The Controller - an unexplored actor in the transition towards sustainable energy systems

Tree logs
Andrea Fried

The controller plays a key role in the Swedish energy-intensive industry towards sustainability. For example, the controller is responsible for analyzing the energy costs of companies and can influence investment decisions relating to more energy-efficient technologies or renewable energies.

Controllers today are expected to do more than just monitor corporate performance. The involvement and knowledge of controllers through processes of reflexive analysis should affect strategic decisions. Little is currently known about how actors in different management roles deal with sustainability, how these roles change over time and which role controllers play in particular.

With CONSENSYS we are researching what this actually looks like in relation to strategic sustainability issues in corporate practice. CONSENSYS examines the sustainability work of controllers in the context of energy-intensive companies.

The study will be conducted through a qualitative multiple case study in the Swedish energy-intensive industry. Based on the interdisciplinary competences of the research group, we intend to increase knowledge about the role of controllers in companies as well as how it can be developed to contribute to Swedish climate targets by 2030.

The Swedish Energy Agency supports the project with SEK 4.6 million (project no. 48458-1). The support is provided for implementation of the project during January 2020 to December 2022. The project is carried out within the framework of the research program "Human, Energy Systems and SAMhälle (MESAM)".



Andrea Fried



Henrik Nehler


Josefina Rasmussen




Reference group


Energy Director Skogsindustrierna

Senior Advisor energy and climate issues

Professor in Industrial Management, with a focus on strategy, management control and digitalization