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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


To help future-proof its business, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the largest automotive manufactured in the UK, needed to mainstream sustainability into its operations. CISL worked with JLR to help translate this vision into clear and quantifiable business objectives for decoupling its future growth from its impact on the environment.

"Informative, enjoyable, impactful and an excellent learning opportunity."

Martyn Hollingsworth, Director, Engineering Technical Services Jaguar Land Rover


For Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the largest automotive manufacturer in the UK, future-proofing the business and embedding environmental innovation in everything it does is fundamental to creating strong foundations for responsible, profitable growth. To support its vision, the JLR Sustainability Committee needed to develop a common and timely understanding of sustainability issues, in the context of global system pressures, for its members and close associates. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) was commissioned to develop a high-intensity, high-impact programme that would both educate and impassion its employees.


The courses, custom-designed for 20 participants at a time, were created to get buy-in from staff across the business and communicate the relevance of JLR’s sustainability work to specific functions including HR, marketing, product development and design. Consequently, Ellison says, “The courses have proven to be experiential, personal, interactive and emotional. They have seen palpable results with participants now doing their job with more passion and handling more complex challenges.” CISL also works with JLR to shape its overall sustainability programme, helping the manufacturer to translate the company’s vision into clear business objectives.

"The real magic is taking people out of their daily context and then giving them a breadth and depth of academic insight to go back and make real change."

Ian Ellison, Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover and Senior Associate, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


From attending customised programmes and the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains, to using the Natural Capital Protocol to evaluate the use of natural resources in JLR, the automotive company continues to work with CISL to build capacity and embed sustainability across the entire business. Numerous employees have also completed CISL’s online training programme covering themes such as understanding impacts, applying lifecycle thinking and organisational assessment. “Since working with CISL, two big strategic changes have occurred,” Ellison said. “We’ve moved from targeting narrow sustainability metrics to targeting ‘sustainable value chains’ as systems. We’re also working to calculate our total environmental footprint and investigating if we can decouple the business’s growth from its environmental impact.” In 2015, JLR won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.


CISL’s tailored training helps organisations across multiple sectors frame a response to sustainability trends. to discuss how a customised course can help your organisation achieve commercial impact.