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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

In a world increasingly defined by system shocks, how might we collectively chart a course towards the future we want? As part of CISL’s Future we Want initiative, we are exploring this through a series of strategic discussions with leading thinkers from business, finance, government and academia.

By 2050, we will need to create a net negative emissions economy while restoring many of our natural systems. Who should be accountable to lead this and how can we accelerate measurable progress?


Leading the restoration of Three-minute read of the discussion



This covers:

  • The role of nature in sustainability
  • Whether and how nature can feature in business sustainability strategies
  • How business commitments to nature can have a significant impact on the protection and restoration of the planet.
  • Empowering business to take meaningful action to meet nature-based targets and pledges 


“We cannot solve the climate emergency unless we solve the ecological emergency and we cannot solve the ecological emergency unless we solve the climate emergency. They are inextricably linked.”

Dr Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts



Folashade AmbroseFolashade Ambrose, Communication, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development Director, Lafarge Africa Plc

Folashade is a multifaceted international leader with over two decades experience spanning across strategy and performance management, finance, business culture transformation, change, sustainability and corporate affairs. She was appointed Director of Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development for Lafarge Africa Plc (Subsidiary of LafargeHolcim Plc.) in 2016. During her career she has worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Diageo Plc. Ford Motors and the Department for International Development – DFID UK.

Samata PattinsonSamata Pattinson, CEO, Red Carpet Green Dress.

A dynamic and driven CEO who has been steering Red Carpet Green Dress since 2011, Samata joined Red Carpet Green Dress initially as Campaign Director, progressing to Vice President, before being named CEO in 2019. She has created successful brand partnerships with TESLA, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Elie Saab, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Christian Siriano, Bulgari, EKOCYCLE/, Ermenegildo Zegna Couture and Reformation to name a view, whilst ensuring RCGD's work has remained noteworthy with platforms such as The Guardian, LA Times, Women’s Wear Daily, VOGUE, Essence, Refinery 29 and Huffington Post with her exceptional global team. 

Craig BennettDr Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts. 

Craig started as Chief Excecutive of The Wildlife Trusts in April 2020. He has been described as “one of the country’s top environmental campaigners” and by The Guardian as “the very model of a modern eco-general”. He has been listed as one of the UK’s top “social media CEOs” and in June 2019 was identified by Onalytica, the influencer marketing company, as the “top influencer driving the debate around sustainability and financial services”. Craig was previously CEO of Friends of the Earth. During Craig’s tenure, he refocussed the organisation on its unique role of empowering communities to take action where they live, and use that momentum to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.

Gemma CranstonDr  Gemma Cranston, Director, Business and Nature, CISL. 

Gemma is the Director of the Business and Nature team, collaborating with companies to identify strategic approaches to address their dependencies and impacts on nature. She is leading a team who are looking to amplify business support for ambitious global action on reversing nature loss, articulate a view on what business leadership looks like in the face of the ecological crisis and identify sustainable and scalable solutions.

Chris DalyChris Daly, VP Sustainability, PepsiCo Europe. 

Chris has worked for PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and drink companies, for over 27 years, predominantly in Supply Chain and Financial leadership positions.  Sustainability has been a critical part of Chris’ role for more than a decade, developing a personal passion around the topic, which led to him formally taking ownership of the sustainability agenda in Europe over three years ago.  Chris now leads PepsiCo’s work to embed sustainable thinking, practices and technology throughout the business, shaping the operations in Europe to a greener future.  Chris is actively engaged in driving impactful change across the broader food system in Europe, leveraging PepsiCo’s scale and influence to work with growers, suppliers, bottlers and customers to ensure sustainable choices are a priority through-out the supply chain.

Andrew VenterChair: Andrew Venter. 

Dr Andrew Venter is the Director of CISL’s operations in South Africa (CISL SA). Andrew joins CISL SA from WILDTRUST, where he was CEO for 19 years. Over this period, he led the development of WILDTRUST into one of the region’s largest and most influential environmental organisations.

Find out more about how CISL's Centre for Business Transformation is helping companies play a transformative role towards a sustainable economy. Contact us if you would like to join our Rewiring the Economy Inquiry into rewiring business.