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Value chain-related publications

The Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business - Value Chains is a nine month, part-time Master's-level academic programme for individuals and groups seeking to embed sustainability into supply/value chains.


Read about value chain definitions and characteristics and our research, courses and company engagements in the circular economy.

Julian Allwood: Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open

December 2012 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that global greenhouse gas reductions of 50–85 per cent will be needed by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change, representing a radical shift away from today’s fossil-fuel-derived economy. This begs the question: is such a reduction achievable, and if so, how? This is one of the key challenges tackled through the research of Dr Julian Allwood and his Low Carbon Materials Processing Group (LCMPG) at the University of Cambridge.

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Dr Bhaskar Vira: The political economy of ecosystem services

December 2012 – The past decade has seen a growing interest in ecosystem services, one of the focus areas of Dr Bhaskar Vira and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Geography. Ecosystems services have been defined by landmark research projects like the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” and “the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human wellbeing”.

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José Lopez: Keeping nature’s balance sheet in balance

December 2012 – Sustainable development – providing sufficient material and spiritual well-being to enable a good life for all of humankind, within the limits imposed by our one planet – is by definition a concept with global reach. This has significant implications for policymakers and the private sector alike, which influence each other.

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Natural Convergence: Integrating Business and Government Strategies to Manage Natural Capital

September 2012 – Given the challenging economic backdrop for businesses, one might be forgiven for being uncertain about where sustainable land use fits in. What is clear already, however, is that there are pressures and concerns, readily identified in this report, which we are going to have to tackle in order to have any kind of long-term economic future. Businesses are increasingly realising that in order to operate sustainably they must protect and enhance all the environmental resources and services that are used or affected by their operations.

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Natural Capital Business Case Study: The Kericho Tea Plantation

June 2012 – Tea has been grown in the highly productive Kericho district of Kenya for many decades. For much of that time plantation managers were focused primarily on agronomic improvements and crop productivity. However, in the late 1990s increasingly unpredictable rainfall led to reduced resource security. Crop productivity fell and the hydroelectric power that ran the factory machinery became increasingly unreliable.

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Down to Zero Procurement Compact Prospectus

May 2012 – The UK Government and The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (UK CLG) both stand committed to reducing carbon emissions and supporting a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. The Climate Change Act (2008) - a world-leading piece of legislation - has created a binding, legal pathway of emissions reductions, driving the decarbonisation of large parts of the UK economy. To follow this pathway and deliver on these goals there needs to be a dramatic increase in the supply of affordable low-carbon goods and services.

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Resilient Value Chains Report

June 2011 – It is increasingly accepted that significant changes are needed in the level of practical actions and policy that can deal with longterm risks to business, customers and wider society from the degradation of our natural resource base. This major new business-led programme brings together a cross-sectoral group of leading companies to explore how to bring about such significant changes.

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Product Stewardship Overload!

May 2010 – While organic food labelling started in the 1960s, it was the timber debate that first triggered the idea of product stewardship. In the late 1980s, growing recognition of the loss of tropical rainforests led to the creation of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which delivered the closest solution: to provide an economic incentive for the sustainable harvesting of forests.

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