Professor Milena Buchs

Professor Milena Buchs


Professor Milena Buchs is an environmental social scientist and specialises on sustainable welfare and wellbeing. Combining theories and methods from ecological economics, social policy and sociology, Milena’s research seeks to contribute to making carbon reduction more equitable and wellbeing-enhancing while also being most effective in environmental terms. Much of her research focuses on 1) understanding and modelling the unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions across social groups; 2) on how the costs and benefits of carbon reduction policies can be shared more equally in societies; and 3) how to build welfare systems that are compatible with sustainable economics, improve people’s wellbeing, and respect planetary boundaries. 

Milena joined the SRI in September 2016. She is currently a Co-Investigator in the Horizon Europe Project “ToBe “Towards a sustainable wellbeing economy” and PI of the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship ShaRe (Fellow: Dr Diana Ivanova) which investigates the role of sharing within and between households for carbon reduction. She was also Co-I on the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS), examining carbon emission inequalities and fairness implications of climate policies. Milena has previously led and collaborated on five major, interdisciplinary UK Research and Innovation grants (see details below), and has supervised nine PhD students to completion so far.

Prior to joining the SRI, Milena was lecturing at the University of Southampton in Sociology and Social Policy (2005-16). 


  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies

Research interests

Current research projects

Co-I in the Horizon Europe project “ToBe “Towards a sustainable wellbeing economy”, WP3 which examines wellbeing economy case studies in the global north and the global south.

Co-I in the UK Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) (2018-23). Our latest article in Environmental Research Letters examines impacts of providing free green services to everyone in society on emission reductions and fuel and transport poverty. Here you find a 4 min video abstract.

PI of the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie project “ShaRe – The potential of Sharing Resources for mitigating carbon emissions and other environmental impacts” (2019-2023), MSC Individual Fellow: Dr Diana Ivanova

Previous research projects (selection)

PI of the ESRC project "Who emits most" which examined the inequality of carbon emissions of UK households, and estimated implications for distributional effects of market-based climate mitigation policies. The dataset from that project is available from the UK Data Service

Researcher Co-I, EPSRC Programme Grant Liveable Cities (2012-2017). Milena led a field experiment on a carbon calculator intervention for carbon reduction, and a project on the role of health status for household energy use.

Co-I on two UKRI funded projects, The role of community-based initiatives in energy saving and the Third Sector Research Centre Environment Stream, Milena led projects that investigated the capacity of different communities to reduce carbon emissions.


PhD supervision

To date, I have supervised ten PhD students to completion. I have acted as internal or external examiner for 12 PhD theses.

Currently, I co-supervise the following PGR students:

Alice Garvey: Spatially just energy transitions

Nick Langridge: Examining the environmental implications of Universal Basic Income

Catherine Graves: Virtual reality and pro-environmental behaviour change

Robin Schulze Waltrup: Global eco-social policies

Sop Satchwell: Governance of energy and transport infrastructures and services for wellbeing and planetary boundaries

Mathilde Rainard: Fairness implications of low carbon energy policies in the UK and France, an intersectional approach

Laura Angresius: Evaluating wellbeing economy initiatives



<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Social Policy, Humboldt University Berlin (Summa cum laude / Distinction)
  • MSc Sociology with Political Science and Economics, University of Berlin (Distinction)

Student education

In 2022/3 I teach on the Masters modules SOEE5094 Ecological Economics and FOEV5001 Cities and Sustainability.

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Economics and Policy for Sustainability
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Energy and Climate Change Mitigation

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>