Background and activities

Edgar Hertwich is International Chair in Industrial Ecology at NTNU and professor at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering. In 2022, Hertwich was selected as one of fifteen members of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. He serves as leader of the research area Circular Economy of NTNU Sustainability. Hertwich holds an appointment as an Executive Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment.  Since 2017, he leads the work on resource efficiency and climate change of the International Resource Panel. This work has been used in many policy processes. It informed the European Union's Circular Economy Action Plan and the Renovation Wave, part of its climate policy for the building sector. Hertwich is ranked among the top 100 researchers in the world in the fields of environmental science and climate change, according to separate assessments conducted by researchers at Stanford University and Reuters.

Hertwich was a lead author of the energy systems chapter and the methods annex of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC 5th assessment report, as well as a contributor to the Technical Summary and the Summary for Policy makers. He contributed to  the Global Energy Assessment and serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Science & Technology, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and the Journal of Economic Structures.


Hertwich was born in Salzburg, Austria. He has an engineering degree from the HTL Braunau, an Bachelor in physics (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton University, and an MSc and PhD in energy & ressources from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked at the Austrian Energy Agency, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and served as chair of the board of MiSA - a start-up founded with former students. From 2015-2019, he was professor of industrial sustainability and director of the Center for Industrial Ecology of Yale University. He served as president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology in 2017-2018.


Hertwich's research addresses climate mitigation, low-carbon energy supply, sustainable consumption and production, trade, resources, and the environment. He is interested in understanding how activities in our society produce environmental pressures, the dynamics in our development that affect these driving forces and their resulting environmental pressures, and alternative courses of action that can reduce these pressures. What is the connection between human activities on the one hand and emissions and resource use on the other hand? What are the implications of our current development path? What do we need to change, both in terms of individual actions and policy frameworks, to achieve a more sustainable development? His methods include life-cycle assessment, input-output economics, dynamic product cohort models, and statistics.

Current Projects


Previous NTNU Projects

  • GLAMURS: Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability
  • DESIRE: Development of a System of Indicators for a Resource-Efficient Europe
  • ADVANCE: Model development and validation for climate policy analysis
  • Carbon CAP: Consumption-based accounting and policy
  • CENSES: Center for sustainable energy studies



Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications