School of Earth and Environment

Alice Owen Dr Alice Owen

Associate Professor: Business Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 36411
Email address:
Room: 9.104

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


Alice's career has spanned private, public and voluntary sector organisations and she has a track record of achievement in developing and delivering projects to support more sustainable development.

Alice was the lead commissioner for local and regional issues with the UK Sustainable Development Commission from 2005 - 11, working with the politicians and executives of the UK and its devolved governments. An engineer by training, Alice has been working in the field of sustainable development since 1991. She has first hand experience of the chemical industry and of waste management operations. From 1996-8, Alice was an NGO project manager on a wide range of environmental education projects internationally. She first worked in the public sector as Head of Conservation and Policy at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, from 1998-2001. In 2001, she established the sustainable development team in Yorkshire Forward, one of nine English regional development agencies. Alice has also established and run her own freelancing consultancy business and has worked for the Environment Agency in policy development. Alice led consultancy firm Arup’s sustainability consulting work from Leeds for five years before joining the University of Leeds.


B.Eng (Hons) Special Engineering Programme, Brunel University

MBA - Manchester Business School

PhD - School of Geography, University of Leeds. Thesis title "The diffusion and impact of domestic 'green technology' and the role of 'place' "


MIEMA - Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment

Member of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Green Economy panel from 2016.

Appointed member of the NERC Innovation Advisory Board in February 2017.

Fellow of the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity ( from March 2017

Member of the Chadwick Group - a regional organisation of business leaders interested in sustainability.

Research Interests

The diffusion and impact of domestic green technology. This has developed into an investigation of the role of technology and data in changing domestic behaviours. The potential impact of smart meters on energy consumption is an area we are exploring in Leeds.

The role of 'place' in sustainability. Most recently, this has been in developing a framework for the circular economy at city scale, working from the starting point of a city's assets rather than the problem of a city's waste arisings.

Achieving domestic low carbon retrofit - particularly the role of advisers and installers; NGOs and micro-enterprises. I am working on a research collaboration exploring these issues with ECI, Oxford, funded by the UK Energy Research Centre, the GLIDER project.

Effective knowledge exchange - I am keen to develop further capacity to bridge between academic research and public sector practitioners. A KTE project with Leeds City Council led to generating new lines of reserach, but also found ways to use existing city assets and knowledge to drive positive research impacts.

In 2017, I became a Fellow of the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity ( The fellowship focuses on the role of micro-enterprises in sustainable prosperity. In addition to developing my research on construction firms, I'minvestigating the role of craft and textile enterprises in sustainability.

Teaching Interests

I have lead two MSc modules looking at different aspects of project management in practice in Semester 2 - SOEE5223 "Delivering Sustainability through Projects" and SOEE5192 "Project Management - Environmental Contracts".

I also teach on SOEE5231 "The Regulatory and Planning Context of Environmental Projects" in Semester 1 and SOEE5341 "Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility" in semester 2.

I lead the 60 credit SOEE5175 "Sustainability Consultancy Project" which is a unique feature of the MSc Sustainability & Consultancy programme. Teaching to support this project module involves a wide range of skill development and professional practice sessions.