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University of Sheffield to lead €4 million research project exploring a more sustainable future

Thursday, January 10th, 2019
ReTraCE: Realising the Transition towards the Circular Economy

ReTraCE: Realising the Transition towards the Circular Economy

The University of Sheffield will lead a €4 million research project and train a new cohort of thought leaders to drive the transition towards a more sustainable mode of production and consumption in Europe over the coming decades.

Realising the Transition to the Circular Economy (ReTraCE) is a research project funded by Horizon 2020 EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks and will support the implementation of the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy.

A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their useful life.

The project will bring together world-leading experts from a wide set of beneficiaries and partners to achieve breakthroughs in understanding how the transition towards a circular economy can be realised – both within existing organisations and industries as well as through innovative and sustainable business models.

Professor Andrea Genovese, from the University of Sheffield’s Management School and Principal Investigator of the ReTraCE initiative, said:

“This project will directly facilitate the implementation of the recently adopted ambitious Circular Economy strategy of the European Commission, which is closely linked to Sustainable Development Goals – the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Looking beyond the current take-make-dispose extractive industrial model, a circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy. It aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits, where products are kept in use for as long as possible, with value recovery and regeneration at the end of their useful life.”

The consortium of ten beneficiaries is led by the University of Sheffield and includes seven academic and three non-academic groups: The University of Kassel (Germany), Parthenope University of Naples (Italy), Olympia Electronics S.A (Greece), Tata Steel (UK), University of Kent (UK), ABIS – Academy of Business in Society (Belgium), Dalarna University (Sweden), Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Netherlands), and SEERC – The South-East European Research Centre (Greece).

The network will design and deliver world-class multidisciplinary training to 15 early stage researchers, offering them an extended and valuable program of international exchanges and secondments through a wide network of partner organisations – from public, private and third sector.

The multi-disciplinary project will draw upon research that will advance the current understanding of the circular economy from economic, environmental and social perspectives, providing policy insights and implications for practice.

It is envisaged that, by the end of the project, early stage researchers will be employable by research institutions, public sector bodies and within a wide range of manufacturing and service industries which will require new professional profiles for realising the transition towards the circular economy.

Call for applications

The project has a call for applications for 15 Early Stage Researcher positions funded by the EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 scheme. Find out more about the project on their Twitter and Facebook pages.


Unique programme to help organisations develop in-house sustainability expertise from The University of Sheffield Management School and C02Sense

Monday, February 11th, 2013

A pioneering new course is being launched by The University of Sheffield Management School in partnership with the low-carbon expert consultancy, CO2Sense, and supported by 2degress, an active sustainable business community that helps businesses and professionals find practical solutions and address their sustainable business challenges.

Starting in March 2013, The Sustainability Leadership Programme will be the first course of its kind to provide a strategic understanding of sustainability through six months of project-based learning where students work on the real-life issues affecting their business. Designed exclusively for executive directors, the programme shows how they can embed sustainability across their entire company in order to achieve long-term success and profitability.

Delegates will also receive expert consultancy support from CO2Sense, who will visit their business and help them to apply knowledge gained from the course into practice. It is expected that participants  will identify a minimum of £5k extra value within their company through the project and will reduce the need for external consultants.

Professor Lenny Koh, Director of Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) at The University of Sheffield Management School, said:

“Sustainability is key to any business looking to improve their efficiency and performance and to face the challenges of today’s business environment. At Sheffield Management School we strive to develop and deploy innovative ways to advance the understanding of energy, environment and sustainability as we recognise that businesses need senior managers and leaders with these skills.   This unique project-based learning course is specifically designed for senior managers.  The programme equips them  in dealing with the environmental issues they are facing and helps them to become a sustainable and successful business.”

The course has been designed to complement busy schedules with just one day each month dedicated to classroom-based learning. The six lectures will feature presentations from internationally recognised business leaders and academics.. These sessions will explore the main issues around sustainability such as global supply chain issues, employee engagement and planning for severe weather events.

Dr Stephen Brown, director of partnerships and innovation at CO2Sense, says:

“No business can afford to ignore the sustainability agenda. Issues such as diminishing natural resources and energy supply are affecting how we all do business and pose a multitude of risks to long-term operations.  Consequently, we need to adopt  smarter and more innovative ways of working and business leaders are increasingly recognising the role of sustainability as a key driver new forms of value in their business success.

“Demand for senior business leaders who have the skills to navigate this new business environment is high. This course will provide a high-level understanding of sustainability, which in turn will put attendees ahead of their peers and by building in-house skills, companies will reduce the need for external consultants.

“Unlike most high-level courses in sustainability, our programme is project based and means that companies experience the financial benefits of attending the course with almost immediate effect.”

The six month programme costs £2750+VAT. For more information please  email or visit

Notes to Editors

The Sustainability Leadership Programme is the result of a unique partnership between The University of Sheffield Management School and the low carbon consultancy CO2Sense.

