Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Principal Teaching Fellow, Sustainability



+44 (0)20 7594 7708m.tennant Website




105Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Mike Tennant works in the Centre for Environmental Policy and has convened the ''Business and the Environment Option'' on the M.Sc. Environmental Technology course since January 2008.

My main interest is in systems thinking, complexity and innovation in the context of business sustainability. I believe that "true sustainability" can only be achieved by understanding the complete environmental and social contexts in which a business operates and designing interventions informed by those contexts. I am particularly interested in using and developing creativity and systems tools to design disruptive and innovative products, services and policies that meet environmental and social needs.

I am Imperial's lead investigator on the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability, where my main interest is understanding the role of the manufacturing industry in a constrained world. My reserach group is investigating how ecosystems metaphors can be used to construct business models that result in a radical reduction in carbon emissions and natural resource usage by industry.

I have a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from The University of Manchester and worked for 14 years in various roles in research and management in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the UK and USA. In these positions I lead research teams, directed multi-disciplinary therapeutic area research (diabetes and anti-bacterial), helped set up and build out two biotechnology start-up companies in California and was active in portfolio management and business development.

A change of career saw me head to Imperial College and take the M.Sc. Environmental Technology course (Business and Environment), in which I received a Distinction. After a brief stint as the Chief Technology Officer in a cleantech development company in London I moved back into academia in order to further my interests in understanding how business can contribute to, and benefit from, the growing sustainability movement.

In the past I have worked with Concern Universal and helped to develop a best practice framework for the development and deployment of pro-poor technologies, funded by carbon credits. I have also contributed to the virtual Systems Thinking Project Steering Group for the Sustainable Consumption and Production Unit at Defra.



Clube RKM, Tennant M, 2020, The Circular Economy and human needs satisfaction: Promising the radical, delivering the familiar, Ecological Economics, Vol:177, ISSN:0921-8009, Pages:1-12

Angheloiu C, Tennant M, 2020, Urban futures: Systemic or system changing interventions? A literature review using Meadows' leverage points as analytical framework, Cities, Vol:104, ISSN:0264-2751

Blomsma F, Tennant M, 2020, Circular economy: Preserving materials or products? Introducing the Resource States framework, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol:156, ISSN:0921-3449, Pages:1-13

Clube RKM, Tennant M, 2020, Exploring garment rental as a sustainable business model in the fashion industry: Does contamination impact the consumption experience?, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, ISSN:1472-0817


Aurisicchio M, Zeeuw Van Der Laan A, Tennant M, Material-Service Systems for Sustainable Resource Management, EcoDesign 2019

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