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 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Find out more about how The Open University is committed to sustainable practices, or read on for a round up of our activity.
OUBS 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.
We are the first school outside of the OU’s STEM faculty to achieve an Athena SWAN Bronze ‘departmental’ award (in November 2021). This followed our submission to Advance HE, the British professional membership scheme which promotes excellence in higher education. This internationally recognised gender equality charter acts as a catalyst for change and cultural transformation for staff and students.
It was initially established to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the academic careers of women within STEM subjects but is now across all disciplines, professional and support staff and not just barriers that affect women, and also commits to considering the intersection of gender and other characteristics.
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.
This microcredential delivered on the FutureLearn platform will help you develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead change for sustainability in your organisation.
OUBS Professor Richard Blundel asks how can small and medium-sized enterprises make the radical changes required to tackle the Climate Emergency?
05 January, 2022
Sister School Law Associate Lecturer Gillian Mawdsley considers the motivation and responsibilities in relation to the role of the activist lawyer.
17 November, 2021
The law recognises babies, companies and ships as ‘persons’ with legal rights, but not even the most intelligent animals. Is it time for this to change? Sister school Law Academic Fred Motson discusses animal rights in this OpenLearn article.
04 November, 2021
Gillian Mawdsley is an OU Associate Lecturer and wrote this blog earlier in the summer after working with open justice students on a research project in collaboration with the Environmental Law Foundation. Gillian is based in Glasgow and is attending COP26 as one of the chosen representatives of The Open University.
01 November, 2021
This report examines new ‘green’ start-up ventures and other forms of eco-innovation in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an active role. It also reviews recent evidence on entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives that address specific environmental challenges, including the Climate Emergency.
12 October, 2021
How can governments, and other agencies, ensure that such a large and diverse population of organisations can become more sustainable? Professor Richard Blundel and his colleagues have drawn on cross-disciplinary research insights to create new tools and techniques that will enable SMEs to ‘grow greener’.
10 September, 2021
How do you build a business that is positive for people, the planet, society and the economy? Maria Chenoweth, OU MBA alumna and Chief Executive of second-hand clothing charity TRAID, offers her top tips.
30 July, 2021
Capitalism as we know it is unsustainable. It is financially unstable, bad for the environment and politically unpopular. An increasing number of voices, including some of the world's most powerful leaders, are calling for business and society to align their mission, vision and rewards for the common good. How can organisations step up and play their part in this transformation?
29 July, 2021
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
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
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
Climate change and political economy academic Andreas Malm joins OUBS to talk about the key themes from his book White Skin, Black Fuel, which explores the racist and colonial roots of the fossil fuel industry and the legacy of these into present day reactionary and fascist responses to climate change.
27 October, 2021
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 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
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