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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

24 June 2021 – CISL’s Business & Nature team has launched a research project around the internal barriers businesses encounter when looking at nature-based solutions (NBS) or regenerative agriculture projects, as part of delivering their targets on climate and nature. This project is funded by the We Mean Business Coalition.

When companies put resource into an NBS project they are choosing to work with nature to address current or expected challenges to their business model and operations, such as flooding, drought, or the need to increase carbon sequestration. An NBS project might be an alternative to a conventional (possibly high carbon) approach to the challenge, or it might be an investment in improving the business’s resilience. For example, switching to a regenerative agriculture approach would support plant and animal biodiversity, protect water catchments, promote soil health and could be part of a decarbonisation strategy.

Whilst NBS may sound like an obviously beneficial pathway, it can be hard work to get the green light. Even if the project is at an advanced stage of planning, we recognise that there are many challenges to negotiate before companies can implement or release money to support such projects. This research will help build a better understanding of these internal stumbling blocks which can prevent or slow company readiness to invest in NBS. The focus will be on opportunities for investment in NBS within a company’s value chain, rather than in offsets. The research findings will be anonymised and integrated into a diagnostic tool that will enable others to learn from and build on these experiences.

We are looking for access to a global selection of organisations from a variety of sectors. We are keen to hear from individuals and companies who have successfully overcome internal barriers and also from others that are still navigating the process of decision-making on an NBS project. What can you tell us about how your decision-making processes are ready (or not) to deliver your aspirations on climate and nature?

If you are willing to share your insights and contribute to this valuable research, please contact us to learn more about the project and how participating can benefit your organisation.


Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

Email | +44 (0) 7845652839