Dr Victoria Hurth

Dr Victoria Hurth

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Marketing

Plymouth Graduate School of Management & Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Business)


In the faculty, I run modules on Marketing and on sustainable business. I enjoy facilitating the learning of our students as they progress from school leavers to rounded professionals capable of securing highly sought after roles in companies in all spectrums, across the world. I am also Faculty Lead for Student Satisfaction. This role gives me space to focus on how we can continuously keep up with the requirements of our students and deliver the best experience possible. I am currently focusing on how to improve the communication experience of our students in order to build a stronger sense of community and engagement with the faculty.

I have a background in business management, governance, identity and consumer behaviour research, particularly in a sustainability context, which I bring to the business school. I am currently researching the role of business purpose in long-term sustainable success, and the role of marketing in this and the role governance plays in organisational purpose. I have recently published a report for Friends of the Earth on how to reform marketing for sustainability where myself and colleagues proposed a 6-point Framework for Evolved Marketing. I am passionate about helping marketers on-the-ground to unpick the lofty goals of their CEOs and really drive for sustainability for the benefit of society and their companies. 

My background comes both from my academic experience, including a PhD in social marketing, as well as from my professional career where I worked at 3M as marketing co-ordinator and then at Accenture as a management consultant in retail marketing strategy. 

Finally, my 14 years immersion in the sustainability field means I have an enduring concern about sustainability climate change in a broader context and what can be done, quickly and effectively, to address this.  This draws on my research into identity and behaviour. As a result I am working on developing city indicators (Cities are now one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals) and sustainable community management systems with ISO and the BSI and engaging in the debate about how to effectively meet the carbon thresholds we know are critical to our future wellbeing - for me TEQs is the most convincing option we have available and I have published a paper on this with colleagues from the Fleming Policy Centre in Carbon Management Journal (it is now their second most read article to date).

I have published research papers and thought pieces in a range of journals including Nature Climate Change, New Scientist, Carbon Management and Sustainable Development journal. I am a Fellow of Leadership in Environment and Development, sit on the development committee for a British Standard in Sustainable Communities and am the UK Lead Expert on City Indicators for Sustainability for ISO. Additionally, I am on the board of the Fleming Policy Centre and a regional board member of the Chartered Management Institute.


Doctor of Philosophy (Management Studies), Exeter University. Thesis topic:  Achieving sustainable consumption amongst high-income households through social marketing. January 2007 to June 2012 (part-time)

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal,Centre for Environment andDevelopment, South Africa. Jan 2004 to May 2006  MSc Environment and Development.Classification of Degree: Distinction   Dissertation:Encouraging the household energy reduction of high-income earners

University of Aston, Birmingham, England.  Oct 1995 to July 1999  Managerial and Administrative Studies BSc (Hons).  Classification of Degree: 1st   Areas of degree expertise: *The influences of postmodernism, globalisation and technological advances. *Independent actors within European Environmental Policy (Alternative Traffic in Towns research study).

Professional membership

Fellow of Leadership in Environment and Development (LEAD)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Chartered Marketer (MCIM)

Member of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing

Chartered Manager (CMgr)

Roles on external bodies

Lead UK Expert for ISO Sustainable Communities (Global City Indicators) (ISO 37212; TC268)

Committee member of the development board for the British Standard in Sustainable Communities 
Regional Board Member for the Chartered Management Institute

Board member of the Fleming Policy Centre (home of TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas)

Senior Fellow of the Global Cities Institute

Teaching interests

I teach a range of modules in marketing. I am also a supervisor for final year students dissertations and placement students. I design and deliver the co-curricular Certificate in Sustainable Business

Staff serving as external examiners

* Cambridge University, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability and Leadership: Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business

* Aston University, Aston Business School: PG sustainability modules

* I regularly review research grants for the Norwegian Research Council and have been a reviewer for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Research interests

I am interested in business as catalyst and innovators of solutions to societal issues. I am particular interested in the role marketing has to play in developing and leading a transition to a more sustainable society - this broadly comes under the heading of sustainable marketing.  

I recently published a thought piece on reforming marketing for sustainability by Friends of the Earth as part of their Big Ideas research programme.

I am researching how donation behaviour shapes the identities of donors and their relationships with charities

I am involved in action research into optimisation of identities for collaborative leadership for sustainability.

I have completed and am writing up research into Conceptions of Sustainable Marketing by organisations working with the BiTC (Business in the Community)
I am on the Management Board of the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research.  I am a member of the Sustainable Leadership and Governance research centre, the Service and Enterprise Research Centre and the Community, Society and Culture research centre.

I use my role on BSi and ISO committees to research the role of standards in driving systems change towards sustainability

I research the role of the general public in achieving the carbon reduction required to prevent runaway climate change

Grants & contracts

Friends of the Earth research lead author on reforming marketing for sustainability, 2014-2015

ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Building Grassroots Engagement with the Climate Crunch debate (BGECC): A Knowledge Exchange Partnership with the Fleming Policy Centre. Co-PI via Fleming Policy Centre

Great Western Research and Global Action Plan – full PhD Scholarship. 2007-2012.