The Sustainability Leadership Programme is aimed at executive directors and senior-managers looking to develop their expertise in this field and prepare their business against new environmental and economical challenges. The course is suitable for companies across all sectors.

Please click here to view the course structure and modules.

About CO2Sense

CO2Sense is the not-for-profit low-carbon expert company that helps organisations to cut their costs and to improve their environmental performance.

We help organisations to find real cost savings by developing low-carbon strategies, which give no-nonsense, clear direction to reduce energy and water use, to produce less waste and to use fewer raw materials.

We help organisations to generate both free energy and an income by developing renewable electricity and heating installations. Because we’re not trying to sell a particular type of renewable energy, we make sure that organisations install the technologies that will deliver the best possible return for their investment.

We help companies that sell environmental products to develop their business. We find new markets for their products, and we help them to get the right product accreditation to make sure that their customers can buy from them with confidence.

We can also help organisations to get capital investment to help with the costs of installing new renewable energy and other low-carbon installations.

We work with some of the UK’s largest companies to develop new ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For example, we are working with businesses and with government to encourage the development of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in Yorkshire.

About The University of Sheffield

With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, and 2007).

These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.

Join Prof Lenny Koh at Sustainable Transport Engineering Event 6th Dec

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

What’s the best way to Engineer Sustainable Transport for Sheffield, our region and beyond in a low carbon, pollution and hassle free environment without congestion or breaking the bank?

The event will take place on Tuesday 6 December, 1:30 – 4:30pm, hosted by DLA Piper, 1 St Paul’s Place, Sheffield S1 2JX.

Join  Perry Walker, Fellow, New Economics Foundation (nef) and Wendy Stern Action for Involvement Plus:

  • Dr Peter Bull, Traffic Information & Control Manager, Transport & Highways, Sheffield City Council;
  • Dr Rob Carroll, Fixed Equipment Technical Engineer, Stagecoach Supertram Maintenance Ltd;
  • Dr Michael Hines, Chemical Engineer, ACAL Ltd;
  • Professor Lenny Koh, Associate Dean, University of Sheffield;
  • Timothy Lynn, Transport & Highways Consultant, Amey Ltd;
  • Dr Andy Young, Principal Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University.

This event will take a look at how Sheffield’s transport system may look 30 years from now to move people, goods, services and supplies into, out of and around the City, our region and beyond in a low carbon, pollution and hassle free environment without congestion or breaking the bank.

Action for Involvement creates space to bring you together with high level policy-makers, stakeholders and decision-makers so that we can tackle shared concern, explore issues, brainstorm ideas and evaluate resources. Together we can stimulate our community to face the challenges of our times, develop ways to influence policy and have fun in the process. Our interests include education, environment, health & welfare, transport, technology and sustainability.

For more information:
Call 07946 453 258 or email:
Book now at:

Further information:
Action for Involvement acknowledge with gratitude, funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering which has made this event possible as have the sponsors at Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Renewables, Stradia Ltd, The University of Sheffield and its flagship Project Sunshine.

Information related to this message is available at

Our Students Win Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Management School is delighted to report that two of our recent successful PhD students have received recognition in the “2010 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards”

Steven Kennedy who was supervised by Linda Lewis and Frank Birkin was highly commended in the “Management and Governance” category for his submission on “Using a Stakeholder Thinking Approach to Investigate Barriers to the Implementation of Sustainable Development”

Anna Scott who was supervised by Caroline Oates was highly commended in the “Marketing Research” category for her submission on “Towards sustainable consumption: Understanding the adoption and practice of environmental actions in households”

Further details of the awards and categories may be found at:

Congratulations to Steven and to Anna and to the supervisors of their research
on these awards.

Yorkshire’s low carbon future

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The Centre for Low Carbon Futures is a £50m initiative to establish a world-leading multidisciplinary translational research centre that will harness Yorkshire and Humber’s research strengths in sustainability sciences with the aim of achieving a lower carbon future.

A flagship initiative of the Yorkshire Universities – Yorkshire Forward Strategic Alliance Activity Framework – the Centre is being developed on behalf of the region by three White Rose Universities and the University of Hull.  Yorkshire Forward is investing significant resources into the creation of the Centre in addition to providing funds to leverage support from other UK and overseas funding agencies.

The Centre will draw on international research expertise from the region’s universities including technology and engineering, natural and social sciences with the aim of creating knowledge to address carbon efficiency in the full range of processes relevant to businesses and the wider community.

Professor Lenny Koh of the University of Sheffield Management School is a key part of the project examining the ‘Greening of the Supply Chain’.  This aims to help businesses both in the region and beyond to navigate the reduction of their carbon footprint.  Her focus is on delivering a balanced supply chain, ensuring that decisions made in one area of the chain don’d have a negative impact elsewhere.

