Sustainable Business Unit

Sustainable Business Unit

The Sustainability Business Unit within the University of Queensland Business School is a leading group of experts that conduct research on aspects of sustainability ranging from social impact to sustainable strategic transitions. Aligned with a triple bottom line perspective, core research can be divided into Social, Environmental and Financial areas.

Our Research 

Social - Social Impact and Entrepreneurship 

Researchers within the Sustainable Business Unit specialise in social entrepreneurship (SE). Through research and teaching, the Unit aims to have a theoretical and practical impact on communities by connecting evidence-based social solutions with profitable business models. Through both postgraduate and undergraduate courses, students undertake highly applied projects where they gain experience at implementing solutions in real contexts (example: The Tippy Toe Co.). They further learn theory and methodology (such as the SROI) to assess the impact of social enterprises, identify best practices and understand how to scale them. The teaching philosophy also includes the personal development of responsible future leaders capable of addressing the social issues of the 21st century through mindfulness and the vertical stages of consciousness model of leader development.

Research is also being conducted which seeks to break new ground in terms of how we build communities for sustainable wellbeing as well as how to manage sustainable and scalable social enterprises. Researchers are actively engaged in conducting social entrepreneurship training programs for disadvantaged communities both locally and abroad. 


Environmental - Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

Researchers within the Sustainable Business Unit focus on the use and valuation of natural resources as well as adaptation and organisational resilience to the effects of climate change.  With resource scarcity and climatic change defining future trends the Sustainable Business Unit provide thought leadership on these key issues for achieving a sustainable future. Research initiatives are examining innovative and successful sustainable business models to understand the elements leading to their success, sharing examples with students at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.  Corporate adaptation to impacts of climate change, natural capital use and local livelihoods are also key research initiatives through which the Unit advances progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


Financial - Strategic Sustainability 

Strategic sustainability researchers focus on achieving financial success through corporate sustainability.  The pressure for companies to adapt to altered conditions in terms of resource constrains, emission pricing and social demands are a defining feature of many sectors within the economy offering businesses unique opportunities for competitive advantage where they are advantageously managed.  Researchers within the Sustainable Business Unit are progressing projects examining dynamic capabilities for decarbonisation; the role of cognition and cognitive frames in decarbonising decisions; and corporate adaptation.


Key Projects and Outputs

Researchers from the Unit recently were awarded funding under the Autism Cooperative Research Centre and Australian Institute for Business and Economics programs to assist in making significant inroads into employment rates amongst Australian adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Commissioned under a collaboration by Autism CRC, DXC Technology and UQ Business School, an Australian-first research project will investigate the challenges, learnings and best practices of large organisations in sustaining and scaling autism employment. The research contracts awarded to UQ’s Business School by the Autism CRC and the AIBE will be used to develop a best practice framework aimed at encouraging organisations to embrace workplace neurodiversity by recruiting, hiring and retaining adult employees on the autism spectrum.


Our Programs

Master of Business - Social Impact and Sustainablity

The Master of Business specialisation in Social Impact and Sustainability will prepare students for leading the change to a sustainable future.  The economic and physical environment are changing at an unprecedented rate. Along with these changes the role of business in society is expanding. Organisations will be presented with both risks and opportunities through altered consumer and stakeholder expectations and a dynamic physical and market environment.

The UQ UConn Sustainable Business Program

The Sustainable Business Program offered by The University of Queensland and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Connecticut in the US provides a unique opportunity for visiting academics to explore how some of Australia’s leading organisations are applying sustainable business practices over a 10day intensive program.


Our People



Dr Belinda Wade

Lecturer in Strategy

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