Dr Victoria Hurth

Dr Victoria Hurth

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Marketing

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


I have a background in business management, governance, purpose and meaning, identity and consumer behaviour research - particularly in a sustainability context. I believe businesses are central to reorganising how we turn scarce resources into sustainable wellbeing for all. I am committed to using the best research to help board members and managers embed meaningful long-term wellbeing goals into their organisations and in 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. 

I am a Convenor of ISO37000 - a global standard being developed on 'Guidance for the Governance of Organizations'.  I am also part of the committee developing a British Standards on Social Value and how to measure it. This follows 4 years as UK lead expert to ISO TC268 developing a standard in Sustainable City Indicators (ISO37120).  I am on the Plymouth City's Inclusive Growth Group and am a non-executive board member of FTB Lawson Ltd which operates in the challenging High St retail arena. Additionally I was a founder director of the first Social Enterprise pub in Plymouth.  I contribute to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership as an external examiner and tutor. 

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. 

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.


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

Proposed project manager and convenor of an ISO in Governance of Organisations (TC309)

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 lectures in marketing and sustainability. I am also a supervisor for final year students dissertations and placement students. I design and deliver the co-curricular Certificate in Sustainable Business. I and second supervisor for a PhD student in Judge Business School on the topic of meaningful work and organisational purpose

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 focused on supporting business as catalyst and innovators of solutions to societal issues - particularly those long-term more complex issues we understand as 'sustainability' issues. My research is investigates the phenomenon of 'purpose' in companies, particularly corporate, and the antecedent and consequences of this for corporate performance and social impact (and the interrelation between the two).  

Purpose must be foundationally driven by the board and the reol of governance in create high performing organisations that also contribute to long-term wellbeing of all is a particular focus on mine in both research and external engagement  

Related to this my final core area of research is the role marketing in developing and leading a transition to purpose-driven business models. I ahve developed a framework for evolved marketing which helps oragnisations thinking through their approach to marketing and to transition this to support and lead 'purpose' within organisations  

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

Key publications are highlighted

Shaw C, Hurth V, Capstick S & Emily C 2018 'Intermediaries' perspectives on the public's role in the energy transitions needed to deliver UK climate change policy goals' Energy Policy PEARL
Hurth V & Whittlesea E 2017 'Characterising marketing paradigms for sustainable marketing management' Social Business 7, (3-4) 359-390 , DOI PEARL
Hurth V 2017 'Organizations as Open Systems That Need Purpose and Integrated Thinking' Board Leadership 2017, (150) 1-8 , DOI PEARL
Hurth V 2016 'Review of Steven Schein, <I>A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership. The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews</I>' Environmental Values 25, (2) 247-249 , DOI
Hurth V & McCarney P 2015 'COMMENTARY: International standards for climate-friendly cities' NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE 5, (12) 1025-+ Author Site , DOI
Chamberlin S, Maxey L & Hurth V 2015 'Reconciling scientific reality with realpolitik: moving beyond carbon pricing to TEQs – an integrated, economy-wide emissions cap' Carbon Management , DOI PEARL
Hurth V 2010 'Creating Sustainable Identities: The Significance of the Financially Affluent Self' SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 18, (3) 123-134 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hurth V & Wells P 2007 'Averting catastrophic climate change: confronting wealth' , DOI PEARL
Hurth V 2007 'Wealth destruction' NEW SCIENTIST 195, (2614) 22-22 Author Site , DOI
Whittlesea E, Hurth V & Agarwal S 2015 'Greening the high-spend visitor: opportunities and challenges for destination marketing' in Reddy MV; Wilkes K Greening the high-spend visitor: opportunities and challenges for destination marketing
Hurth V, Peck J, Jackman E & Wensing E 2015 Reforming marketing for sustainability: towards a framework for evolved marketing. Friends of the Earth Publisher Site PEARL
0 Too much, too little, too late?. Publisher Site

Other academic activities

Selection of invited conference presentations

Hurth, V. Governing for the long term: the role of systems thinking for sustainability and purpose. Key Note. International Policy Governance annual conference, San Diego CA, June 2017

Hurth, V. Antimicrobial resistance as a sustainability issue. Sustainable Earth Institute Annual Conference, 2017, University of Plymouth.

Hurth, V. Dominant views of marketing and their role in sustainable business-model transformation. European Business Ethics Network Annual Conference 2016, Nottingham

Hurth, V. How can marketers drive and sustain sustainable business models? ESRC behaviour change series, 2015 London.

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

Hurth, V. Chartered Institute of Marketing – invited workshop leader: sustainable marketing, 2015, Bristol

Shang, J. Sargeant, A. Smith, E. and Hurth, V. 2014 The effect of ideal social networks on Philanthropic Giving. ASSA (American Economic Association Annual Conference), Philadelphia

Wensing, E., Doubleday, N., and Hurth, V. 2014. Identity Discourse and Value Inquiry in Boundary Organization Collaboration for Sustainability. ICASS VIII, British Columbia. May 2014.

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.