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Publications

Latest publications 

Our sustainability reports and publications highlight some of the best examples of sustainability leadership that have emerged over the past few years and explore new ideas and approaches that have the potential to deliver transformational change.


Justice in the transition to a low carbon economy

June 2016 – The third of three working papers exploring the meaning of a 'just transition' to a low carbon economy. The transition requires the involvement of a range of actors for whom both the outcome and the process of achieving a low carbon economy must be fair. The concept of justice takes a central place in the interactions among policymakers, businesses and civil society. In this report we consider how a justice approach could inform sustainability leaders in policymaking and business circles.

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The nature of transitions: Implications for the transition to a low carbon economy

June 2016 – The second of three working papers exploring the meaning of a 'just transition' to a low carbon economy. Here, an overview of theoretical approaches relevant to transitions is presented. Through the mapping of key interdisciplinary approaches on the topic, the paper aims to assist the management of transition processes, the assessment of its outcomes, as well as deliberative decision-making regarding the future of on-going transitions.

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The multiple meanings of justice in the context of the transition to a low carbon economy

June 2016 – The first of three working papers exploring the meaning of a 'just transition' to a low carbon economy. This paper reviews the meanings of justice. It begins by summarising major moral interpretations of justice, and then turns to consider the main theoretical elements of justice: equitable distribution, recognition (eg of others' needs and rights), equal participation and equal capabilities.

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In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital

May 2016 – As fiduciaries, investors gain by helping beneficiaries make informed choices about the management of their savings and investments. This report aims to help the investment industry empower savers to understand the impact of their investments on the critical challenges of our generation and to invest in line with their world views.

In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital - Read More…

Taking the long view: A toolkit for long-term, sustainable investment mandates

May 2016 – Short-termism in financial markets has been widely identified as a cause of underinvestment, economic inefficiency and poor decision-making by corporations, that undermines long-term value creation. This report provides a toolkit for investors who wish to design investment mandates that can help shift the investment chain towards responsible, long-term value creation.

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Feeling the heat: An investors’ guide to measuring business risk from carbon and energy regulation

May 2016 – The COP 21 climate agreement indicates a growing global consensus for action on climate change. In response, this research report assesses the impact of future carbon- and energy-related regulation on the most sensitive industries and geographies at a company level.

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Incentivising the trade of sustainably produced commodities

April 2016 – This discussion paper explores how to scale up the role that banks can play in supporting the shift towards sustainable soft commodity supply chains.

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Business Compendium: How the private sector is building Europe's climate ambition

4 March 2016 – This low carbon Business Compendium demonstrates how the activities of some of the world’s largest companies are contributing to the delivery of a low carbon future. The Compendium compiles examples of the ambitions and achievements that European businesses have made so far in tackling climate change, and aligning their business with a low carbon pathway.

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Threading natural capital into cotton

11 February 2016 – A new Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership report, produced jointly with leading global businesses, addresses natural capital challenges in the cotton industry that impact all actors, from farmer to retailers.

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The Paris Climate Agreement: Implications for banks, institutional investors, private equity and insurers

February 2016 – This briefing paper provides analysis of the most pressing points of the Paris Agreement, and other key developments from the climate summit, and concludes that a coherent, strategic response is required of financial institutions.

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REALCAR project circular economy case study: Collaboration for a closed-loop value chain

January 2016 – This closed-loop case study explores the lessons learnt from the REALCAR closed loop value chain project between Jaguar Land Rover, Novelis, Innovate UK and partners, in the creation of new materials and production systems to introduce closed-loop aluminium into Jaguar Land Rover cars.

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Commercial gains from addressing natural capital challenges in the dairy sector

25 January 2016 – A new report commissioned by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and leading UK companies presents practical measures that could deliver a more sustainable dairy industry.

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Climate change: Implications for superannuation funds in Australia

January 2016 – New study from our Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership, supported by asset manager Colonial First State Global Asset Management, highlights member interest in superannuation fund climate exposure.

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A climate of change: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2015

November 2015 – The 2015 independent annual review of the six ClimateWise Principles shows improved scores for members of the insurance industry leadership group. Progressive insurance companies are considering their exposure to climate risks while also developing their role as societies' risk managers.

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Unhedgeable risk: How climate change sentiment impacts investment

November 2015 – This report analyses how shifts in market sentiment induced by awareness of future climate risks could impact global financial markets in the short term.

Unhedgeable risk: How climate change sentiment impacts investment - Read More…

Banking and Sustainability: Time for Convergence

September 2015 – A policy briefing on the links between financial stability and environmental sustainability.

