions for alternative methodological approaches (e.g., interviews, literature reviews) are welcome.

If you are interested in the following topic, please get in touch with  Dr. Wiebke Szymczak . 

Turning on the heat? Global warming and corporate risk-taking

Heat is a common metaphor to describe interpersonal conflict. Strikingly, psychological research indeed suggests a link between heat stress and aggressive or asocial behavior. With global temperatures on the rise, one may wonder: what are the consequences of heat stress on corporate decisions? This thesis project will combine meteorological and financial data to test whether heat stress triggers systematic changes in corporate risk-taking, as one possible manifestation of aggressive financial decisions.

Shareholder activism and sustainability. Is shareholder activism a solution or a problem?

On the one hand, the term shareholder activism refers to an investment strategy of a small group of hedge funds which target underperforming firms in order to foster the implementation of financial or governance changes and capitalize on potential increases in shareholder value. On the other hand, shareholder activism refers to the actions of large institutional investors who engage with their target firms to push a non-financial agenda, e.g., better working conditions or higher investments into emission mitigation technologies. There are two possible variants of this thesis project: The first represents a systematic literature review in order to contrast both types of shareholder activism and identify positive as well as negative side-effects of both types of shareholder activism with respect to environmental, social and governance aspects. The second represents an empirical investigation into the non-financial effects of shareholder activism with respect to corporate ESG performance.

Sustainability, but not too much?

Investor objections to corporate sustainability Financial professionals report that some investors respond negatively to sustainability-focused marketing strategies to the extent that relationship managers maintain two slide decks to advertise sustainable investment products. The empirical literature suggests a positive or at least non-negative effect of corporate sustainability on financial performance. Yet, some investors remain reluctant to sustainable investment products. This thesis project aims to review the theoretical literature and explore the motives and rationales of investors who shy away from sustainable investment products.

The effect of disaster experiences on sustainability preferences

Extreme weather events are becoming ever more frequent and severe. While much research has addressed the contribution of the global economy to anthropogenic climate change, the behavioral implications of exposure to extreme weather on economic decisions have yet to be fully explored. A small but growing literature suggests that exposure to extreme weather events and natural disasters can have significant and systematic effects on the risk preferences of economic decision makers. Moreover, the attention-based view of the firm suggests that extreme weather exposure may also emphasize the importance of a stable environment as a basis for economic growth and corporate success. Within the context of this thesis project, the candidate will develop and implement a suitable regression strategy to test the impact of extreme weather exposure on sustainability preferences of households or firms.

Mood effects in ESG ratings

The following topic is suitable for BA or MA students. Please keep in mind it is best suited for candidates who are familiar with statistical software and time series regression or those who are willing to acquire these skills within the context of their thesis. However, suggestions for alternative methodological approaches (e.g., interviews, literature reviews) are welcome.

If you are interested in the following topics, please get in touch with  Dr. Wiebke Szymczak . 

Does the weather at rating offices affect ESG ratings of local firms? Several empirical studies show that local weather conditions can have a systematic effect on investor decisions. However, little is known about the specific biases in ESG ratings. Applying the rationale of investors mood effects to ESG rating agencies, theory may predict higher ESG ratings when raters are in high spirits and lower ESG ratings when spirits are low, ceteris paribus. Within the context of this thesis project, the candidate will gather establishment addresses for the major rating agencies and connect these addresses with relevant climate data in order to analyze how weather variables affect sustainability ratings of local firms.

Don't foul your own nest

Don’t foul your own nest

Does distance between HQs and plants predict pollution intensity? A proliferating number of empirical studies suggest that air pollution has a detrimental effect on local property prices. If top managers and employees in strategic positions live close to corporate headquarters, their own residential property may be affected by local production facilities. Consequently, rational choice theory predicts that they will prefer to keep air pollution as far away from home as possible. Moreover, firms reduce the risk of litigation by keeping firms away from residential areas. This thesis project will combine data on corporate air pollution reported in the toxic release inventory, financial data and corporate location data to analyze whether there exists a systematic pattern to shift polluting activities to facilities further away from corporate headquarters and/or local residential areas.

Assessing physical climate risks

The following topic is suitable for MA students. Please keep in mind that it is best suited for candidates with excellent Excel skills and those who are familiar with GIS and scenario modelling. For all the details, please refer to the full topic description .

If you are interested in the following topic, please get in touch with Dr. Sven Lundie .

