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The Open University Business School recognises that sustainability is of the highest importance.

Our world has become increasingly connected, so it's vital that we recognise the impact we have on our local and global environment. As academics, researchers, professional staff, students and alumni, we can all play a part in ensuring sustainability is built into all of our activity, rather than just being a tick box optional exercise.

From writing sustainability into our curriculum, to encouraging good practices in the workplace and at home, and by undertaking meaningful research with practical outcomes, we want to ensure that our actions reflect our commitment to meeting The Open University's Sustainable Development Goals.

Image of PRME logoOUBS has been a Communicating Signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) since 2011. This is a United Nations-supported initiative founded in 2007 as a platform to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world, and to equip today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow.


Current research activity

Social and Responsible Marketing this cluster draws on the Department of Strategy and Marketing’s scholarly expertise in social marketing, marketing ethics, marketing creativity, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise and voluntary sector marketing and sustainable and ethical consumption.

Social and Sustainable Enterprise addresses the connections between entrepreneurial activity, innovation and the transition towards more environmentally and socially sustainable ways of doing business.

Completed research projects

ESRC Seminar Series - Green Innovation: Making it Work (2015-16)

Growing Greener: Creating a New Values-based Environmental Engagement Toolkit for SME Intermediaries (2017-19)

Sustainable clothing: towards sustainable clothing consumption

Current research projects

The Influence of Gender on Environmental Entrepreneurship, PhD research by Gizem Kutlu

Sustainable smart cities through the New Public Governance, PhD research by Fulvio Scognamiglio

Social Marketing for Combating Climate Change, PhD research by Zaineb Bouharda

Social marketing in combating climate change, PhD research by Kora Korzec

Upcoming Studentship opportunities

PuLSE01 Sustainability and consumption in critical times

DPO04 Performance Measurement System for a Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chain


Image of ERC logo

SMEs and Net Zero – a state-of-the-art (SOTA) review

Professor Richard Blundel and Dr Sam Hampton, a colleague from the University of Oxford, have just co-authored ‘SMEs and Net Zero’. This is the first of two ‘SOTA’ (state-of-the-art) reviews for the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) based at the University of Warwick.

6 July, 2021

Image of Professor Richard Blundel

OUBS Professor joins the Government’s SME Net Zero Working Group

Professor Richard Blundel has recently joined the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ‘SME Net Zero Working Group’. This group meets monthly to discuss UK Government initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from smaller businesses.

8 April, 2021

How much fuel does it take to send crypto to the moooonn?

There is an elephant in the room with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the software infrastructure underpinning Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and thousands of other cryptocurrencies, and that’s the energy consumption (i.e. electricity) needed to power the efforts of crypto miners.

12 February, 2021


Electric Vehicles and the quest for smarter urban mobility strategies: Cases from Milton Keynes, UK and Kampala, Uganda

After a rather lacklustre embrace of electric vehicles (EV) in the early years of the technology, a phenomenal acceptance by motorists has since emerged.

This webinar will discuss first-hand experiences from the UK and Uganda.

Watch the recording here.

17 June, 2021

The dark story behind cocoa

The US department of labour has estimated that two million children carry out hazardous work on cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The topic is more relevant than ever in light of the partial COVID-19 lockdown in the Ivory Coast which saw a sharp rise in child labour.

26 April, 2021

Grace Blakeley: Recovering from the Corona Crash with a Green New Deal

In this online public lecture, esteemed author and economist Grace Blakeley drew on ideas from her new book, The Corona Crash, and argued that the pandemic will reshape the UK and global economies in profound ways. The question is not whether things will change, but how. This present moment therefore offers an opportunity to reshape the future in liberating ways.

Watch the recording here

21 January, 2021