Technology and Society

Our vision is to create and transfer knowledge supporting the transition to a more sustainable society.

To achieve our vision, we

  • analyse novel materials and emerging technology applications with a focus on associated material and energy stocks and flows;
  • evaluate them with regard to environment constraints and societal needs;
  • provide guidance for designing more sustainable materials, technologies and socio-technical systems.


Empa's Technology and Society Laboratory (TSL) consists of four research groups:

  • The Advancing Life Cycle Assessment (ALCA) group further develops the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to better support early phases of technology development and to address societal and environmental implications of novel material and emerging technology applications;
  • The Critical Materials and Resource Efficiency (CARE) group addresses the implications of novel material and emerging technology applications on society's material metabolism, with a particular focus on closing material cycles and adressing issues of Circular Economy;
  • The Environmental Risk Assessment and Management (ERAM) group models, evaluates and experimentally investigates the interactions of novel materials with the environment;
  • The Informatics and Sustainability Research (ISR) group, which is shared with the University of Zurich (UZH), develops computational models, algorithm-based methodologies and information systems to support the assessment of emerging technology applications.
Dr. Patrick Wäger

Dr. Patrick Wäger
Head of Laboratory

Technology & Society Laboratory
Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
CH-9014 St. Gallen

Phone: +41 58 765 7845