Assessing physical climate risks for Altana Management Services GmbH

The importance of sustainability continues to grow at Altana Management Services GmbH. Altana is currently dealing with CDP reporting. The EU taxonomy, CSRD and in particular the TCFD are further topics that Altana will increasingly address in the future.

The effects of climate change on the company's own production are to be investigated as part of the master's thesis, i.e. the physical risks will be qualitatively assessed for the 50 production sites. In addition, the availability of materials is an important topic for the company, as climate change will also have an impact on the supply chain (including delivery times and quantities). Sales markets will also be affected. For this reason, Altana wants to systematically address future scenarios (for different warming scenarios (1.5 as well as 2 degrees), two time horizons) at the production sites that identify the risks and opportunities for the company.

The TCFD will serve as a framework guideline for this project. In a first step, only physical risks and opportunities of climate change will be addressed (e.g. risk assessment regarding future availability of biogenic raw materials or cooling water for production). In a next step, transitory risks, for example, can be investigated, as TCFD reporting by Altana could take place from 2023 onwards (outside this project).

Sustainable investment by a listed insurance company - curse and/or blessing?

The following topic is suitable for MA students. Please be aware that basic knowledge of the German language is required. The thesis itself can be written in English or German. For all the details, please refer to the full topic description .

If you are interested in the following topic, please get in touch with Prof. Dr. Timo Busch .

In close cooperation with the Investment Division of HDI Germany, this thesis sets out to explore ways of integrating sustainability into the investment decisions of a listed insurance company. Among other things, a market and opinion analysis is to be carried out for this master thesis. Possible focus areas include how the insurance company can have a positive impact on biodiversity through their investments and how to deal with data issues in measuring the sustainability of investments and the disparity of definitions of what exactly falls under the term sustainable investment.

Development of a Scope 3 estimation method for industry sectors

Reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions, those under the direct ownership and operational control of the business is usually the first target in a company’s carbon reduction strategy. However, to become truly carbon neutral, Scope 3 emissions, which are indirect emissions released upstream and downstream in a company’s value chain, need to be prioritised too as scope 3 emission often contribute more than half of the total GHG emissions. With the introduction of the CSRD in the EU it will become compulsory for companies to report on their Scope 3 emission.

The GHG protocol has developed the framework for quantifying scope 3 emissions. Within the GHG protocol 15 sub-categories are further specified to cover all upstream and downstream emissions in detail. However, quantifying relevant scope 3 emissions can be very challenging in practice due to data availability, complexity of calculation and possibly lack of inhouse knowledge with companies.

In order to address corporate needs, the objective of this Master Thesis is to develop a Scope 3 estimation methodology according GHG protocol and to quantify the GHG hotspots along the value chains of industry sectors (following NACE and GICS codes) .

Required activities of this desk top research are, e.g.

  • Review and analysis of GHG protocol, GHG ISO standards, CSRD, NACE and GICS, …
  • Development of a quantitative estimation methodology for industry sectors
  • Research of LCA studies that are representative for industry sectors
  • Development of an Excel-based tool for qualifying and/or quantifying GHG hotspots along the value chains of industry sectors
  • The student should have an interest in Scope 1, 2 & 3 GHG emissions, LCA/PCF/EPDs, environmental regulation, statistics as well as in methods development.

The Master Student will gain highly relevant GHG accounting knowledge in due course of the work.

Start: as soon as possible

Supervisors: Prof Timo Busch and Dr. Sven Lundie

The student will have the opportunity to align with the supervisor on a bi-weekly basis. Please reach out to Sven Lundie ( info "AT" sven-lundie.com )  if you are interested in this topic.

thesis sustainable topics


thesis sustainable topics

THESIS,  created and developed by TSC, is a performance assessment system that  guides  retailers and suppliers to benchmark, quantify, and take action on critical sustainability issues within their consumer product supply chains.  

thesis sustainable topics

Science-Based Insights

thesis sustainable topics

Eliminates Survey Fatigue

thesis sustainable topics

Established Assessments

thesis sustainable topics

Data-Backed Decision Making

THESIS For Retailers and Suppliers  

For Retailers:

thesis sustainable topics

C urrent retailers:

Ahold delhaize usa, costco, dollar tree, family dollar, kroger, sam’s club, staples, tractor supply company, walgreens, walgreens boots alliance (wba), walmart, woolworths..

thesis sustainable topics

For Suppliers :

In 2023, tsc will introduce a common reporting period for all suppliers on thesis to current retail customers. this common reporting period is designed to support supplier engagement with thesis and minimize survey fatigue  .

thesis sustainable topics

Learn more about THESIS

Where did thesis come from  .

