Introduction to the Smith School
The Oxford Smith School was established to bring business and enterprise into the climate change and sustainability conversation. Our vision of a Net Zero future is supported by our research, teaching and partnerships. But, at the heart of the Smith School, there are people - people that drive forward the conversations and bring a fresh perspective to the table.
We find ourselves now at these critical points in human history we are pushing up against the limits of the planet in a way that is by definition not sustainable.
The decisions that we make in the next decade are going to be incredibly important to address the ecological, but also the social crisis that we face.
If we are to get to Net Zero and sustainable development and reorder the relationship between nature, society and economies, business is an absolutely critical component. it's the cause of, but also solution to this mess that we find ourselves in.
The idea behind a School of Enterprise and the Environment is helping private enterprise and public enterprise identify the things that they have to change to address the climate change problem. Basically, it is an industrial revolution and we're trying to advise on that revolution.
The school is a bit of a haven for those of us who share this passion and this interest, and who want to apply the best and the most rigorous tools of academic inquiry to unearth new knowledge that can help us.
So, we are always asking: what's the application of those research? how can we innovate? how can we change the system? how can we do better? what are the tools that we need? As well as ensuring that our research gets out of the university and into the hands and minds of the people you need to use it.
So, we have people working in water, in energy, in finance, in law, in food and infrastructure all of which has this collective focus on thinking about enterprises and sustainable development.
The Smith School's work is extremely important because it is striving to address the climate change issues, the environmental challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective. You can really make a change if you drive these ideas into a practical reality. No single discipline can solve these problems alone, so we need to collaborate.
So for example the Smith School’s work on water security in some of the most fragile areas of the planet has already helped millions of people and is on course to help possibly even 100 million people. And then of course our students are critical in this.
We launched this new masters in Sustainability, Enterprise and Environment which tries to be realistic rather than the idealistic about the world and we give students the broad knowledge base and skills that they need to go out into the world and lead impactful change.
It takes a systems level view of really looking at the complex economic ecological and social systems that we operate in.
All the research in the world is only effective if it's then implemented in terms of what people do, how they think about things, are they invest.
What we're trying to do is to define best practice, to define the future of sustainable finance and investment. But we’re also trying to translate that, and so we spend a lot of time working with practitioners to turn theory into practice.
Our links span industry, government, public enterprise, policymakers, non-governmental organizations. so, we can really take our research to the people who need to adopt it.
I had a career in finance it was a lucrative career, but I never felt anything at the end of the day. what I do now I feel something.
Research is meant to change lives, seeing the impact of research translating into the policy documents that's very exciting to me.
Honestly, I think this is the challenge of our time, we need some really committed people who can be inspired and in turn can inspire others, and that's the central we're trying to create.
So, if you're listening to this and you think you have something to contribute to the Smith School, please let us know
A clean energy transition powered by modern renewables can turbocharge the UK economy, and net zero transition
Research shows that moving to a clean energy system by around 2050 in line with global climate commitments is expected to save the world at least £10 trillion ($12 trillion) in energy costs, compared to continuing our current levels of fossil fuel use.
A new Smith School policy brief applies this research to the UK context, and explores the feasibility, challenges and benefits of a fast net zero transition.
Our ground-breaking fundamental research drives real-world change, working with partners in public and private activity, business, markets and government.
The SSEE is home to the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and Oxford Sustainable Law Programme.
OUR CORE DISCIPLINES
Our impact areas
World Forum on Enterprise & the Environment
Disruption. Collaboration. Action.
The World Forum is Oxford University ís annual high-level, high-impact flagship event on enterprise and the environment.
The latest World Forum took place in September 2023, on the theme of Climate Synergies.
The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment brought together world leaders in policy, business and academia to embrace bold ideas, identify priority solutions to get their firms, industries and countries to net zero and investigate how real progress can be made.
Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and ShareAction launch new Stewardship and Engagement Leadership Programme
The Oxford Sustainable Finance Group (OxSFG) at the University of Oxford will launch a new executive leadership course in 2024. The Stewardship and Engagement Leadership Programme will build the skills, knowledge and networks needed for better stewardship and engagement across the financial system.
New research led by the Smith School’s Konstantin Born aimed at understanding the potential of recycling to fulfil the growing demand for copper finds that downstream circular economy strategies like recycling, although vitally important, will at most only be able to supply 50 % of the total copper demand by 2050.
To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global heating to 1.5°C, global annual emissions will need to drop radically over the coming decades. Today, a new paper from climate economists at the University of Oxford says that this goal could still be within our reach.
Join us to get the latest insights on the COP developments, aspirations for the upcoming days, and the enduring role of COP in the pursuit of net zero. Ask your questions to experts on energy, net-zero businesses, carbon dioxide offsetting and environmental law during the Q&A live session.
Dr Laurence Wainwright comments on the appointment of Steve Barclay MP to the role of environment secretary in a letter to the Times' editor. "With a background of the City, Sandhurst, health, and EU negotiations, he is an eclectic and somewhat odd choice for the role, perhaps illustrating the lack of priority the government gives to the portfolio. Countries leading the charge on sustainability are increasingly giving environmental ministerial roles to those who have qualifications and experience in the field, rather than simply handing it out as a second-class role for someone who has been demoted."
Carbon Brief takes a look at Dr Sugandha Srivastav’s thought experiment, which asks how far solar energy could have come had it not been for the kidnapping of George Cove.
Heavy smog has led to increased hospital admissions, school closures and a suspension of construction work in New Delhi. Dr Sugandha Srivastav commented: "What is happening is a disaster in terms of respiratory health… we have a huge humanitarian problem on our hands."