Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

  • 29 April 2019

Growing Greener project launches free online course for sustainable business champions

Growing Greener Workshop

Sam Hampton leads a Growing Greener Workshop with Climate Outreach

The Growing Greener project is proud to partner with OpenLearn to launch a new course on ‘Promoting sustainability in business: a values-based toolkit’.

Co-written by the Environmental Change Institute’s Sam Hampton and Richard Blundel (Open University Business School), the course helps anyone who wants to bring about change within Small- or Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

“SMEs are really important,” explains Sam. “They represent 99.9% of businesses in the UK and employ about 60% of people in the private sector. Collectively, they have a very big environmental impact.”

The toolkit, which was co-developed through a series of practitioner workshops led by Climate Outreach and ECI, responds directly to the Growing Greener research mission to establish how best to encourage SMEs to become more environmentally sustainable.

Applying insights from psychology and communications research on basic human values, Growing Greener’s toolkit looks for ways to marry SME leaders’ personal values and their businesses long-term objectives with environmentally sustainable practices. Whereas climate communications are usually written to appeal to those who already share a deep concern for the environment, the course suggests ways to engage broader SME audiences. These include traditional family-run businesses and innovative entrepreneurs.

The online course is targeted at people who engage with SMEs either from the outside, as advisors and consultants, or members of staff on the inside, who want to try to bring about change where they work. In addition to the online course, the Growing Greener team have set up a new LinkedIn group, called Promoting Sustainability in Business, where learners and practitioners can share their experiences.

The course takes around 5 hours and is free to enrol. You just need to register with OpenLearn Create.