Staff profile

Dr Fred Paterson

Associate Professor

Lecturer presenting




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Innovation and Research

Research centre

Centre for Business Improvement




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



My main interests are in sustainable business, system leadership and how people learn to become leaders.  I lead the Sustainable Business and Clean Growth research group which strives to develop robust, applied and impactful (place-based) research and develop trans-disciplinary, cross University and wider stakeholder knowledge exchange. I also lead the Low Carbon Business Network that offers business support to SMEs supplying eco-friendly, low carbon and sustainable goods and services across the East Midlands. Between 2016-2022, I led the Derbyshire Net Zero Accelerator, Low Carbon and DE-Carbonise Smart Factory projects.

Teaching responsibilities

Professional interests

Leading the Low Carbon Business Network involves collaborating with a variety of regional bodies that include local Councils, Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership, skills providers and non-governmental organisations. My specialist interests:

Research interests

My research activity includes mapping the growth of the Low Carbon Sector in the D2N2 region and studying the features of enterprise support for pro-environmental business.

I am also interested in the role that leadership plays in supporting sustainable transformation, the skills and qualities required to lead this transition and how businesses and other organisations collaborate to accelerate the shift towards a low carbon economy.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

For most of my career I have worked in public sector organisations: Schools, Local Authorities, Universities and the National College for School Leadership where I held senior roles in research and leadership development for ten years in the schools and Children’s Services sectors as well as in the private sector.

Before my role at University of Derby, I was Head of Knowledge and Learning and a senior researcher at the National College for School Leadership between 2001-2011; where I was a Lead Coach and co-authored 'Leading Coaching in Schools'. I was also an Associate of the Virtual Staff College (who provide leadership development nationally for Directors of Children's Services) where I co-facilitated the national Mentor Induction for Directors of Children's Services Programme and provided coaching and action learning training for senior managers in several local authorities in the East of England.

I also run my own consultancy (Accelerate the Shift) which is a social enterprise dedicated to creating a healthier, fairer and more sustainable future through collaborative learning experiences.

Recent publications

solar panels and wind turbines in a green space

Dr Fred Paterson, Associate Professor of Sustainable Business and Clean Growth at the University of Derby, examines the results of a six-year study into pro-environmental business and clean growth trends undertaken by the University’s Sustainable Business Research group in collaboration with the East Midlands Chamber.

Derby stadium and trees and buildings

Dr Fred Paterson, the University of Derby's project lead for the Low Carbon Business Network, looks at how meeting the Clean Growth challenge will help us take advantage of global changes to improve people's lives and the country's productivity.

Dr Fred Paterson, the University of Derby's Project Lead for the Low Carbon Business Network, looks at how the city is setting achievable, sustainable goals.