Reflections - Where are we now?

Below details recent examples of how Liverpool Business School has met the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Faq Items

Poverty, and Zero Hunger (SDG 1 and 2)

  • Modules have included workshops on the cost-of-living crisis, in-work poverty, contemporary economic policy, and use of case studies using award winning adverts on poverty and hunger campaigns (i.e. Unicef) (from first year onwards).
  • Active engagement with students who have to work full-time because of financial challenges.
  • Two volumes of research: No Poverty and Zero Hunger.
  • “Fans Supporting Foodbanks” research project helping 75000 people to access food. Funded by Everton in the Community Project.
  • Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership co-created the thrive vision with Cobalt housing which aims to develop a community wealth building strategy for North Liverpool; Pro bono HRM guidance and consultancy with three charities.
  • Acculturation sessions for people moving from Brazil/USA.
  • Examples of personal actions include; Trustee of the YMCA Together; volunteering for Fareshare (anti-hunger charity); trialling products from a social enterprise; organised and donated to food banks.

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Develop Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership(s) for local community impact
  • Strengthen economic development curriculum, e.g. calculating the perceived degree of an issue by using available data and policies.
  • Evaluate the role of food pantries and their contribution to serving communities and contributing to community initiatives.

Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • New research into leadership of wellbeing in and through integrated care systems.
  • New Partnership Research Centre / Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Healthcare Quality Improvement and Innovation for St Helens and Knowsley Trust.

Quality Education (SDG 4)

  • Developed new curriculum: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Corporate Social Responsibility; integration of the Academy of Business in Society’s Scenario Exploration System; panel discussion with the Runnymede Trust (education for ethnic minorities); a database module by students for students (Student Enhancement Project).
  • Moving beyond the classroom as educational experience, e.g. bus tours exploring Liverpool City and invited guest speakers from different backgrounds who share experiences with students (such as from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and the NHS).
  • Summer schools with impact in the Race Equality Hub in Liverpool City Region.
  • Human Resources Bitesize learning model delivered to undergraduate and postgraduate students, which improved access to learning.
  • Strengthened digital skills: training to develop staff digital skills; support for staff transitioning from face-2-face to online teaching and building a shared platform for new pedagogies.
  • Developed Collaborative Online International Learning: pedagogical method of developing students’ inter-cultural awareness and global citizenship skills.
  • Sustainability pathway within the Business Management programme, including a student employed by the local organisation 2030hub which is the world’s first UN Local2030 Hub, created to make cities and businesses stronger.
  • Examples of personal actions include: Decolonising the curriculum committee membership; guest lecturing at Lyon International Week on SDG4 issues; monthly subscription to the local hospice; HR Governor College contributions; Parent, Teachers and Friends Association contributions; road peace- campaigning for safer crossing-national campaign.
  • Examples of research and projects include: Project DREAM, which increased female aged 18-30 aspiration in Philippines, India and Syria, being developed and organised with google CEBU online employability courses; research and publication about the impact of zoom on quality and inclusive education;

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Embedding new Liverpool John Moores University Learning & Teaching Strategy with a new strand of Education for Sustainable Development, inclusive curriculum, education for wellbeing, and digital education.
  • New research into sustainable education.
  • Launch People and Community site for all HRM/People Management qualifying programmes to share knowledge and practice.

Spotlight: Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the aims of the Corporate Social Responsibility module is to prepare future managers to think and act responsibly. In this module, students are encouraged to critically evaluate major global challenges and develop methods to help organisations strengthen their resilience in the face of current and future challenges. As of Spring 2022, Liverpool Business School has the first undergraduate programme nationally, that integrated the Academy of Business in Society’s Scenario Exploration System as a core part of the module. Through the game, 100 students engaged with systemic long-term thinking while exploring alternative sustainable futures in the role of different societal stakeholders.

Spotlight: Collaborative Online International Learning

Collaborative Online International Learning is an innovative and effective pedagogical method of developing students’ inter-cultural awareness and global citizenship skills. Students from Liverpool John Moores University and international partners collaborate via online sessions. Between 2020-2022, the faculty had various pathways with partners in Malaysia, American and India. American students at Southern Connecticut State University have spent a month sharing lectures and seminars on climate change and sustainability with Liverpool John Moores University undergraduates as part of the Collaborative Online International Learning project. The cohorts also shared views and insights on global citizenship, environmental policy and economics, and ecological awareness. A student comments: “What really appealed to me was get to understand the perceptions of people from another part of the world on these issues. Here, it feels like we only really learned about it from a British or from a European perspective, we don't learn about it from a North American perspective.”

