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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

Clean fuel switch: Exploring the multiple benefits of biogas

18 February 2020

February 2020 – This working paper explores the benefits of enabling a community in Kenya to switch from cooking with traditional fuels to using biogas which is created through the natural process of anaerobic digestion of organic waste.

Six Megatrends revolutionising your supply chains

11 February 2020

February 2020 – Ian Ellison, Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, sets out the six megatrends that are disrupting traditional supply chains and what you need to know to future-proof your supply chain.

Developing a corporate biodiversity strategy: A primer for the fashion sector

28 January 2020

30 January 2020 – Nature is declining at a rate unprecedented in human history, with one million species now threatened with extinction. This degradation of nature affects society as a whole, including businesses that rely on natural resources, like the fashion sector. This report sets out how companies can create strategies to address their impacts on biodiversity.

Taking a strategic approach towards nature: why 2020 could be the year of business and nature

17 January 2020

Dr Gemma Cranston, Director of our Business and Nature team, suggests that a new international framework to restore nature could change the landscape for business everywhere. No company should arrive at the end of the year without having stopped to think about what the ecological crisis means for their business.

Business for Nature consultation now open

6 November 2019

7 October 2019 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has joined together with other influential organisations working with forward-thinking businesses to form the Business for Nature coalition.

New report highlights the value of linking the Planetary Boundaries framework to business

14 January 2019

16 January 2019 – A report produced in collaboration with Kering, explains how the Planetary Boundary framework can be applied in the context of corporate sustainability.

Linking Planetary Boundaries to Business

11 January 2019

16 January 2019 – A new report, Linking planetary boundaries to business, produced in collaboration with Kering explains how the Planetary Boundary (PB) framework can be applied in the context of corporate sustainability.

Linking planetary boundaries to business: Part of Kering’s series on planetary boundaries for business

8 January 2019

January 2019 – Incorporating the Planetary Boundary framework into business decision-making can help companies understand the consequences of their environmental impacts at a global level and provide a critical new perspective on how to tackle their impact.

The Natural Capital Impact Group welcomes Thames Water as its newest member

20 September 2018

26 September 2018 - CISL are pleased to announce that Thames Water have joined the Natural Capital Impact Group. The group helps its members to understand the benefits of incorporating natural capital in their company decision-making to both their business and the environment.

Water: let’s address the source of the problem together

1 August 2018

1 August 2018 – In the aftermath of the summer's global heatwave on Earth Overshoot Day, Dr Gemma Cranston reflects on the urgent need to preserve the UK's water supplies.