Together, we can build a cleaner, safer, cheaper and more prosperous world. But to do this, we need to solve complex, interrelated challenges as fast as possible.

Our research tackles urgent environmental problems and delivers business-focused solutions to stabilise the climate and protect our natural world, by shifting the global economic and financial system to sustainability.

Our work includes:

Accelerating the transition to clean energyAccelerating the transition to clean energy
Creating sustainable circular economiesCreating sustainable circular economies
Finding innovative ways to protect biodiversityFinding innovative ways to protect biodiversity
Investigating the economics of new food systemsInvestigating the economics of new food systems
Managing water risks for growth and developmentManaging water risks for growth and development
Identifying climate risk and enabling a stable climateIdentifying climate risk and enabling a stable climate

Research Programmes and Themes

Our research programmes are grouped around three core areas with a suite of cross-cutting themes.

Sustainability, Financial Markets & Investment. © Jeremy Reddington, Shutterstock.com

Sustainability, Financial Markets & Investment

Focused on how sustainability affects financial markets and investments. Areas of interest include: corporate social responsibility and its relation to corporate performance; sustainable investment strategies; the role of financial markets in promoting sustainable business practices; the long-term investment decision-making about pension funds.

Enterprise Management & Strategy. © alexmisu, Shutterstock.com

Enterprise Management and Strategy

Considers the way in which enterprise (for profit and not-for-profit) manage their environmental footprint and liabilities as well as their relationships with shareholders and stakeholders.

Economic Policy & Markets. © jethuynh, Shutterstock.com

Economic Policy & Markets

Looks at the design and implementation of economic policy initiatives that affect enterprise and the environment. Areas of interest include: the use of economic instruments to promote environmental quality; the role of markets in pricing externalities; and the cost effectiveness and impact of regulation designed to facilitate environmental performance.


Research themes at the Smith School include:

Natural Capital

Concerned with the use of resources like water, land and biodiversity by enterprises in the production and distribution of commodities, recognising that the quality and quality of natural capital are likely to be significantly affected by climate change, population growth and economic development. Areas of interest include: access to water; the pricing of natural capital; the eco-efficiency of production; and the accounting and management of the environmental footprints of major enterprises on a global basis.

Long-term Investment

Concerned with the structure and performance of financial institutions and markets as regards sustainable economic growth and development, recognising that innovation requires patient capital with a global reach consistent with the emerging realities of 21st century development. Areas of interest include: the theory and practice of long-term investing; the financing of development consistent with sustainability; and the tension between small-scale and large-scale financing of infrastructure in the face of population growth and technological change.

Climate change and adaptation

Making the link with recent developments in the scientific understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change for human activity, recognising that the consequences of climate change are both global and local. Areas of interest include: the pricing of externalities; the response of insurance institutions and markets; and the role that market 'solutions' may play in promoting adaptation.


Two notable initiatives currently underway are:

  1. Executive Education programmes catering to a wide range of participants from around the world. We work with external advisory and industry groups, agencies, consulting companies, enterprise, and public and private institutions. The aim of these programmes is to give its constituents exposure to best-practice in environmental sustainability, environmental management, and policy.
  2. Our second initiative focuses on thought-leadership. Our goal is to bring academics, policymakers, investors, business, and NGOs to Oxford to tackle these issues. We believe that promoting on-going dialogue between these various stakeholders is the path towards long-term sustainable economic development.

    Concrete collaborations with our Honorary Research Associates, bringing world leaders and practitioners together to better inform research as well as inspire students, contributing to the community of ideas necessary for genuine innovation.