Spotlight: Sustainability

Sustainability is a pathway on the BSc Business Management programme. The aims of the pathway are for students to develop a broad understanding of sustainability, appreciate how the world’s current sustainability challenges are affecting and are affected by business and to be able to competently discuss topics across a wide range of disciplines including business, economics, social issues and ecology. It enables students to make informed decisions that incorporate ethical, environmental and responsible dimensions into management thinking - particularly strategic decision making. As part of their learning experience students visited the Slavery Museum in Liverpool; their lesson was about the history and heritage of slavery in the city of Liverpool and modern day slavery.

Gender Equality, and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 5 and 10)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Embedding financial inequalities into the curricula.
  • Embedding the GTRSB Pledge.
  • Further building employment opportunities with Northern Power Women.
  • Launching new Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion curricula.

Spotlight: Project DREAM

Project DREAM, set up by two academics at Liverpool John Moores University in 2019, aimed to raise aspiration among young women in three UN DAC countries: Philippines, India and Syria. Standing for Developing Resilience, Education, Aspiration and Motivation, DREAM supports young women in their quest for decent work, and speaks directly to SDG 5 seeking to empower participants through workshops, CV support, motivational interviewing, to reach their potential while overcoming barriers that they may have met. Interestingly, the three countries, while different in some ways, also shared much in common regarding the opportunities and barriers that young women face.

Spotlight: Being Lean and Seen: Meeting the Challenges of Delivering Projects Successfully in the 21st Century

As the overall project-related spending in the EU is assumed to be about € 3.27 trillion per annum there are huge societal and economic challenges of reducing the massive financial and psychological costs of poor project delivery. Especially as about 6% of all projects are believed to be wholly unsuccessful, many of them tax-payer funded. In this European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (€328,500), a holistic framework to address the challenges of delivering projects successfully in the 21st century are addressed.

Spotlight: Asia Research Network on Integration of Global and Local Agri-Food Supply Chains Towards Sustainable Food Security

Funded as a European Union Horizon 2020 Marie-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (€126,000), this research brought together researchers from a number of disciplines to address a global challenge in achieving sustainability and resilience of agri-food supply chains. The research targets solutions to the challenge related to a food security strategy debate on global sourcing and self-sufficiency. Approaches involved leveraging the benefits in the context of Multi-level (geographical scale), Multi-dimension performance measurement (sustainable and resilient agri-food supply) of agri-food supply chains (MMAFS).

Clean Water and Sanitation, and Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 6 and 7)

  • Various case studies are integrated into the curriculum, including the use of solar panels on billboards in Africa.
  • Water fountains have been installed throughout Liverpool Business School buildings.
  • Examples of personal actions include: water meter installations; signing a petition for the Local Electricity Bill which gives the right for generators of electricity to become local suppliers; getting the tram and using public transport rather than drive; using an egg-timer to take four-minute showers to improve and reduce energy consumption.
  • Examples of research and knowledge transfer include: A Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership with social housing provider Cobalt includes the management of water and sanitation in deprived areas;

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Exploring connections with organisations in, and promoting action for, clean water and sanitation as well as affordable and clean energy at events held at Liverpool Business School.
  • Continue building partnerships in the Liverpool City Region to promote clean sanitation through, e.g. existing Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships such as Cobalt Housing, encouraging local tenants to have a voice in their infrastructure.

Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Launching new Applied Entrepreneurship degree to support young entrepreneurs in the Liverpool City Region; the programme will also link businesses in the area to develop and deliver live projects.
  • Researching job obsolescence due to automation and the differential impacts on ethnic groups.
  • Researching the teaching of decent work through arts-based methods.

Spotlight: Liverpool Business Clinic

The Liverpool Business Clinic, which is part of the Liverpool Business School provides the opportunity for students to work on a wide range of live projects for organisations within the Liverpool City Region. Supported by both academic staff and practitioners, students work to develop value adding solutions that have real life impact. By demonstrating how theory can be put into practice in a supportive environment and by contributing to the local economy students gain a clearer understanding of the economic and social contributions they can make professionally locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. They also get to reflect on the type of work they want to engage in as they develop as professionals.

Spotlight: HR Professional Student Network Group

Now in its tenth year, The HR Professional Student Network Group (PSNG) is a voluntary group that promotes and develops Human Resource (HR) professional networks between academics, practitioners and most importantly, students. Its aims are to find decent jobs for HR students, share knowledge and meet local community needs.

