BA MCom DipTour PGCertTertT PhD(Otago)
Room: OBS 707
Tel: +64 3 479 5108
I teach and research in the area of sustainability, climate change and business in the Department of Management at the Otago Business School, University of Otago. I also carry out roles including Acting Associate Dean Research, Deputy Dean of the Otago Business School, director of the Master of Sustainable Business programme and Co-Director of He Kaupapa Hononga Otago's Climate Change Research Network.
My key areas of expertise include: carbon footprints, industry readiness for climate change, innovation for environmental sustainability, sustainable and low carbon transitions, analysing and understanding environmental conflicts and researching work in changing futures. I have published widely in management academic journals and have a regular column on sustainable business in the local newspaper ( ODT ) and is also regularly featured in media on climate, sustainability and business.
I enjoy applied research and have been involved in externally funded inter-disciplinary projects for many years. For some background I have been involved in:
- The Energy Cultures programme responsible for understanding energy cultures of SME s and business in NZ .
- Leading a team of researchers on an Australian Aid funded project to Vanuatu to understand energy transitions.
- Contracted by OceanaGold to explore land use and 'common grounds' surrounding the Macraes Gold Mine.
- Working with BRANZ on a get Ready for Climate Change project with construction companies.
My current projects include:
- Being science leader on an Endeavour project called Āmiomio Aotearoa a circular economy for the wellbeing of NZ .
- Part of the Building NZ 's Innovation Culture team with the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge ( NSC ).
- Working with MOTU on a Just Transitions Guide for MBIE . Working with a team on a MPI / FMAG funded project to understand company decisions around offsetting or abatement of GHG emissions.
- Investigator on a project with the XRB examining the effectiveness of Climate Risk Disclosures.
- Collaborating with Stuff to keep producing the Climate Action Report Card.
Sara's teaching responsibilities include:
- MANT251 Managing Organisations
- MANT337 Organisations and Sustainability
- MANT415 Advanced Research Practice
- MANT437 Organisations and Sustainability
- ENTR420 Sustainable Entrepreneurship (Master of Entrepreneurship paper)
- Examining ecopreneurial businesses in New Zealand
- Social enterprise and for-benefit organisations
- Business responses to climate change
- Understanding natural resource based conflicts and analysing triple bottom line (TBL) company reports
- Constructions of sustainability
Sara is currently supervising the following students:
Nana Bortsie-Aryee - Water Footprinting: Theory to Reality – Building competitive advantage around water. (Supervisors: Sara Walton, Conor O'Kane, Peter Fennessy) - under examination
Cle-Anne Gabriel (2015). Renewable energy start-up businesses: Typology and critical success factors in transitioning countries. (Supervisors: Beth Rose, Sara Walton, Jodyanne Kirkwood)
David McKay (2014). Identifying and describing how environmental education is conceptualised and practiced among New Zealand Māori. (Supervisors: Hugh Campbell, Sara Walton, Jim Williams)
Babak Zahraie (2017). Green Entrepreneurs: Change Agents towards Sustainability. (Supervisors: André Everett, Sara Walton, Jodyanne Kirkwood)
Angela Howell - What will make business operations in NZ SMEs more energy efficient?
Sara's other responsibilities include:
- Divisional Representative on the University Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group
Gehricke, S., Poyser, A., & Walton, S. (2023). A market survey to ascertain offsetting demand. Commissioned by Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group. Dunedin, New Zealand: Climate Energy and Finance Group, University of Otago. 35p.
Walton, S., Lord, J. M., Lord, A. J., & Kahui, V. (2023). Conflicts between being a “good farmer” and freshwater policy: A New Zealand case study [In the field report]. Agriculture & Human Values. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10460-023-10471-1
MacGregor, C., Walton, S., & Foley, A. (2022). Preparing for the climate emergency: Climate cultures a framework for understanding organisational change within socio-technical transitions. Proceedings of the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa New Zealand (ASAANZ) Annual Conference: Emergenc(i)es. (pp. 26). Retrieved from https://www.asaanz.org/past-conferences
Diprose, G., Lee, L., Blumhardt, H., Walton, S., & Greenaway, A. (2022). Reducing single use packaging and moving up the waste hierarchy. Kōtuitui. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1177083X.2022.2154230
Anand, S., Anseel, F., Besic, A., Biron, M., Hu, D., Hyde, S., Ott, D. L., O'Kane, P., … Ruwhiu, D., … Walton, S., … Dhaenens, A. (2022, August). Hybrid work arrangements [Caucus]. Panel discussion at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AoM), [Hybrid].