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Better partnerships: Understanding and increasing the impact of private sector cooperative initiatives

August 2015 – This report, jointly authored by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainablity Leadership and Ecofys, analyses five cooperative initiatives involving the private sector and identifies their emissions reduction potential. The potential emission reductions from the top five initiatives are significant – at current ambition levels estimated emission reductions could reach 200 MtCO2e.

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Should investment in Africa consider sustainability?

August 2015 – A comparison between South African and Chinese business experiences. This exploratory working paper considers how foreign investment by Chinese companies could be used to promote strategic leadership around sustainability in South Africa.

Should investment in Africa consider sustainability? - Read More…

Insurance regulation for sustainable development: Protecting human rights against climate risks and natural hazards

July 2015 – This report analyses the role of insurance regulation in protecting the basic human rights of life, livelihood and shelter against natural hazards and climate risk. Effective insurance regulation facilitates access to insurance (both traditional and alternative) as a means to increase communities’ resilience, fulfil related human rights duties of state and non-state actors and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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10 years of Carbon Pricing in Europe – A business perspective

July 2015 – This report, commissioned by The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, was produced to mark the ten-year anniversary of the EU Emissions Trading System. It is based on a series of interviews with companies covered by this cornerstone climate policy who have made notable progress to reduce their carbon emissions during its lifetime.

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Rewiring the Economy: Ten tasks, ten years

July 2015, updated June 2016 – Rewiring the Economy is CISL’s ten-year plan to lay the foundations of a sustainable economy. It is built on ten interconnected tasks, delivered by three key groups of leaders: business, government and finance. These tasks are not unique to the plan. Rather, Rewiring the Economy shows how they can be tackled co-operatively over the next decade to create an economy that encourages sustainable business practices and delivers positive outcomes for people and societies.

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Effective regulation for mutual and co-operative insurers can help protect human rights against natural hazards

May 2015 – Effective insurance regulation promotes financial inclusion and supports people’s basic rights of life, livelihood and shelter. Disruptive insurance regulation, or no regulation at all, deprives the poorest people in our world from this protection. Mutual and co-operative providers of microinsurance are very aware of the sharp reality that inclusive insurance, insurance that reaches all strata of our societies, can only thrive with adequate regulation.

Effective regulation for mutual and co-operative insurers can help protect human rights against natural hazards - Read More…

Financing the Global Low Carbon Transition

22 May 2015 – Over the next 15 years, approximately $93 trillion will be needed for investment in low carbon infrastructure across the world. Success would mean mobilising more private capital behind public goals, delivering economic growth and putting us on the path to a net-zero emissions global economy. This paper makes a series of recommendations to achieve this goal.

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Food Security – Closing the food gap: opportunities for investment?

15 April 2015 – ‘Food Security: Closing the food gap: opportunities for investment?’ investigates three particular categories of food security solutions that can actively contribute to sustainable food security. A focus on postharvest losses illustrates the differing profiles of solutions in developed and developing countries. Biotechnology, especially the area of GM seeds, is an issue that inspires confusion and hot debate. Water management was selected because it is closely tied to climate change, and critical to human health.

Food Security – Closing the food gap: opportunities for investment? - Read More…

Financing the Future of Energy

2 March 2015 – The ‘Financing the Future of Energy’ report launched yesterday at the Global Financial Markets Forum in Abu Dhabi, setting out the changing nature of the global energy system over the next decade and highlighting the growing demand for sustainable energy in the Gulf region.

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The role of private capital in building a low carbon Energy Union

February 2015 – With Commission cabinets, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership identified the need for additional thinking on the role of private capital in building an Energy Union. This brief discussion paper addresses the necessary systemic and regulatory reforms that would stimulate private capital flows into the proposed European-wide Energy Union. It has been divided into two parts: a high-level strategic assessment of the challenge, and a formula for unlocking private capital.

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Business opportunities from natural capital challenges

17 February 2015 – The 'Business opportunities from natural capital challenges' infographic depicts the alarming degradation rates of the quantity and quality of water, biodiversity and soil. The infographic identifies the key business opportunities that can arise from the sustainable management of these three natural capital elements.

Business opportunities from natural capital challenges - Read More…

Doing Business with Nature: Opportunities from Natural Capital

17 February 2015 – This report aims to engage industry in a review of the global challenges around water, biodiversity and soil and showcases the extent to which companies are working together to develop new interventions in the face of natural capital degradation. The report shares some business responses to these challenges while also highlighting the barriers to long-term and sustainable management of natural capital.

Doing Business with Nature: Opportunities from Natural Capital - Read More…

A Decade of Progress

27 January 2015 – The first ten years of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.

A Decade of Progress - Read More…

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Director of Corporate Relations and Communications