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Business Practice

Business Practice

The case for environmentally and socially sustainable business models grows stronger with increased consumer awareness and legislation designed to cut CO2 emissions.

This research theme is focused on:

  • Providing advice and guidance to support sustainable development while maintaining corporate, social and legal responsibility.
Business Enterprise

Leeds Beckett University supports clients to bring about real improvements in business performance and can provide you with a broad selection of consultancy services to support your local, regional and national business needs. Whether you're looking for technology expertise, specialist knowledge, financial or management-led advice, our tailored consultancy services will provide you with the additional resources and skills you need to be effective in business. Dependent on your individual business needs we can also offer continued professional training and short courses, facilities hire, business growth packages and knowledge transfer partnerships as well as sharing up to date information on funding opportunities. Our services allow businesses to gain competitive edge through relevance and innovation.

Research Expertise
  • Barbara Colledge
    Barbara Colledge has significant experience of senior academic leadership, general academic and business management and quality assurance.
  • John Heathcote
    John is involved in research in: Partnering, Supply Chain Management & Procurement, and the development of commercial strategies; Project Management Office and Organisational Project Management Maturity development; Facilitating of Value Management/Engineering, & Innovation workshops; Facilitating Project Reviews & Project Recovery.
  • Janet Mulcrone
    Janet Mulcrone is Centre Director of our University's Centre for Knowledge Exchange.

Case Studies

Innovation - RISE Awards 2015

Designing and developing an integrated system for transportation of abnormal loads.

Established in 1928, Collett & Sons is a successful family owned company. Originally a transport company, Collett has developed into a specialist multi-modal logistics operator and has a wealth of experience in transporting and moving difficult loads throughout the UK, Europe and Worldwide

Through an innovative partnership with Leeds Beckett University the company is embedding new integrated solutions for the movement of abnormal loads. By utilizing mechanical engineering knowledge and expertise in software development the company is developing an integrated system that optimizes the configuration of modular trailers.

The project represents a step change in company capability and is providing:

  • Introduction of new technology;
  • Enhancement of workforce skills creating increased capacity and associated cost savings;
  • Development and embedding of new processes;
  • Enhanced technical content for sales proposals that strengthens the company’s credibility leading to increased sales;
  • Opportunities to provide larger value transport solutions to existing clients.

The project is being part-funded under a Knowledge Transfer Partnership from Innovate UK and is based at the company’s offices in Goole. Led by Dr Ruben Escribano the project is receiving academic support and guidance from Dr Andrew Platten and Dr Nick Cope from the Arts, Environment & Technology faculty at Leeds Beckett University.

Sustainable Developments & Energy - RISE Awards 2015

Hill is committed to designing and building homes that offer their occupants stylish and contemporary living environments and that help to create appealing and sustainable local communities.

Hill’s growth and success since its formation in 1999 has been impressive. The company has been at the forefront of housing innovation and sustainability, constantly striving to improve processes in order to deliver the best possible product for each individual development.

Hill understand that building homes is about far more than just construction and fully embrace their responsibility to enhance landscapes and contribute positively to the lives of the communities in which they work through local initiatives and sponsorships.

Hill Residential has delivered over 200 homes to the highest standard of the Code for Sustainable Homes – level 5. The company can design, build and sign off homes to the standard. However, the company recognizes the need for real post-completion data to validate that the building actually performs as designed, which requires new skills and capability.

The KTP Project in partnership with Leeds Beckett University was implemented in December 2014 to assist in acquiring a specialist in-house sustainability capability, The Project is designed as a mechanism to develop and embed this in-house capability, with a view to working towards a zero carbon target, as required by Government policy by 2016.

Project outcomes:

  • Projected 10% increase in profits
  • Reduced costs in external
Sustainable Developments and Energy - RISE Awards 2015

WDH (Wakefield and District Housing) is a registered social landlord with charitable objectives. It provides a range of business services including: good quality, well-managed housing for rent, primarily by people who are unable to rent or buy at open market rates; supported housing and care for people who need additional housing related support or additional care; and a repairs and maintenance service for other housing associations.

The business is taking part in an innovative Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Leeds Beckett University to research, develop and execute a building performance evaluation capability in order to enhance the performance of the company’s own properties and to generate revenue from the provision of consultancy services.

Aims of the Project include:

  • To facilitate the evaluation of post-construction and post-occupation performance. This represents a significant increase in technical capability;
  • Development of an internal WDH capability – currently WDH’s delivery of zero-carbon homes relies on the use of external consultants to provide advice regarding building performance;
  • An embedded capability in building performance evaluation will give WDH more control over its buildings from a performance, quality and cost perspective driving down the cost of new build whilst maintaining performance levels;
  • The partnership will address the challenges associated with the introduction of new skills, new tools, new techniques and new methods of working;
  • To increase commercial revenue generation through maintenance and consultancy contracts with other housing associations.

The project is being part-funded under a Knowledge Transfer Partnership from Innovate UK and is based at the company’s offices in Castleford, West Yorkshire. Led by Agnieszka Knera, the project is receiving academic support and guidance from Dr Jim Parker from the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University.

The Centre for Project Management

It is well reported that sustainability now features on many company agendas. It is also recognised that Project Management is no longer just associated with the construction of buildings or large infrastructure projects. It is now the preferred way of bringing about change and as a result of this, offers a potential opportunity to integrate and enhance the development of the sustainability initiative within companies.

The Centre for Project Management is currently interested in two related areas of investigation where sustainability and project management overlap. The first is in creating a practical measuring system - derived from the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability - that scores projects being considered for approval against a number of criteria for each of the triple bottom line elements. In doing so, it seeks to encourage practitioners to explore alternative options at points throughout the project life cycle where the project’s sustainability performance could be improved. It intends to consider both the project process and the project deliverable.

The second related project has identified a number of companies from different commercial sectors from different parts of the world that are rated highly on the Sustainable Asset Management or Dow Jones Sustainability indices. It is intending to explore how sustainability is integrated into the delivery of projects in these organisations. By looking at different companies in different sectors operating in different cultural settings the project will seek out best practice within generic project management and look to produce a standard model whereby ‘sustainability interventions’ can be made at points in the project life cycle.

The Knowledge Exchange

The Knowledge Exchange (CKE) connects our University’s research, knowledge and expertise with industry, building relationships and accelerating change especially in the construction industry. It serves as a regional hub for professionals and academics to share best practice and celebrate excellence.

We currently run the following networks:

  • Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber
    Working with key stakeholders, industry professionals and the Government, this organisation drives the change agenda in construction, housing and regeneration, offers cross-disciplinary networking and support, and aims to improve industry performance in order to produce a better built environment.
  • thinkBIM
    Championing the development and use of building information modelling (BIM) in the construction industry, this network offers BIM advocates and leaders a platform to share their experiences from across the sector.
  • Green Vision
    This established network continues to support future-proofing for businesses, providing industry with the latest research and thinking on sustainability.

CKE offers sustainability-focused events, training sessions and online discussions, as well as a bespoke consultancy service. Please visit our webpages for more information: