Tackling the challenges low-carbon living
CRESR

Sustainability

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.

Place

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


Green Leaders evaluation

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

Groundwork’s Green Leaders programme aims to give 900 disadvantaged young people (aged 14-19) a stepping stone to future employment by recruiting them to lead local environmental projects. In doing so, the programme also aims to make local environmental improvements and catalyse climate action in local communities. The evaluation involves tracking outcomes through a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as providing learning to projects throughout the duration of the programme


Evaluation of the Tesco Bags of Help community grants programme

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

The Tesco Bags of Help community grants programme disburses funds collected through the single-use carrier bag charge in England and Scotland through grants for community organisations to make improvements to public space. This mixed methods evaluation will explore the impact of the grants on people, projects and on perceptions of environmental action and the role of business in environmental enhancement.


Reaching the hardest to reach and highly vulnerable in energy advice and support

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2016-2018

This project will be led by SHU in partnership with Citizens Advice and working with Eon and British Gas as the lead industry partners. It will directly involve (via a Steering Group) 25 representatives from the advice, energy, policy and academic sectors who have never previously been brought together under one initiative. It will also directly engage 40 citizens and potential beneficiaries of the project via two Citizens' Panels.

The UK government is currently carrying out a major overhaul of fuel poverty and energy efficiency policy which is having a profound impact on the advice and energy sectors. Both sectors are expected to be at the forefront of efforts to address fuel poverty and to work together- something they have never done before.

From 2018 onwards, energy companies will be obliged to deliver energy efficiency measures to fuel poor households exclusively. However, the sector has limited experience of identifying, reaching and engaging those most in need of these interventions. There is very little existing knowledge or good practice for either sector to draw on in preparing for the challenges ahead (Ambrose et al, 2016). Acquiring new knowledge on how to successfully engage society's most vulnerable households in energy initiatives will be vital if both sectors are to work together to exploit forthcoming opportunities to engage face to face with every vulnerable and hard to reach household through the smart meter roll-out programme.

The generation of new knowledge, an agreed set of good practice principles and policy recommendations through this project will support the advice and energy sectors and policy makers to meet the challenges ahead. The project will involve an evidence review and primary research with stakeholders and citizens that will yield new insights into what works best for whom and under what circumstances with respect to engaging the most vulnerable and hard to reach.


ESRC Seminar Series: The health impact of cold homes and fuel poverty

Principal Applicant: Professor Angela Tod / Co-applicants: Jan Gilbertson, Professor Christine Liddell, Catherine Homer

Project Duration: 2015-2018

This seminar series will generate new understanding of human behaviour regarding cold homes, fuel poverty and their impact on health by reviewing current evidence, identifying evidence gaps and priorities for future research. The series will explicitly consider the influence of social and health inequalities, and focus on policy influences, impact and interventions. It will add to existing academic knowledge by reviewing and synthesising existing evidence, and will identify gaps in knowledge.


Wigan Deal for Warmth Evaluation

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2015-2017

An evaluation of the Wigan Deal for Warmth programme which is part of DECC’s Health and Fuel Poverty Booster Fund, which aims to address health and wellbeing issues linked to cold, inefficient homes by intervening to improve energy efficiency.


Get in touch

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

Key clients

Amber Valley Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
Business and trade associations
Consumer Council for Water
Consumer Council for Water
DEFRA
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Work and Pensions
Derby City Council
Derbyshire County Council
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Durham County Council
Eaga Charitable Trust
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Furness Enterprise Ltd
Government Office for Science (BIS)
Groundwork UK
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Lambeth Council
Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Local authorities
Local enterprise partnerships
Royal College of General Practitioners
Small Business Service
Tesco
The Higher Education Innovation Fund
Welsh Assembly Government
Wigan Council
Wigan Council
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