THESIS was originally created by TSC starting in 2009 and launched as The Sustainability Index in 2014. In 2019, TSC partnered with SupplyShift to create our current iteration of THESIS, powered by SupplyShift’s cutting edge platform and informed by TSC’s deep roots in higher education, including ASU and Wageningen University + Research. THESIS currently has more retail users than ever before.  

Every spring, TSC staff work with TSC members to revise and update THESIS for the upcoming fall campaign.   

Who is SupplyShift ?  

THESIS is powered by SupplyShift , TSC’s partner who is committed to helping businesses create more transparent, responsible, and resilient supply chains. Learn more about SupplyShift and visit THESIS on their platform . 

thesis sustainable topics

What is the Science Behind THESIS?

THESIS is rooted in TSC’s university-based, scientific methodology. THESIS is based in LCA methodology and was developed in a pre-competitive way using TSC’s stakeholder engagement expertise that brings the CPG industry, NGOs, and higher education together for greater impact. It is this combination of stakeholders that sets THESIS apart from other consultant-led performance assessment platforms.  

TSC methodology is based on creating and evolving strict, LCA-based key performance indicators using relevant sources and evidence for hotspots.  

THESIS 2022 at a Glance

thesis sustainable topics

TSC Impact Report

thesis sustainable topics

Summary of 2021 THESIS Scores — From 2016 to 2021, the THESIS assessments of product manufacturers have improved (relatively):

From 32.5% to 48.4% (where 100% equals the maximum score)..

This is an indication that the systems and processes put in place to respond to THESIS KPIs are creating positive changes in the manufacturer’s practices and its supply chain, leading to an overall improvement in scores. Scores improved from 2020 to 2021 at about the same pace they have annually over all six years.

THESIS Industry Insight Reports  

thesis sustainable topics


thesis sustainable topics


thesis sustainable topics


thesis sustainable topics

The Difference: University-Based Research

TSC and THESIS originate from our founding university, Arizona State University , with contributions from our partnership with Wageningen University + Research.   

Get Started with THESIS Today

thesis sustainable topics

Amy Scoville-Weaver

Director, Retail

thesis sustainable topics

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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Dissertations / Theses on the topic 'Sustainable development goals (SDG)'

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Consult the top 50 dissertations / theses for your research on the topic 'Sustainable development goals (SDG).'

Next to every source in the list of references, there is an 'Add to bibliography' button. Press on it, and we will generate automatically the bibliographic reference to the chosen work in the citation style you need: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.

You can also download the full text of the academic publication as pdf and read online its abstract whenever available in the metadata.

Browse dissertations / theses on a wide variety of disciplines and organise your bibliography correctly.

Wahlandt, Selhag Laura. "Key Components of Governance for Sustainable Development and SDG Implementation in Sweden." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, 2016. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296431.

de, Miguel Ramos Carlos. "Assessment Based on Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals in Spain : A Data Science Approach." Thesis, KTH, Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-276705.

Murambadoro, Betty. "The Role of Development Finance Institutions and Aid Agencies in Zimbabwe’s achievement of Sustainable Development Goals." Thesis, University of Cape Town, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/28408.

Gicic, Sejla, and Ariana Kelmendi. "Hållbarhetsrapportering i bilindustrin : en kvalitativ studie av SDG-rapporteringens utveckling." Thesis, Högskolan Kristianstad, Fakulteten för ekonomi, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-20140.

Grahn, Beatrice. "Global Sustainable Urban Development : A study of SDG no. 11 in South Korea and Vietnam." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Malmö högskola, Institutionen för globala politiska studier (GPS), 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-43302.

GUSTAFSSON, MARTIN, and PATRIK ZYTOMIERSKI. "The Relationship between United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Swedish Banks’ Credit Rating of Manufacturing Customers." Thesis, KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-279753.

Archibong, Uduak E., and Kingsley U. Utam. "Affirmative action measures and gender equality: review of evidence, policies, and practices." Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer, Cham, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10454/17967.

Sheridan, Scott. "Examining the effect of school development loans on education capacity and quality: evidence from Ghana and Uganda." Master's thesis, Faculty of Commerce, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/34014.

Lizikeviciute-Grisine, Justina. "Shared Value in Sustainable Development Goals : The case of Arla." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-413189.

BONATTI, MICHELLE. "Social learning and community-based strategies to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)." Doctoral thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.18452/19532.

