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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sustainability in office buildings through behavioural and cultural change. The case of the Save the Children Headquarters, London

Following the recent publication of the report titled “Legacy of Disasters”, which focused on the impact of climate change on children, Save the Children recognised that by not having a sustainability policy they are helping to perpetuate the link between climate change and poverty especially for the weakest members of societies. 175 million children will be affected every year by the kinds of natural disasters brought about by climate change.

The objective was to provide recommendations for cultural and behavioural change towards sustainability by means of a policy and an action implementation plan for SCUK’s London headquarters.

In order to design the experimental approaches used in the case study (chapter 4), a deeper understanding of the meaning of sustainability for charitable organisations and organisational culture is sought. Based on the research results received from a novel toolset of surveys, a two-component implementation plan is introduced in chapter 5. The recommendations and conclusions resulting from this for SCUK are introduced in the chapters 6 and 7, respectively.

This includes an attempt for a new definition for implementing sustainable transformations in the special cultural environment of charitable organisations.

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.