‘Businesses tend to look at just one thing at a time, such as transport and fuel use’, says Professor Koh.  ‘A balanced approach looks at the whole supply chain, seeing which changes overall can create the biggest reduction in carbon usage’.

Professor Koh will work with other specialists from Leeds, York and Hull to look at key sectors in the region where maximum impact can be made.  The research team will map the supply chain for each sector and will work directly with businesses.

A model of the supply chain involving the chosen companies will be created, showing the hotspots  of carbon usage.  Working with the companies, the team will design methods of reducing carbomn usage and use the model to assess the social, environmental and economic impact of these interventions.

‘We’ll also look at things companies most commonly do now and evaluate those using the model’, explains Professor Koh. ‘By working directly with the companies we can focus on realistic interventions that companies will be able to implement’.

The researchers will gather detailed information on the impacts of the specific interventions of their target supply chains and then broaden out the model to encompass the industry or sector as a whole.  The aim is then to build this into a new decision support tool which can be applied to any sector.

Professor Koh is Director of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group.  Find out more at

Four White Rose Research Studentships available

Monday, April 6th, 2009

If you are thinking of doing a PhD in the following areas:

Project 1: Assessment of the preparedness of supply chains to adapt to climate change (based on Sheffield)
Project 2: Doing Business Under Water: Flooding, Entrepreneurship and Resilience (based in Hull)
Project 3: Climate change policy complexity and impact on supply chains (based in Leeds)
Project 4: Validating the sustainability of biorenewable replacements for petrochemical products (based in York)

Please go to for more information on how to apply. The dateline is 30 April 2009.

The White Rose Consortium funded the Sustainability Science Network on Enabling Supply Chain Adaptation to Climate Change and a Resource Poor Future. The four research studentships are the projects within this network. The network links very closely to the Centre for Low Carbon Futures and the work carried out by the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group. For more information, please see or contact Professor Lenny Koh

White Rose Network Success – Enabling Supply Chain Adaptation to Climate Change and a Resource Poor Future

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Professor Lenny Koh from The University of Sheffield Management School, Director of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group (in close collaboration with Professor Lynne Frostick from Hull) recent bid to the White Rose Consortium to create a Sustainability Science Network on Enabling Supply Chain Adaptation to Climate Change and a Resource Poor Future has been successful. This network consists of four PhD studentships, stipend at EPSRC rate, and project support grant.

Project 1: Assessment of the preparedness of supply chains to adapt to climate change
Project 2: Doing Business Under Water: Flooding, Entrepreneurship and Resilience
Project 3: Climate change policy complexity and impact on supply chains
Project 4: Validating the sustainability of biorenewable replacements for petrochemical products

The increase in concern about climate change amongst the general public and shifts in policy and regulations towards reducing resource consumption together result in an imperative for businesses to prepare for the consequences of climate change and move towards a lower carbon future. The existing economic challenges are magnified through the lens of the direct impacts of increasing storminess, sea level rise and resource shortages on the profitability of businesses which demand early adaptation if any organisation is to weather the changes and capitalise on the resulting opportunities. Many larger businesses are already addressing the issues but Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are generally slower to embrace change. There is therefore a need for research that looks holistically at the obstruction to adaptation throughout supply chains and to design effective strategies to overcome them. This is an interdisciplinary project with different aspects of business being tackled by teams from the four Universities (Sheffield, Hull, Leeds and York). It complements work being carried out within the Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF) and pulls together the Adaptation and Resilience theme (4 strands), Supply Chain Strand and Biorenewable Strand. Professor Lynne Frostick (adaptation and resilience) and Professor Lenny Koh (carbon management) are theme leaders within CLCF.

More information about LSCM:

Please contact Professor Lenny Koh for more
information about the White Rose Network PhD Studentships and CLCF.

The Emergence of Green Supply Chains: A Balancing Act Keynote address by Prof. SC Lenny Koh

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Professor SC Lenny Koh recently delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Digital Factory (ICDF2008) Coimbatore, India.  The speech entitled “The Emergence of Green Supply Chains: A Balancing Act” emphasising the significant impact of climate change, and how businesses and supply chains reflect on this pressing issue. Action could be undertaken and improvement could be made on eco-logistics, eco-production, eco-design, eco-resources, and eco-procurement at the companies, industries and supply chains levels. This will not be sufficient if appropriate leadership, policy, regulation and standards are in place.
Prof Koh said: “South India is an interesting and challenging region; there are a lot of business opportunities for high quality HE and training provision and a significant shortfall of skilled workers. Attracting foreign investment into India is essential for its success but serious barriers of infrastructure and road conditions will need to be addressed first.”
Professor Koh is Director of the Executive MBA Programme and Founder and Director of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group.
To find out more about the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group
To find out more about The University of Sheffield Executive MBA