Myhrman, Nilsson Clara, and Jenny Hansson. "Mapping interlinkages between energy projects and the SDGs : Implementing and evaluating the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Assessment Framework for Energy Projects." Thesis, KTH, Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-283600.

Berggren, Ek Alma, and Ella Espling. "Sustainable Stakeholder Framework for Hotels : Supporting Sustainable Tourism Management in Vlora, Albania." Thesis, KTH, Energisystem, 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-298045.

Larsson, Tereza, and Charity Mashegede. "Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) : Towards the development of socially sustainable communities." Thesis, Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för handel och företagande, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17042.

NORDSTRÖM, CAROLINA, and FORSBERG IDA STENBERG. "Modelling the national electricity system of Rwanda : Contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7." Thesis, KTH, Energiteknik, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-233233.

Dahllöf, Cecilia, and Grisilda Pergjegji. "The Pressure is on : Exploring nurses´ experiences of working with hypertension prevention in Vietnam." Thesis, Hälsohögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping, HHJ, Avd. för omvårdnad, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-44309.

Engwall, Mikaela. "Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the role of companies : A human right based approach to sustainable development." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Teologiska institutionen, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351840.

Angelstam, Mikael. "A Future in Sustainable Development : Backcasting the SDGs." Thesis, KTH, Miljöstrategisk analys (fms), 2017. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-211256.

Modigh, Nicole. "True colours of Nepal : A minor field study on the Nepalease dyeing industry." Thesis, Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för ekoteknik och hållbart byggande, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-41974.

Rodríguez, Medina Samuel. "Multi-Label Text Classification with Transfer Learning for Policy Documents : The Case of the Sustainable Development Goals." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för lingvistik och filologi, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395186.

Bhalerao, Akash, Sjaak Louwerse, Michael Tei Quarmyne, and Dan Ritchie. "Social Innovation Hubs Supporting Social Entrepreneurs: Strategically Adopting the SDGs towards Sustainability." Thesis, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:bth-18253.

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Aberle, Nathalie, and Mayke Martijntje Hoekstra. "Resilience Based Crisis Management in Public Educational Institutions at the Time of Global Pandemic of COVID-19 : The Implication for Ensuring SDG 4." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Malmö högskola, Institutionen för Urbana Studier (US), 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-18454.

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Shining a light on oil fields to make them more sustainable

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Oil field rigs overlayed with analytics data

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Operating an oil field is complex and there is a staggeringly long list of things that can go wrong.

One of the most common problems is spills of the salty brine that’s a toxic byproduct of pumping oil. Another is over- or under-pumping that can lead to machine failure and methane leaks. (The oil and gas industry is the largest industrial emitter of methane in the U.S.) Then there are extreme weather events, which range from winter frosts to blazing heat, that can put equipment out of commission for months. One of the wildest problems Sebastien Mannai SM ’14, PhD ’18 has encountered are hogs that pop open oil tanks with their snouts to enjoy on-demand oil baths.

Mannai helps oil field owners detect and respond to these problems while optimizing the operation of their machinery to prevent the issues from occurring in the first place. He is the founder and CEO of Amplified Industries, a company selling oil field monitoring and control tools that help make the industry more efficient and sustainable.

Amplified Industries’ sensors and analytics give oil well operators real-time alerts when things go wrong, allowing them to respond to issues before they become disasters.

“We’re able to find 99 percent of the issues affecting these machines, from mechanical failures to human errors, including issues happening thousands of feet underground,” Mannai explains. “With our AI solution, operators can put the wells on autopilot, and the system automatically adjusts or shuts the well down as soon as there’s an issue.”

Amplified currently works with private companies in states spanning from Texas to Wyoming, that own and operate as many as 3,000 wells. Such companies make up the majority of oil well operators in the U.S. and operate both new and older, more failure-prone equipment that has been in the field for decades.

Such operators also have a harder time responding to environmental regulations like the Environmental Protection Agency’s new methane guidelines , which seek to dramatically reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas in the industry over the next few years.

“These operators don’t want to be releasing methane,” Mannai explains. “Additionally, when gas gets into the pumping equipment, it leads to premature failures. We can detect gas and slow the pump down to prevent it. It’s the best of both worlds: The operators benefit because their machines are working better, saving them money while also giving them a smaller environmental footprint with fewer spills and methane leaks.”

