Centre for Sustainable Business Practices (CSBP)

The Centre for Sustainable Business Practices (CSBP) established in 2016 is home to active researchers within the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL). The impact of sustainability is being felt across all business activities and is a consideration with any stakeholder relationship whether it is adopting a social responsibility approach with customers, defining environmental regulations with suppliers or exploring ways to protect shareholders and optimising decisions. The Centre creates an interdisciplinary platform for research activity across the FBL facilitating co-operation with colleagues across the University and with external partners with the goal of producing beneficial research with demonstrable impact.

About Centre for Sustainable Business Practices (CSBP)

A fast-growing area of interest for business and for the CSBP is the evolution of corporate social responsibility (CSR), i.e. what businesses do for society and the environment, to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), which refers to how businesses measure, monitor and report on their social and environmental impacts. There are growing consumer, press and government pressures on businesses in this regard.

Implicit in this is the need for the public-private-third-academic sectors to work more closely together for a greater ‘collective impact’ in generating ‘social value’ and addressing some of the society’s most pressing challenges. These are encapsulated in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is significant need at a local level, where perhaps the greatest impact can be made. This means developing cross-sector social partnerships, for working together for a better, fairer and more inclusive community.

CSBP and its members are at the heart of this movement within Northamptonshire and the SE Midlands and beyond, nationally and internationally, helping charities, civic institutions and businesses work together to improve the social and business environment within which businesses operate. We help businesses ‘do well by doing good’.

The Centre for Sustainable Business Practices has a wide range of research expertise:

  • Sustainable and Innovative Business Models, Markets and Strategies: Instances of this include development, assessment, and changes in business models, marketplaces, and strategies that incorporate ethical and environmental variables. Product and process innovations often play a crucial role in creation of such business models, markets, or strategies.
  • Ethics, and Social Responsibility: e.g., ethical assessment of organisational activities, and evaluation of the positive (and or negative) impacts of organisations on communities.
  • Social, Psychological, Cultural and Ecological Dimensions of Organisational Sustainability: This theme includes the human factors contributing to the sustainability of an organisation. As an instance, research works that assess and identify the need for culture change in organisations to achieve sustainability fall under this theme.
  • Standards, Sustainability Assessment, and Reporting: This theme embraces the contextualisation and application of a number of sustainability frameworks, and standards (including but not limited to GRI, and SASB), and for sustainability measurement, reporting, and assessment.
  • Cyber Security, Risk, and Resilience: This area of research attempts to examine organisational cyber resilience, and focuses on factors, systems, and processes that provide businesses, and not for profit organisations, irrespective of their size, to prevent and combat cyber and cyber-enabled crimes.
  • Legal Frameworks and Implications: A key focus of this area of research is on legal vs voluntary social contributions of businesses. The legal frameworks of sustainability for the protection of planet, flora and fauna are also under this theme.
  • Technology Enhanced Greening: The theme is around the adoption of innovative technologies to reduce carbon footprint emissions, and other pollutants. Investment appraisals for the adoption of such technologies are assessed under this theme.
  • Data Analytics for Sustainability: Mainly quantitative, this research area embraces the state-of-the-art data analytics techniques including cloud-based systems, big data analytics, and machine learning to analyse raw data that can lead to valuable insights for making decisions related to the sustainability of an organisation or an industry.
  • Applied Systems Analysis: The application of System Dynamics (SD), Agent-Based Modelling (ABM), and other hard and soft systems thinking approaches in the wide context of sustainability.
  • Disaster and Crisis Management: Research in this area focuses on conducting appropriate risk assessment approaches for devising pertinent response development at the point of disaster and/or crisis occurrence.  Preventative measures, and frameworks are also studied in this team.
  • Business Operations, Supply Management, and Circular Economy: research under this theme mainly focuses on sustainable supply chains (in different sectors), through-life systems, product and service lifecycles, and circularity assessment of products.

View the Centre on PURE