School of Earth and Environment

William Young Professor William Young

Inst Co-Director of SRI; Professor of Sustainability and Business

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 31640
Email address:
Room: 9.106

Personal Home Page


My research is focused on consumer behaviour around sustainability issues. I develop theoretical frameworks and applied tools that understand and change consumer behaviour in purchasing and using products and services. The frameworks and tools use indicators to show measurable reductions in environmental and social impacts.

My currently funded research includes:

  1. Leading a KTP with Asda (part of Walmart) to identify, pilot and implement interventions to change the behaviour of customers such as reducing food waste at home. We manage Asda’s ‘Everyday Experts’ customer survey. This is a quarterly survey of 20,000 customers on sustainability issues. This is funded by Innovate UK, ESRC and Asda. (See
  2. Co-investigator for ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre that focuses on using data sets from companies to develop theories of ethical and sustainable behaviour as well as travel behaviour. It is working with companies in sectors such as retailing, travel providers, financial services and market research. (See

My leadership roles are:

  1. Co-Director of the Sustainability Research Institute that conducts World-leading research to solve sustainability issues. It has 30 academic and 25 research staff along with 100 PhD students. (See
  2. Co-organiser of the annual Corporate Responsibility Research Conference along with Kedge Business School in France. (See
  3. Leader of the Discovery Theme on ‘Creating Sustainable Futures’ at the University of Leeds. This provides students the opportunity to experience sustainability within and outside their programmes. It has over 110 modules from across the University (see and hands on opportunities with the Sustainability Service (see


BSc (Hons) (Environmental Biology).

MSc (Environmental Science with Environmental Management).

PhD (Sustainable Business).



Research Interests

Understanding, measuring and changing behaviour on sustainability issues by:

  1. Consumers.
  2. Householders.
  3. Employees.

Teaching Interests

  • SOEE1390 Introduction to Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility: module leader.
  • SOEE1610 Introduction to Creating Sustainable Futures: module leader.
  • SOEE5041M Standards & Tools for Business, Environment & Corporate Social Responsibility: module leader.
  • BA Environment & Business and MSc Sustainability projects and dissertations supervision.

Support duties


Project details

Project title

I am always interested in supervising PhD students who want to study behaviour change and sustainability.





Project outline