Sam Hampton

Geography and the Environment (2015 cohort)

My research examines energy practices and sustainability policy targeted at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. The project aims to develop an in-depth, ethnographic account of influential actors and their practices at multiple levels. For policy makers, implementers and evaluators, it uses practice theory as a framework for understanding the complexities of designing, managing and assessing energy efficiency programmes. As SMEs are most likely to receive business advice from ‘middle actors’ such as accountants and advisors, the project seeks to understand how they perceive themselves as brokers of advice, and how policy might be designed to better equip them with information on energy. Finally, it looks in depth at the everyday working practices of SMEs and their employees; how energy is consumed, conserved and managed, and how decision making relating to efficiency investments are made. Working from home is examined as a target of energy conservation policy.

Previous education and work experience

Prior to starting the PhD and after graduating from Oxford with a Geography degree, I worked in environmental consulting. For 5 years I worked on projects for large corporate clients such as Tesco, John Lewis and Suzuki on packaging waste and carbon footprinting. More recently, I oversaw three European funded grant programmes targeted at reducing SME emissions through behaviour change and energy efficiency measures. My research builds on this experience and aims to contribute to the success of similar policy instruments in future.

 

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