Research collaboration on business and the Sustainable Development Goals

Research collaboration on business and the Sustainable Development Goals name

The University of Cumbria's Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership (IBIL) and its Initiative for Leadership & Sustainability (IFLAS) are working with the start-up sustainability consultancy SDG Changemakers on a new industry research project to support the development of 'InToto', a digital sustainability business management tool for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). 

The project is using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by 193 nations as its content framework for the development of InToto. 

Dr David F Murphy, Associate Professor of Sustainability and Collaborative Leadership, and IBIL/IFLAS colleagues Dr Sarah Williams and Dr Justin Larner, together with SDG Changemakers’ Co-Directors Claire Benson and Felicity Jones are working with Penrith-based intern researcher Anna Mossop to support her in: 

  • Identifying a common set of key performance indicators (KPIs) appliable to MSMEs.
  • Matching these KPIs to a core basket of SDG targets and indicators.
  • Testing the model with at least three local MSMEs to see if the mission, vision, values, and strategic KPIs can be matched to specific SDGs, and then mapped onto a sustainable business model and action plan. 

Supported by the Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP II), the research project is already underway and is expected to be completed by the end of February 2022. Funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse, CUSP II is a partnership between the University of Cumbria and Lancaster University that supports inventive, innovative Cumbria businesses who want to accelerate their development through collaboration with academic expertise and specialist resources.  

SDG Changemakers work with MSMEs and Social Enterprises in the UK and globally to support them to transition towards more sustainable business models.  

'InToto' is a data-driven MSME needs-led, digital sustainable development management tool for businesses who want to realise and communicate their competitive advantage and impact by making evidence-based business sustainability decisions.   

Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP II) – for enquiries and to find out about support available for Cumbrian MSMEs please email