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News and events

This page contains up to date listings for all the sustainability related news and events.


How smaller businesses can become net-zero influencers and enablers

Professor Richard Blundel, Director of the Research Centre for Social and Sustainable Enterprise (CSSE), writes about how smaller businesses can become net-zero influencers and enablers.

17 October, 2023

Deborah Meaden of The Big Green Money Show

OU/BBC Co-production The Big Green Money Show returns

Eco-friendly podcast The Big Green Money Show is back, examining the way some businesses are becoming greener with academic expertise from Dr Rodion Skovoroda and Professor Ali Ataullah.

13 October, 2022

Two people riding a motor scooter through a flooded shopping area

SMEs and Net Zero – challenges and opportunities

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

Image of broken ocean ice sheets

Another angle to COP26 - the role of the activist lawyer

Sister School Law Associate Lecturer Gillian Mawdsley considers the motivation and responsibilities in relation to the role of the activist lawyer.

17 November, 2021

Image of two llamas

Should animals have legal standing?

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

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Addressing climate change is not just an environmental issue

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

Eco-innovation and green start-ups – an evidence review

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

Giving SMEs the tools they need to grow greener

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

Sustainable Leadership: How to put people at the heart of the green economy

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

Resetting capitalism: How organisations can work for progress, people and planet

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

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


Less is more; conversations about managing in and for the future

Alumni only: Less is more; conversations about managing in and for the future

This event offers practical knowledge, collaborative opportunities, and idea exchanges for implementing change. Engage in meaningful conversations about the power of “less is more” with like-minded professionals passionate about a successful and sustainable future.

27 June, 2023

Open University Business School Public Lecture | Andreas Malm

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

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