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Water10Newcastle Business School and Northumbrian Water have reached an important milestone in their ground-breaking research project into sustainability and will be travelling to Shanghai this week to present their findings at the world’s leading convention on Business Ethics.

The partnership between Newcastle Business School and Northumbrian Water focuses on how to deliver a more sustainable future. It investigates how businesses can unlock the value of working in partnership with a range of different stakeholders to have a lasting and positive impact on communities and the environment.

The joint presentation at the 6th World Congress of the International Society for Business, Economics and Ethics also marks an important milestone for the three-year PhD research programme. In particular it will highlight the current challenges in assessment and measuring impact when working with stakeholders, which have been identified as part of the project.

Ron Beadle, Professor of Organisation and Business Ethics at Newcastle Business School, said: “Our collaboration with Northumbrian Water underlines our growing status as a research-rich and business-focused university with a global reputation for academic excellence.

“As well as reporting on the progress of the research, the co-presentation with our partners at Northumbrian Water also highlights the pioneering approach of both organisations in addressing future sustainability challenges and understanding how companies from the UK and overseas can take sustainability to the next level.

“Sharing our research on a world stage in Shanghai is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the value that high quality research partnerships between business and academia can bring to shaping the next generation of sustainability strategies.”

Billed as ‘The Olympics of Business Ethics’ the event brings together the best minds in the field of the Ethics of Business and Economics from all around the globe with a mix of people from business, academia, government and other not-for-profit organisations.

Lara El Mouallem, a PhD student specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility, who is leading the research on behalf of Newcastle Business School, is travelling to China to present with Louise Hunter, Director of Corporate Affairs at Northumbrian Water and Sarah Pinkerton, External Affairs Manager.

“I’m looking forward to presenting in Shanghai this week. Working with Northumbrian Water on this project has been a fantastic opportunity for me to develop my research in this area. They have given me an unprecedented insight into the business in order to explore and understand their social and environmental partnerships. They are already acknowledged as leaders in sustainable best practice, and a large part of this project is about how to make the best even better,” explains Lara El Mouallem.

Louise Hunter, Director of Corporate Affairs from Northumbrian Water, added: “Sustainability is at the heart of vision, strategy and operation for our organisation. We already have many well established strategies and successful programmes with some fantastic external partners to enhance our local communities and the environment we work in.

“We are continually striving to further enhance our activity in this area as part of our objective to be a national leader in the provision of sustainable water and waste water services. Our innovative research project with Lara and the Business School is enabling us to develop the practice of embedding sustainability even further into the business by exploring best practice and how how we can most effectively support the communities we serve and enhance the special nature environment that we work in.”

Northumbrian Water is already at the cutting edge of sustainable water provision, and currently holds the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its sustainable development activities. The organisation is the only water company in the world to to be listed by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies.

Newcastle Business School currently holds the title UK Business School of the Year in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

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