In May 2022 four HR students were employed by Amey (employer of 14,000 staff) after they advertised one position. Amey asked PSNG to recommend further students. The PSNG group used social media to advertise the position. Those that applied were offered targeted support with their CV and interview practice. Ultimately, Liverpool John Moores University recommended four students: one Level 5; one Level 6 HRM, and two full-time HRM Masters students and Amey offered all four students graduate positions, although they had little or no HR experience.

Orin McGann, who studied HRM and is one of the successful students, said: “The support I received came from the PSNG & my tutors. I was confident that if I needed help with my CV or preparing for interview that these services were easily accessible through the university.”

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 9 and 11)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Embedding more real-life innovation and infrastructure problems to be addressed in the Business Clinic and project consultancy modules e.g. how to implement a green and sustainable approach to HR.
  • Redesigning the MBA programme to embed sustainability (including sustainable cities and communities) as a key thread running through the modules.
  • Researching how the social network of directors in the construction sector could potentially help to improve the environmental profile of companies (linked to Circle Programme for Circle Healthcare Group).
  • Researching smart transport and how big data could lead to a sustainable solution.

Spotlight: Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership - Enbarr Enterprises

A team at Liverpool Business School started a new Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the Enbarr group of companies (Enbarr Enterprises and the Enbarr Foundation) in North Wales. Enbarr has grown significantly in the last few years, tackling multiple indices of deprivation in the local area. The partnership will develop management capacity and expertise at Enbarr through new management structures and tools to deal with current operational demands and future growth ambitions. As a result, the partnership will deliver management innovation for social and economic rejuvenation in the area.

Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action (SDG 12 and 13)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Redesigning MBA to embed climate change and action throughout.
  • Integrating the principles for responsible production processes into retail management assignments.
  • Further embedding of ethical behaviour with greater emphasis on sustainability across all modules in accounting and finance.

Spotlight: UN Decade of Action

The UN Decade of Action necessitates an acceleration of sustainable solutions to address climate change challenges. New research was presented at the PRME UK&I conference aimed to determine why there is a gap between university ambitions to teach climate change education and outcomes. A new matrix emerged that conceptualized the influences of organisational values, organisational culture, personal values and positionality-identity. It concluded that to improve action on climate change education the addition of an objective in Personal Development Reviews is one possible solution.

Life Below Water, and Life on Land (SDG 14 and 15)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Researching food waste at universities.
  • Researching waste and experiential pedagogy that increases awareness of product packaging and design as part of the circular-economy approach.
  • Exploring connections in these industries to raise awareness of key issues in events and on campus.


Research with Stockholm University, funded by the Swedish Research Council, was initiated with Nordic and Scandinavian universities to develop environmental education linking to water and land. Teaching approaches which involved being near and exploring human connection to water were examined with reference to drama and performance research, with a view to test new approaches over the next year in different disciplinary contexts (including for example business, environmental sciences, politics, arts, and education). Initial works have already been published to highlight to transformational power of arts-based methods for deep learning and change.

Peace and Justice (SDG 16)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Researching ‘Refugees at Sea’ with various other universities.
  • Researching a voluntary organisation that monitors the human rights of people crossing the English Channel to seek asylum in the UK.
  • Researching the legal aspects of financial inclusion for various groups in society.

Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17)

Example activities planned beyond the reporting period:

  • Developing international guidance for social value in higher education and business schools.
  • Evaluate the stakeholder value of business clinics to help further deepen impact in the region.
  • Creating and supporting National Roma Network for UK migrant Roma.

Spotlight: Liverpool Roma Employability Network

Set up in 2016, Liverpool Roma Employability Network (LREN) is a partnership between Liverpool John Moores University and local Roma under the guidance of a community group embedded in the heart of the Roma Community, Granby Toxteth Development Trust. The project brings together local community groups, employers, Roma, academics and NGOs under a single umbrella to raise awareness of the Roma community in Liverpool, enhance the public perception of this relatively new migrant group and ultimately to boost Roma employability across the city.

Spotlight: British Academy - Decent Work in Vietnam

A British Academy project which examined the influences on students and recent graduates in accessing Decent Work in Vietnam. The project focused on establishing and delivering new collaborative partnerships between young people, employers, decision makers and policy makers in government, and NGOs. The research discovered a spatial approach to Decent Work, where local factors can be leveraged to improve Decent Work outcomes to alleviate marginalisation at the local level. Out of the policy initiatives used in Vietnam, vocationally oriented education seemed to be the strongest predictor of Decent Work for students and young people.