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 you know 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.
We need changes in law, changes in corporate law, but also changes in litigation. and to get those changes right, you've got to understand the underlying physical science. and so that requires the sorts of collaborations that we excel at, putting physicists together with lawyers and economists and business scholars and then think about how the ecosystem of actors has to change.
So for example a 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 organisations. 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
The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal
Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere and storing it for decades to millennia on land, in the ocean, in geological formations or in products.
Innovation in CDR has expanded substantially, exemplified by R&D, in patents and capacity investment. CDR has been subject of increasing public attention, and the peer-reviewed scientific literature now consists of over 28,000 English-language studies, growing at a faster rate than for climate change as a whole.
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 Universityís annual high-level, high-impact flagship event on enterprise and the environment.
The latest World Forum took place on 22 September 2022. In this critical year, 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.
In November last year I attended COP27, my second COP. It was a rollercoaster of talks, meetings, and long food queues. But what actually happens at a COP, and what advice would I give to someone going for the first time?
A new joint report from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford and the Swedish Energy Agency highlights the critical role that finance ministries must play in the low-carbon energy transition and outlines 10 recommendations for how they can make it faster and fairer.
Led by Dr Steve Smith, an international team of authors including Oxford Smith School researchers Dr Emily Cox, José Luis Reséndiz and Carter Powis, have published the first report on the global state of carbon dioxide removal.
Ministries of Finance have a pivotal role to play in unlocking the required investment and innovation to achieve Net Zero. This report seeks to evaluate how they can harness their existing mandate to better drive and shape a low-carbon transition.
Dr Aoife Brophy and Dr Philip Trotter told the Guardian Nigeria that unless policymakers encourage the right kinds of business models to flourish, private sector growth will not necessarily translate into progress for sustainable and low-carbon development.
Planting more trees in urban areas to lower summertime temperatures could decrease deaths directly linked to hot weather and heatwaves by a third, according to new research. Dr Laurence Wainwright told France24 that "urban tree planting -– on the right scale, in the right places, and under certain other conditions -– likely leads to a modest-yet-real reduction in heat-related deaths in many urban areas."
The Economist Daily Chart featured new research on the global state of carbon dioxide removal, led by Dr Steve Smith along with Oxford Smith School authors Carter Powis, Emily Cox and José Luis Reséndiz.