Ethics, responsibility and sustainability

We incorporate principles of corporate social responsibility and sustainability into our administration, teaching, research and engagement activities. We also collaborate with and advise governments and organisations to improve policy and practice.

Business, Management and Economics students studying on the grass outside their academic building

UN Global Compact logo

Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME)

Our School is a member of the United Nations Global Compact. This means we are part of a network of companies across the world who work towards the Global Compact's vision of creating 'a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to people, communities and markets'.

PRME logo

As part of our UN Global Compact membership, we are signed up to their Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative. We are committed to upholding PRME's six principles, which means we incorporate global social responsibility and sustainability values into our teaching and research. We work closely with organisations to further understand the challenges being faced. And we encourage debate and innovation to improve policy and practice relating to these issues.

‘Signing up to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) and the UN Global Compact is part of our ongoing commitment to ethics, responsibility, and sustainability at the School of Business, Management, and Economics. Our staff and students will benefit from the explicit adoption of the six PRME principles in teaching, learning, and research.’

Professor Hans van der Heijden
Deputy Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics

A group of people listening to ground-breaking research findings, which have a significant impact on governmental policy and business strategies

Our research

Ethics, responsibility and sustainability is the focus of much of our research. Our findings are often used as a basis for advice and consultation by many businesses, governments and NGOs. We are also involved in research initiatives and networks that are dedicated to improving ethics, responsibility and sustainability in business practice and policy.

Discover research within the School of Business, Management and Economics

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The Nexus Network

The Nexus Network is a three-year initiative to encourage debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment.

The network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and co-ordinated by a team from the University of Sussex, University of East Anglia and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Find out more about the Nexus Network

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The STEPS Centre

The Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre, launched in 2006, is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement centre, which brings together development studies with science and technology studies. Experts in the Centre are working on areas such as:

  • agriculture and food
  • energy and climate change
  • health and disease
  • water and sanitation.

The STEPS Centre is based at the Institute of Development Studies and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex.

Find out more about the STEPS Centre


Our teaching

We instil principles of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in all of our courses, meaning that our students gain the knowledge and awareness to help make them better leaders for tomorrow. Our graduates leave us with the necessary skills to innovate and improve business practice throughout their careers.

We also take an international perspective in our teaching and research, by exploring issues that affect a wide range of countries and cultures.

‘The incorporation of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in my degree was an awakening experience for me. I have acquired knowledge and practical skills that enabled me to gain my own voice and initiate projects within teams; always being self-aware of the negative impact of my decisions.  The invaluable lessons I have learned throughout my degree have given me a sense of hope and purpose for a better future for all, where I want to play an active role.’

Andrea Pitta
Business and Management BSc

Explore our courses and modules to find out more about ethics and sustainability in our teaching

A business professor giving a lecture on social corporate responsibility and business ethics

Our practice

Our School of Business, Management and Economics doesn't just teach and research sustainability, we also practice sustainability as much as possible through our architecture and our operations.

Sustainability and environmental impacts are important considerations for any of the University's building constructions or improvements. Our overall target is to reduce carbon production by 43% between 2005 and 2020.

Our University has a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant that generates electricity from the burning of gas, while providing heat for hot water and heating as a by-product, and we also use some solar power.

BREEAM logoIn the School of Business, Management and Economics, our Jubilee Building has its own rain water harvesting system, with the collected rain water being used to flush our toilets. The many energy efficient features of the Jubilee Building led to it being granted a BREEAM 'excellent' rating.

‘It was good to see that Sussex was ranked 11th in the most recent UK GreenMetric World University ranking. This reflects our constant efforts to reduce our carbon footprint mainly through energy use reduction. I also work continuously with students and colleagues across the University to ensure we limit any possible water wastage.’

Matthew Arnold
Energy and Environmental Manager at the University of Sussex