Tackling the challenges low-carbon living


Our work on sustainability is wide-ranging. We seek to understand the dynamics of responses to climate change, and routinely collaborate with industry-leading consultants and leading academics to address the complex needs of our client organisations.

We conduct research around the following themes.

Housing and the home

We have conducted leading UK studies into fuel poverty and the response of government bodies to this issue. Our work has included evaluations of the Warm Front Scheme and Decent Homes programmes.

We bring together technical expertise – working with our partners in the Materials and Engineering Research Institute – to address fuel poverty with a detailed understanding of behavioural responses to housing improvements. We are currently exploring the experiences of residents living in eco-homes.


Our research shows the importance of place-based approaches to sustainability, and helps organisations to evaluate their practical responses.

Our work includes studies on district heat networks, neighbourhood level housing improvements and the mainstreaming of sustainability in economic development programmes.

Coordinating responses to climate change

We have shown the challenges faced by local, regional and national organisations in coordinating responses to climate change.

Our work includes studies into the use of sustainability as cross-cutting themes in EU programmes, through to the role of environmental partnerships at local and regional levels.

Valuation of environmental benefits

We have undertaken research for organisations such as DEFRA and Groundwork into the valuation of environmental benefits and the economic benefits from environmental improvements.

Search our work

Oldham Warm Homes Service evaluation

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2013-2015

An evaluation of a ‘whole household’ approach to fuel poverty. This includes impact analysis of a range of different interventions, and will involve valuation of outcomes with respect to its impact on health and wellbeing.

Evaluation of the Big Energy Saving Network

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2014

The project seeks to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Big Energy Saving Network programme which utilises networks of volunteers to empower vulnerable consumers to engage with the energy market and take up energy efficiency measures.  

The project team also includes James Pinder.

Process evaluation of the Low Carbon Pioneer Cities Heat Networks Project

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2013-2014

The evaluation assesses the extent to which financial and in kind support provided by DECC to five of England's Core Cities have suceeded in moving them closer to the deployment of heat networks.

Low Carbon Leicester and Leicestershire

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2014

This research study has two components: estimating the size, structure and potential growth of the low carbon economy in Leicester and Leicestershire; and research into SME attitudes and action with regard to resource efficiency. The project involves a mix of primary and secondary quantitative data collection and analysis, including a survey of local businesses, combined with qualitative work with local SMEs, key ‘low carbon’ firms; and policy makers.

Landmark Art and Community Resilience

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2013

The use of 'landmark' sculptures as a means of commemorating and regenerating communities is an established practice. Anthony Gormley's 'Angel of the North' and Damien Hirst's 'Verity' are prominent examples. There are also many lesser known examples around the country. However, little is known about how they impact on their host communities. A key aim of the research is to compare the intended and actual impacts of a number of landmark sculpture projects in relation to a range of social, educational, physical and health variables in order to learn lessons for future projects of this nature, such as the Man of Steel- a large icon planned to commemorate traditional industries in the Sheffield City Region. The project brings together experts in materials science & engineering, education, inclusion, social work, planning and regeneration from around the University.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Aimee Ambrose at a.ambrose@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6297.

Key clients

Birmingham City Council
Business and trade associations
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Work and Pensions
Furness Enterprise Ltd
Government Office for Science (BIS)
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Local authorities
Local enterprise partnerships
Small Business Service
Welsh Assembly Government
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