skip to content

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

business and nature


The Natural Capital Impact Group is composed of progressive companies, including market leaders and household names, with significant land footprints and dependencies upon natural capital, which aspire to understand and then mitigate their impacts upon natural capital.

Joining the Group will enable your company to co-develop, deploy and embed innovative and enterprising approaches to enhancing natural capital in your business.

Decisions and positions of the group do not represent the policies or positions of CISL or of the wider University of Cambridge.


Members can participate in a number of core workstreams which create a community of practice around critical challenges and identify solutions that can be implemented by business. Workstream themes include:

Measuring business impacts on nature

The NCIG identified a need for a high-level measure that could provide an indication of a business’s impact on nature in different regions of the world for different commodities.

In partnership with leading academics and NGOs a new approach to measuring biodiversity impacts in global supply chains has been developed. With this metric, businesses can determine where their operations pose the greatest risks to nature around the world. The metric can also inform corporate response strategies, by providing a quantitative measure to inform choices between different mitigation options. This metric is currently being tested.

Business leadership on restoring nature 

This leadership piece aims to frame the critical aspects a business needs to be engaged with on its journey towards becoming a leader on reducing its impact on nature, tackling the ecological crisis and ultimately restoring nature.

The NCIG and partners aim to create a blueprint of what a leading company restoring nature looks like and showcase the pathway towards achieving this.

International policies for nature

How can companies unlock policy levers to enable change?

The NCIG engages with a number of debates on international agreements to reverse nature loss. It is engaged with Business for Nature which aims to bring together influential organisations and forward-thinking businesses to call for policies that place nature at the heart of the global economy.

Enabling financial mechanisms

Members of the NCIG are keen to explore how companies might access finance and engage with finance actors to support their transitions. The group is able to leverage the finance expertise and contacts within the Centre for Sustainable Finance to begin unpicking these questions and finding scalable solutions.


Latest news and thought leadership

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

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.