OU helping SMEs to become greener

The Open University (OU) has developed a free online course that offers learners practical guidance on communicating the value of sustainability to business audiences.

Accessed through the OU’s ‘OpenLearn Create’ platform, the short programme encourages and supports SME engagement with sustainability and highlights cost-effective measures that SMEs can adopt to achieve positive change.

Developed in partnership with The University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and the climate change communications consultancy, Climate Outreach, the OU’s values-based approach brings together insights from several fields and builds on pioneering work on SME owner and manager values. The work has demonstrated that – with the right tools and techniques – these intermediaries can play a catalytic role in helping SME owners and managers see the long-term value of sustainability.

To date, over 1,000 people have engaged with the course, and feedback suggests it has helped individuals and organisations to engage their SME clients on environmental issues, such as climate change mitigation.