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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Leading companies recognise that a prosperous business relies upon nature. Nature’s health is under pressure from upward trends for consumption, population and economic growth across the globe. This creates long-term risks to business, consumers and wider society who depend on nature. Through its Business and Nature team, CISL collaborates with companies to identify what the ecological crisis means for their businesses and take steps to transform their operations and strategies.  We provide the structured path that businesses need to establish sustainability solutions and create momentum at scale. 

Catchment Leadership Network

A collaborative initiative that aims to drive a step change in catchment management by bringing together businesses from across sectors with UK government and NGO stakeholders.

Business for Nature

CISL is a key partner in helping this coalition demonstrate business action and amplify a powerful business voice calling for governments to reverse nature loss.


Thought leadership and news

CISL responds to The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review

29 January 2021

2 February 2021 – The Dasgupta Review is an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity commissioned by HM Treasury to explore the sustainability of our engagement with nature. Here the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) responds to the review and captures an overview of its findings.

University of Cambridge aims to divest from fossil fuel investments by 2030, with net zero targeted by 2038

30 September 2020

The University of Cambridge has announced that it aims to divest its £3.5bn endowment fund from investment in fossil fuels by 2030 as part of its overall strategy for its investment portfolio to reach net zero by 2038.

New guidance provides business with a framework to value biodiversity

29 September 2020

29 September 2020 – Biodiversity is increasingly recognised for its role in building resilience against climate change, in supporting communities and livelihoods, and for its essential role in underpinning society and the economy. The Capitals Coalition and Cambridge Conservation Initiative today launched guidance, developed with input from CISL, that will enable businesses and financial institutions to put the value of biodiversity at the heart of decision making.

New assessment guide aims to help farmers monitor soil health

10 June 2020

10 June 2020 – The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has played a role in developing an assessment tool to enable farmers to monitor and manage the soil health of their farms.

Briefing on EU Biodiversity Strategy

21 April 2020

20 April 2020 - The European Commission is soon to publish the EU’s new Biodiversity Strategy, one of the key elements of the flagship ‘European Green Deal’ (EGD) package of economic and environmental policies.

Nature can still become central to the world's thinking in 2020

14 April 2020

14 April 2020 – As resilience takes more prominence post-coronavirus, restoring nature will be of utmost importance, argues Dr Gemma Cranston, Director, Business and Nature at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Measuring business impacts on nature: A framework to support better stewardship of biodiversity in global supply chains

8 April 2020

17 April 2020 – A new report from The Natural Capital Impact Group introduces a Biodiversity Impact Metric to help businesses manage their supply chain risks associated with nature. Highlighting the important role of the private sector in protecting and restoring biodiversity, the report is published in the midst of a global pandemic which has, in part, been caused by the breakdown of our relationship with nature. This report has been designed to help companies increase their resilience to such shocks by understanding the impacts they are responsible for and considering the benefits of restoring biodiversity and nature.

Modelling better business: Anglian Water’s approach to valuing its land for biodiversity and preparing for net gain

25 February 2020

February 2020 - The Natural Capital Impact Group (NCIG) has launched a new case study showcasing how Anglian Water has developed a measurement framework for implementing its commitment to biodiversity net gain across the driest region of the United Kingdom.

The Catchment Management Declaration – Update

20 February 2020

20 February 2020 – Over 110 organisations have now signed up to the Catchment Management Declaration which aims to gather commitment and action for a multisector approach to catchment management. This update outlines the progress signatories have made and demonstrates the breadth of action being taken in support of the Declaration.