The Alexandra Institute // Application Areas // Intelligent sustainability

Intelligent sustainability


Intelligent sustainability

Technology is a driver for sustainable growth – are you ready to seize the opportunities?

IT and digital solutions are key drivers for intelligent sustainable development.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are an incentive for Danish businesses and organisations to place even more focus on sustainable development. 

Is your organisation seeking to become more sustainable, or do you want to develop innovative solutions that can help your customers become greener? IT and digital solutions are important drivers for intelligent sustainable development. But how does technology interact with the people who are to use it? Are you uncertain how to get started and what strategy to pursue? 

We provide impartial advice, sparring and analyses that will help you implement the best initiatives to achieve intelligent sustainable economic growth. 

Sustainable solutions aligned with customer needs

The smart window that automatically closes when it’s cold outside, or the washing machine that starts automatically when surplus green power is available in the grid. That sounds both smart and sustainable. Intelligent, sustainable solutions are indeed smart, as long as they are aligned with the needs of those who are to use them.

If your smart solution can meet that need, the market potential is huge. And we can help you identify and unlock that potential.

However, our approach to what we call intelligent sustainability goes beyond technology. We are focused on bringing knowledge about the interplay among people and technology into technology development, and that this can be done in an economically sustainable way.

We work in interdisciplinary research teams where anthropologists, designers, architects, engineers, IT specialists, business developers, economists and many other relevant professionals combine their efforts to create solutions that are valuable for people, the environment, businesses and public organisations. 

In our work on intelligent sustainability, we combine three knowledge areas: human behaviour, IT and digitalisation as well as business and organisational understanding. Understanding and developing the interplay among all three fields of knowledge is essential for encouraging sustainable behaviour and designing digital solutions that match the reality of the users. 

Intelligent sustainability = Knowledge about human behaviour – IT and digitalisation – Business and organisational understanding

We provide

  • User studies – knowledge about user practice and context of use.
  • Data collection and analyses – qualitative and quantitative data about a given context and the ‘issue’ to be addressed.
  • Knowledge about state-of-the-art digital technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, IoT and visualisation technologies) and methods that encourage sustainable behaviour (e.g. nudging, servitization, etc.) We make this knowledge accessible to industry through presentations, masterclasses, workshops and seminars.
  • Development and delivery of IT and digital solutions in collaboration with users and customers.
  • Design of green digital products and services based on the concept of design thinking.
  • Green business modelling based on consumer and market analyses, service design, circular economy, etc.
  • Co-creation involving multiple academic disciplines and relevant stakeholders to ensure that a given solution is both innovative and satisfies the needs of the target users.
  • Evaluation of green solutions and initiatives 

How to work with us

We have deep expertise and experience across a multitude of application areas, including smart energy and smart homes, mobility, healthy living, water, waste and resources, circular economy, green business development and sustainable growth. Below you can find some inspirational examples of our collaboration with private and public organisations:

Where are the potentials, and how do you strengthen your sustainable transition?

Do you want to integrate UN’s Development Goals (SDG) into your strategy and transform your organisation towards greater sustainability? We have deep knowledge of green business models and how they can be realised in your organisation. 

  • Vaeksthus Copenhagen: Publication on green business models based on interviews with companies and experts (in Danish only)
  • Danish Business Authority: Evaluation of sustainable transition initiatives in small and medium-sized enterprises in Denmark
  • Comwell Hotels: Analysis of the impact of employee engagement in sustainable initiatives

What technologies enable sustainable development, and how should they be designed?

Do you want to develop new digital solutions that encourage sustainable and energy-efficient behaviour? Or do you want to launch an energy efficiency campaign in an office building or an apartment block?  We have thorough knowledge and many year’s practical experience of what encourages and/or inhibits sustainable and energy-efficient behaviour:

  • BeReady: User studies and mapping of the correlation between energy renovations, health and indoor climate 
  • Aguardio: User studies on digital feedback unit designed to minimise water consumption
  • Scalgo: User studies and input for technology development of Scalgo’s Dynamic Flood Map

How does the end user experience your product, and how can you make it better?

We are experts in qualitative analyses and evaluations can help you understand the needs of your users, citizens, tenants, employees, customers, managers and stakeholders. We have many years’ experience of translating this knowledge into sustainable solutions that make sense and create value for the end users: 

  • HORESTA: Analysis and development of digital and analog prototypes that support resource-saving initiatives and create lasting relationships between hotels and their guests.
  • Dong Energy/eFlex: User studies to analyse if users of electric cars and heat pumps are ready for flexible electricity consumption.

The future is now

Do you want an overview of future trends? Do you want qualified decision support to be able to unlock the green potentials? Do you want input for the design of new services?

  • Hedensted municipality: User studies, knowledge collection and recommendations in relation to mobility of the future
  • LetsGO: User studies in connection with the development of LetsGo’s B2B fleet management system

Engage with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals highlight the importance of developing innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable development. At the same time, the SDGs can open up new markets and bring new opportunities for businesses – in particular small and medium-sized enterprises. The SDGs are also unique in the sense that they integrate environmental, social and economic goals to achieve sustainable development.

This is an opportunity for organisations to develop new business areas based on IT and digital solutions, which are key drivers for intelligent sustainable development.

Contact us to discuss how we can help your organisation develop sustainable solutions

Manager – Intelligent Sustainability
People, Technology and Business Lab
+45 30 23 66 22
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