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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

In an era of disruptions, polarisation, complexity and increasingly intricate sustainability debates, the core business case for sustainability remains clear and enduring: business cannot thrive on a planet in peril.

Although sustainability has slipped down the leadership agenda, market dynamics are unstoppable; cleaner, smarter, and more efficient solutions will eventually prevail. The pressing question is not whether this transition will happen, but how—and at what cost.

Trusted since 1988 for our rigour and pioneering commitment delivering progress through markets and commercially viable solutions, we work with organisations globally to build leadership, foster innovation, inform effective regulation and enable strategic decision making to deliver long-term business value through addressing critical sustainability challenges. 



Business must lead the way to a more sustainable world

In this article published by Reuters, Lindsay Hooper, CISL’s Interim CEO discusses how, in an era of disruptions, polarisation,
complexity and increasingly intricate environmental debates, the core business case for sustainability remains: business cannot
thrive on a dead planet.

Hear from Lindsay

Business transformation: From why to how

Ben Kellard, CISL's Director of Business Strategy, discusses he many reasons that businesses should want to become more sustainable, to embed resilience and efficiency into their practices, optimise their brand and reputation and address future financial risks and introduces a practical Framework for delivery.

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How we work with businesses

We recognise that no business can become sustainable and resilient for the long term if the markets and context in which it operates remain unsustainable. Through our foresight, education, convening and innovation activities we enable leaders to: 

  • Understand the challenge of sustainability and the business response that is needed 
  • Develop strategies that build long-term resilience while responding to the imperative to deliver short-term returns  
  • Build insight, capabilities and confidence to navigate the challenges they face
  • Influence and catalyse change at a supply chain, sector, regional and systems levels 
  • Foster step-change innovation, allowing businesses to build products, business and operating models that are fit for the future 
  • Access a peer network of 40,00 leaders globally, to build connections and create solutions through collaboration.  


For additional information on how we create customised solutions for organisations globally:



Hear from CISL clients leading work towards sustainable business models, and building these strategies into commercial success metrics


Discover how your organisation can lead in the transition to long-term success while building value in the short term. Find out how.


Additional resources


Customised programme case studies

For over 30 years, leading organisations have used CISL’s customised leadership and strategy programmes to improve organisational performance.  Read more about our clients' success stories.

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CISL Conversations

Hear from global professionals tackling real-world sustainability challenges across business, policy and finance. CISL Conversations brings you thought leadership from across industries, sectors, and continents.

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Who we work with and why

Our multi-stakeholder approach engages influential individuals alongside businesses, governments, financial institutions and civil society representatives, focusing on their shared potential to rewire economic, social and environmental systems.

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2024 Impact Report

CISL’s priority impact areas for systemic transformation – Future Place, Future Economy and Future Lives - connect our strategic expertise and global networks. Together, they pave the way for bold action and regenerative leadership for people, nature and climate. 

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Global Leadership Summit 2024

With time running out to bend the curve on the climate and nature crisis, rising geopolitical tensions, conflict and AI dominating political agendas, we brought together influential thinkers, experts and leaders for a 2 day summit to address the unprecedented challenges that currently face global leadership. Watch short interviews with our attendees:

Watch now

Transforming businesses through online learning

Discover how CISL's digital learning pathways enable learning and transformation across your organisation. Course formats include 6-8 week self-paced short courses, 8-week tutor assisted programmes and customised and blended education.

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