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27 January 2011 | PR 11/07

Loughborough University hosts ‘green’ business conference

Experts from universities, NGOs and industry from across the UK, Europe and South America have gathered at Loughborough University to discuss and move forward solutions for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on sustainability and climate issues.

The international conference was organised by Dr Ed Brown, the Associate Director of the Sustainability Research School along with colleagues from across the University. Delegates heard about challenges facing SMEs and new, creative and practical ideas to help them reduce energy and become more sustainable.

Dr Brown explained: “This event was an important stepping stone to discuss a whole range of new and innovative projects to help SMEs thrive and succeed in an emerging green economy. Loughborough is delighted to be working with such an influential array of innovative people from global and local businesses and other sectors.”

Topics covered included behaviour change initiatives, the regulatory, financial and personal motivations for changing business behaviour and creating opportunities for firms to expand.  In addition, Dr Jacqui Glass from the University’s Department of Civil and Building Engineering, talked about two new research projects which are now underway focusing on responsible sourcing in the construction industry.

The session also looked at the sustainability challenges being felt by businesses on an international scale with a guest speaker, Alejandro Diaz of Acción RCE, presenting results of a research study of 321 small businesses in Chile, where 96 per cent of respondents stated that they believed ethical behaviour would bring long term success to a business.

Speakers at the conference also included Professor Francisco Castaneda from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile and Shamir Ghumra, Head of Sustainability for Aggregate Industries as well as Drs Grahame Boocock and Laurie McAulay from the University’s School of Business and Economics.

The conference highlighted to delegates the value that can be gained from interaction between SMEs, large companies, academics and policy makers. Dr Brown added: “This conference was just the start for us. We are very keen to hear from businesses and other organisations interested in sustainability issues to take this agenda forward and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.”

Businesses and other organizations interested can contact Dr Brown by emailing him at: e.d.brown@lboro.ac.uk

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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