Service and Enterprise Research Centre. Conceptions of Sustainable Marketing . 2013 to 2014

Big Lottery Research Fund. Research Associate. Development grant implementation for the Wildlife Trust. Understanding Climate Change Communities. 2008

DEFRA Environmental Action Fund/ Devon and Cornwall housing association. Research Associate. Qualitative research into low-income residents and their environmental behaviours – 2007

* Hurth, V and McCarney, P. (2016) International standards for climate-friendly cities. Nature Climate Change, 5(12):1025-1026)

* Chamberlin, S., Maxey, L and Hurth, V. (2015) Reconciling scientific reality with realpolitik: moving beyond carbon pricing to TEQs – an integrated, economy-wide emissions cap. Carbon Management. Kevin Anderson Special Issue on radical emissions reduction 6(1).

* Hurth, V., Peck, J., Jackman, D. and Wensing, E., (2015) Reforming Marketing for Sustainability: A Framework for Evolved Marketing, Friends of the Earth.

* Virgo, M, Wensing, E and Hurth, V. (2015) Education for Sustainable Development Pedagogy:Criticality, Creativity, and Collaboration, PeDRIO Occasional Paper 8.

* Hurth, V. (2015) Using ISO26000 (Corporate Social Responsibility standard) with IR (International Integrated Reporting Framework), International Organisation for Standardisation, Geneva.

* Whittlesea, E. Hurth, V and Agawal, S (2014) Greening the high-spend visitor: opportunities and challenges for destination marketing In Tourism in the Green Economy, Routledge 

* Hurth V. (2012). Factors influencing environmentally-significant consumption by higher income households: A multi-method study of South Devon for social marketing application. PhD, Exeter University

* Hurth, V. (2010). Creating sustainable identities: The significance of the financially affluent self. Sust. Dvpmt. 18:123-134

* Hurth, V. (2008). Too much, too little, too late? – oil depletion: a Trojan horse of unsustainability. The Environmentalist, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment 62:16-18 (runner-up in 2008 article competition)

* Hurth, V & Wells, P. (2007). Averting catastrophic climate change: confronting wealth. Int J Innovation in Sustainable Development 2(1):63-78

* Wells, P & Hurth, V. (2007) Wealth destruction New Scientist 28th July, 195(2614):22

* Guest op-ed writer for quarterly Croner’s Environment Magazine, 2013-present.  Named as the 6th most impactful Environment magazine in the UK http://uk.cision.com/Resources/Key-media-offline-rankings/Top-10-Environment-Magazines/ 

Reports & invited lectures

Conferences and Events:

CMI Realising Sustainable Business Models - The Role of Sustainable Marketing, November 2015

Hurth, V and Childs, M. Institute of Sustainable Solutions Research Annual Conference 2015, Plymouth University – Friends of the Earth and PU research collaboration

British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Annual Conference, Key Note: Climate and Society. June, 2013

21st Century Women IBM/ Wonder Room conference, March 2013 

Keynote, All Our Futures, Plymouth University, 2009.

14th International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Vasteras, June 2007

The human dimensions of global environmental change, Leeds, March2007

Peak oil and sustainability, Plymouth University and Westcountry Energy Action.

Plymouth Global Justice Climate Change panel member

Invited lectures and other external contributions:

MSt Sustainablity Leadership - business purpose, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability and Leadership, University of Cambridge

MSc Sustainability and Responsibility - sustainable marketing and identities, Ashridge Business School

One Planet MBA - An introduction to consumer behaviour, University of Exeter

One Planet MBA, Dissertation supervision, University of Exeter

MSc International Management - Sustainable Enterprise, University of Exeter -

MSc Energy Policy- - An introduction to Sustainability, University of Exeter

MSc Economics for Transition - Sustainable Marketing, Schumacher College

Business Support Network: Chair of annual conference 2010.

Authentic networking event Somerset College

Delivering Accenture 3 week core consulting training Chicago

CAFOD sustainability and development workshop delivery

Schumacher’s post fossil fuel government workshop facilitation

Additional information

Previous employment experience:

Plymouth University. Associate Lecturer (BusinessSchool), Associate Lecturer (Engineering, Royal Academy of Engineering).

Exeter University. One Planet MBA marketing lecturer,Master’s student dissertation supervision. MSc International Management  lecturer, Sustainable Enterprise Economy. MScEnergy Policy, Sustainable Development lecturer.

The Devon and Cornwall Food Association. Diverting good surplus food to charities. Project co-ordinator (fundraising).

Accenture (previously Andersen Consulting).  Management Consultant – Marketing Strategy Specialist. Major Projects included Marks and Spencer, J. Sainsbury, Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research, Littlewoods Plc. and Accenture Retail Value Creation team.

3M Company - Commercial Graphics. Marketing Co-ordinator.  July 1997 to July 1998. Formalised and marketed the concept of ‘ambient media’ to the advertising industry. Managed the development and synchronisation of theEuropean databases, optimising a major direct mail campaign.