Research projects

CEES' experts focus on a range of issues in sustainability, energy and the environment. Find out more about their research

Clode-up of a finger about to touch a graph on a touch screen device.

Led by Professor Lenny Koh, Director of CEES, the suites of software developed as part of the SCEnAT project allow organisations to analyse their supply chains, identifying any carbon, economic and energy efficiency hotspots optimisation may be possible, and provides suggested solutions to reduce or eliminate these hotspots.

Clients can choose from three different software (SCEnAT, SCEnAT+ and SCEnATi) and five different service packages to suit their needs.

Visit the website for more information:

COSTA/Whitbread Project

Professor Lenny Koh, was commissioned by COSTA to investigate recyclability and disposal route of paper cups.

COSTA launched a recycling scheme after environmental campaigner and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall raised awareness about the non-recyclability of paper cups used by coffee chains in his show, Hugh’s War on Waste (BBC1).

According to the Guardian, Britons drink approximately 8 million takeaway coffees every day, resulting in roughly 3 billion used paper cups a year.

Despite this staggering number, it is estimated that fewer than 1 in 400 cups is recycled.

The £100,000 project includes an in-depth investigation of consumer attitudes and behaviours towards paper cups recycling, as well as a lab analysis of the cups’ materials to better assess necessary recycling processes.

This project involves Professor Peter Styring, Dr Adrian Solomon and Dan Reed. SCEnAT was used in the mapping of the paper cup recycling chain. A large scale national survey was completed. Lab and pilot test of the paper cups were undertaken.

Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M)

In 2015, The University of Sheffield received a £10million grant from the Leverhulme Trust to create the Leverhulme Climate Change Mitigation Centre.

Professor Lenny Koh is a co-investigator and uses her expertise in supply chain management to contribute to the centre’s research theme “Sustainability & Society” (Theme 4) which investigates the sustainability and potential impacts of enhanced rock weathering.

Professor Koh and the team use hybrid life cycle assessment which analyses issues related to the mining, grinding, transporting and spreading of crushed rocks needed to support enhanced weathering strategies at meaningful scales for carbon capture devised in Theme 1 (Earth Systems Modelling) and Theme 3 (Applied Weathering Science) to enable integrated environmental assessment of the EW supply chain and uncertainty-perturbation scenario analyses.

This helps assess the potential to build a global, sustainable, integrated enhanced rock weathering supply chain framework for analysing and understanding the long-term environmental, social and economic impacts.


The Promoting Environmental Sustainable SMEs (PrESS) Project was a multi-partner international project led by the University of Sheffield and funded by the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme.

Professor Lenny Koh, Director of CEES, was Principal Investigator of the PrESS project which built on her SCEnAT tool, which helps business and industry understand their supply chain environmental impact.

In this project, this tool is being further advanced to improve delivery of sustainability and cost reduction.

For further information about the project, visit


SCOT logoSmart CO2 Transformation (SCOT) is a project supported by the seventh framework programme of the European Community (FP7) to develop a strategic European research agenda aimed at improving the technical and economic performance of emerging CO2 transformation technologies. SCOT is the first ever European initiative in the field of CO2 recycling.

The consortium gathers five regions (Belgium France, Germany, Netherlands and UK) which are committed and well advanced in this emerging area of CO2 recycling. The University of Sheffield is leading on Work Package 2 Socio-Economic Analysis.

For further information about the project, please visit 


The Trading Approaches to Nurturing Sustainable consumption in Fashion and Energy Retail (TRANSFER) knowledge exchange project will facilitate knowledge exchange between energy and fashion retailers regarding the promotion of sustainable consumption.

The project is led by the University of Sheffield’s Psychology Department together with the Management School and the London College of Fashion.

Energy and fashion retailers face the common challenge of encouraging the reduced consumption of a saleable product in order to promote sustainability and conform to existing and emerging legislation, while simultaneously maintaining growth and financial prosperity.

Energy retailers are experienced in such practices having been legally required to promote energy efficiency to consumers for some years.

This is paired with a growing recognition among fashion retailers of the need to engage in activities that help to promote sustainable consumption among consumers.

In fulfilling these aims of this research, we hope to foster a more complete understanding of how initiatives in both sectors can be successfully designed and implemented in order to have maximum impact on the behaviour of consumers (e.g., energy use and clothing purchase practices).

The Big Energy Upgrade

This project, started in 2010, was partly funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

The Big Energy Upgrade aimed to contribute to the understanding of how houses can be made more effectively energy efficient, to contribute to the growth of the regional supply chain and the alleviation of fuel poverty in the region.

A multidisciplinary team from the Faculties of Social Sciences and the Engineering monitored the performance of installed energy efficiency measures looking at behaviour of those living in the newly insulated houses and the overall response from the whole communities; monitoring energy consumption in selected households; supporting the supply chain associated with the energy efficiency measures; studying the material’s performance and assessing the environmental impact of the retrofit measures.

Big Energy Upgrade website.

Read the report, 'Fuel Poverty: Perspectives from the Front Line' (PDF, 1.8MB)

Read the report, 'Procurement and Supply Chain' (PDF, 5.4MB)

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.