Leveraging “every MIT resource I possibly could”

Mannai learned about the cutting-edge technology used in the space and aviation industries as he pursued his master’s degree at the Gas Turbine Laboratory in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Then, during his PhD at MIT, he worked with an oil services company and discovered the oil and gas industry was still relying on decades-old technologies and equipment.

“When I first traveled to the field, I could not believe how old-school the actual operations were,” says Mannai, who has previously worked in rocket engine and turbine factories. “A lot of oil wells have to be adjusted by feel and rules of thumb. The operators have been let down by industrial automation and data companies.”

Monitoring oil wells for problems typically requires someone in a pickup truck to drive hundreds of miles between wells looking for obvious issues, Mannai says. The sensors that are deployed are expensive and difficult to replace. Over time, they’re also often damaged in the field to the point of being unusable, forcing technicians to make educated guesses about the status of each well.

“We often see that equipment unplugged or programmed incorrectly because it is incredibly over-complicated and ill-designed for the reality of the field,” Mannai says. “Workers on the ground often have to rip it out and bypass the control system to pump by hand. That’s how you end up with so many spills and wells pumping at suboptimal levels.”

To build a better oil field monitoring system, Mannai received support from the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund and the Venture Mentoring Service (VMS). He also participated in the delta V summer accelerator at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, the fuse program during IAP, and the MIT I-Corps program, and took a number of classes at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 2019, Amplified Industries — which operated under the name Acoustic Wells until recently — won the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship competition .

“My approach was to sign up to every possible entrepreneurship related program and to leverage every MIT resource I possibly could,” Mannai says. “MIT was amazing for us.”

Mannai officially launched the company after his postdoc at MIT, and Amplified raised its first round of funding in early 2020. That year, Amplified’s small team moved into the Greentown Labs startup incubator in Somerville.

Mannai says building the company’s battery-powered, low-cost sensors was a huge challenge. The sensors run machine-learning inference models and their batteries last for 10 years. They also had to be able to handle extreme conditions, from the scorching hot New Mexico desert to the swamps of Louisiana and the freezing cold winters in North Dakota.

“We build very rugged, resilient hardware; it’s a must in those environments” Mannai says. “But it’s also very simple to deploy, so if a device does break, it’s like changing a lightbulb: We ship them a new one and it takes them a couple of minutes to swap it out.”

Customers equip each well with four or five of Amplified’s sensors, which attach to the well’s cables and pipes to measure variables like tension, pressure, and amps. Vast amounts of data are then sent to Amplified’s cloud and processed by their analytics engine. Signal processing methods and AI models are used to diagnose problems and control the equipment in real-time, while generating notifications for the operators when something goes wrong. Operators can then remotely adjust the well or shut it down.

“That’s where AI is important, because if you just record everything and put it in a giant dashboard, you create way more work for people,” Mannai says. “The critical part is the ability to process and understand this newly recorded data and make it readily usable in the real world.”

Amplified’s dashboard is customized for different people in the company, so field technicians can quickly respond to problems and managers or owners can get a high-level view of how everything is running.

Mannai says often when Amplified’s sensors are installed, they’ll immediately start detecting problems that were unknown to engineers and technicians in the field. To date, Amplified has prevented hundreds of thousands of gallons worth of brine water spills, which are particularly damaging to surrounding vegetation because of their high salt and sulfur content.

Preventing those spills is only part of Amplified’s positive environmental impact; the company is now turning its attention toward the detection of methane leaks.

Helping a changing industry

The EPA’s proposed new Waste Emissions Charge for oil and gas companies would start at $900 per metric ton of reported methane emissions in 2024 and increase to $1,500 per metric ton in 2026 and beyond.

Mannai says Amplified is well-positioned to help companies comply with the new rules. Its equipment has already showed it can detect various kinds of leaks across the field, purely based on analytics of existing data.

“Detecting methane leaks typically requires someone to walk around every valve and piece of piping with a thermal camera or sniffer, but these operators often have thousands of valves and hundreds of miles of pipes,” Mannai says. “What we see in the field is that a lot of times people don’t know where the pipes are because oil wells change owners so frequently, or they will miss an intermittent leak.”

Ultimately Mannai believes a strong data backend and modernized sensing equipment will become the backbone of the industry, and is a necessary prerequisite to both improving efficiency and cleaning up the industry.

“We’re selling a service that ensures your equipment is working optimally all the time,” Mannai says. “That means a lot fewer fines from the EPA, but it also means better-performing equipment. There’s a mindset change happening across the industry, and we’re helping make that transition as easy and affordable as possible.”

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