Responsible business, resilience, and a low carbon future | Discovery Series

A group of people sat in an officeLeading academics from the University of Bristol Business School met virtually with our alumni recently to discuss why businesses should pursue a low carbon strategy, as we hosted the third in our Discovery Series of Thought Leadership events.


Professor Jon Beaverstock, the host for this series, asked the panel ‘Why should businesses pursue a net zero and low carbon strategy especially when considering rising costs?’. University of Bristol Business School’s, Professor Xiaojun Wang, highlighted that the magnitude of climate change is much more significant than the global pandemic and cost of living crisis. He stressed that we must act with urgency as time is running out. A low carbon strategy and investing in renewable energies will improve business competitiveness and resilience.

Alumnus, Paul King (BSc 2008; MSc 2010) also joined the panel to share his experience of working within the circular economy model as an Environmental and Social Impact Consultant and Co-founder. He highlighted research that shows 20% of those in Gen Z had left a job as a response to inadequate sustainability efforts by an employer.

The discussions later moved on to Dr Anita Mangan’s work on the cooperative business model. She has been working with the Bristol Cooperative Alliance, in which they found that no co-operatives or CIC’s (community interest companies) in Bristol closed during the pandemic. They accredit this to their foundations in democracy, solidarity and membership. This allows for fast decision making, being mutually supportive and having a network of people they can rely on.

Alumnus and Director of Board Intelligence Think Tank, Dr Scarlett Brown (BSc 2011) echoed Anita’s comments and her work with the CIPD showed that companies that already had a defined purpose also fared better during the pandemic. Their purpose and vision acted as a north star and made decision making easier during crisis.

You can listen back to the full recording of the event to hear our panel’s thoughts on the government’s role in supporting businesses, sustainability standards and how SMEs can invest in carbon reduction. Or catch our highlights video below.

Our next Discovery Series event from the new University of Bristol Business School (formerly the School of Management and School of Accounting and Finance) will be held in November as we discuss the Future of Finance with leading academics and alumni.

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