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SDG335 Green Digitalization and App Development

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

Green Economy and Digitalization are at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals, and could help to accomplish the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change. Moreover, Green Economy and Digitalization constitute 50% of the EU Next Generation recovery funds and will be two of the main economic vectors in the next decade. The purpose of this course is to combine Green Economy and Digitalization by choosing a relevant topic in Green Economy, build an economic model to study that topic, and develop an app based on that model.

The course is organized into two different modules that complement each other. In both modules, the students will work in random groups of 6-7 students. In the first module, the students will build an economic model to work out transport carbon emissions. The students will read academic papers and official documents to work out the carbon emissions for different means of conveyance. The students will write a 7-8 pages paper in which they motivate the paper and explain the methodology used to work out transport carbon emissions. The students will use that methodology to develop an algorithm to work the transport carbon emissions when they develop their app in the second module of the course.

In the second module, the students will develop an app to work out the transport carbon emissions. This module consists of three different blocks. In the first block, the students will design the layout of the app by using HTML, CSS, Flask, and JavaScript. In the second block, by using the economic model developed in the first module, the students develop an algorithm in Python to program that model. In the second block, the students will connect the carbon emissions to a database, and they will disclose some useful tables and graphs about those carbon emissions by using Chart.js and Flask-MySQL. Finally, in the third block, the students will learn to deploy their app on the server by using GitHub, Heroku and Amazon Web Service. Moreover, the students will develop some basic scripts in PostgreSQL to extract valuable information from their databases.

By the end of the course each group and each single student will have its own webpage running on the server (Heroku and Amazon Web Service), and that webpage will be linked to its own repository in GitHub.

Learning Outcome

In the first module of the course, the students learn to find information in academic and official documents to develop an economic model to work out transport carbon emission and learn to write an academic paper with that model.

In the second module of the course, the students learn to develop an app. In particular, they design the layout, they program the heavy lifting of the app, and they learn to deploy that app on the server. By doing this entire process, the students learn to develop a complex app by using different programming languages and they learn how those languages complement each other. The main objective of this module is to help the students to think outside the Python, the R, the Stata, the Matlab or whatever other "box," and to help them to connect different programming languages to learn how those programming languages complement each other generating positive synergies.


The student has broad knowledge on:

- Economic models to study transport carbon emissions.

- Different programming languages (HTML, CSS, Flask, JavaScript, Python, Chart.js and Flask-MySQ) that complement each other to develop a complete app.

- Different app deploy methods (GitHub, Heroku, and Amazon Web Services).

- PostgreSQL to extract valuable information from the database used in their app.

- The procedures followed at the Chamber of Commerce and the Startup Lab in Bergen to create their own companies/cooperatives/NGOs and attract funds to develop their own project.


The student can:

- Identify key factors that determine transport carbon emissions.

- Work in a group developing complex economic problems.

- Work in a team to develop an app.

- Present their work in front of an audience.

General Competence:

The student:

- Have the ability to develop a model to work out transport carbon emissions.

- Program and deploy a complete app.

Entry requirements


Teaching methods

The course will have its own webpage. On that webpage, the students will have access to the content of each chapter. Each chapter will have its own video on my YouTube channel, and its own repository on GitHub where the students will have access to the code for each chapter, i.e., the students will always have a backup option where the code for each chapter will be available. In each chapter, the students will have access to different exercises, and they will have access to their own statistics on http://www.energyio.org/statistics. So the students can continuously track their performance during the course putting more energy into the parts where they face more problems.

Every week, the students will solve a "weekly challenge" in which, by working in groups and by cooperating all the groups at NHH and HVL, they will provide a solution for that challenge. Each week during "weekly breakfast," one of the groups chosen randomly and in public during that lecture will have 20 minutes to present the solution they found for the weekly challenge. The weekly challenge will be related to the topic covered the previous week, and all the groups at NHH and HVL will work together to fix that problem. However, every single group must prepare a one-slide presentation and the code with the solution for the problem and must present their solution in front of the rest of the students. This is a standard practice in many important consultancies, and the purpose of the "weekly breakfast" is to help the students to be familiar with these practices and also to develop useful skills for the final exam.

Compulsory learning activities

There are two requirements that each student must fulfil to be qualified for the final exam.

Every week, each group of students will have five minutes to present their proposed solution for the "weekly challenge" about the topic that we covered the previous week. The "weekly challenge" does not account for the final grade, but it is a requirement for the course approval.

At the end of the course, course coordinator organize a conference where all the groups present their apps. The presentation does not account for the final grade, but it is a requirement for the course approval.


Portfolio in groups of 6-7 students consisting of the following parts:

  • Essay on transport carbon emissions (7-8 pages).
  • Developing an app to assess transport carbon emissions.

A final grade will be allocated to each group. Grading scale is A-F, where F is fail.

All parts of the portfolio must be conducted in the same semester.

Examination support material

All written and printed materials allowed.

More about examination support material