This research team focuses on the ultimate goals of living within environmental limits and the attainment of social justice, through the delivery of responsible business and ethical consumption practices.
Our research takes a 'whole supply chain' approach, examining activities, attitudes and behaviours at different points in the lifecycle of products. This stretches across from technical development and supply through to consumption and post-consumption.
Our work focuses upon areas such as waste reduction, resource and energy efficiency, sustainable community and consumer behaviours, corporate values and supply chain governance.
Currently, our research agenda is framed by the interlinked concepts of the Green Economy, the Circular Economy and the Sharing Economy, which are highly influential in contemporary policy circles. The UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals also provide an important focus for our work. We are especially interested in work which engages consumers through raising awareness of the imperative for more sustainable lifestyles and decision making.
The cluster enjoys strong links with industry, social enterprises and NGOs, through which this work is developed. We have especially fruitful partnerships within the automotive sector; food sourcing, production and distribution; the management of food waste; energy supply and consumption; tourism and cafe industries; fashion and SME sourcing and supply chains. Our industrial collaborators include large organisations, such as Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Unilever, Alliance Boots, the NHS and OHL, MM-UK, Tesco, Woolworths (South Africa), as well as a range of SMEs from different industries. Our projects reach to southern and central Africa and South East Asia.
Core Cluster Themes
There are four over-arching themes for the cluster:
- Sustainable communities and consumers
- Moving beyond compliance in ethical and sustainable sourcing
- Addressing strategic business challenges in the supply chain
- Implenting the circular economy on the path to a sustainable future
Read more in our Research Cluster Brochure.