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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Building-change-hub

How does the built environment create value for people, nature and climate as demands on the sector grow?

With a reputation as one of the most environmentally burdensome industries which also has a fundamental opportunity to support healthy and resilient societies, the built environment sector needs to find a way to lead the transition to a sustainable economy.  

The operation, maintenance and construction of our buildings, towns and cities account for typically the largest – or among the largest – share of any country’s, and any individual's, carbon footprint and impact on natural resources; but also provide among our greatest opportunities to strengthen the resilience of our societies, maximise shared social benefit, and create safe, secure and enjoyable futures for all.

Experts agree that the sector's role in exacerbating global challenges and its potential to provide solutions to these challenges is of critical importance today. There is an urgent need to for radical change in the sector, and conversations about this seem louder today than ever.

 

Insights for built environment professionals


Sustainable real estate - a constellation of risks and opportunities

First published in The Lighthouse, this blog by Munish Datta
explores the constellation of risks and opportunities for
sustainable real estate.

Read the blog

Sustainable real estate - reflections and next steps

Building on the blog by Munish on the constellation of risks and opportunities in sustainable real estate, Lucy Bruzzone considers how and why stakeholders must make the transition to sustainable practices and gives recommendations for further reading

Read the blog

 

Collaborative leadership? It’s what a sustainable
future in the built environment sector requires.

Dr Tim Forman describes how 'shared leadership' was central to
the refurbishment of Entopia.

Read the blog

Building Entopia

Discover the story behind the world-leading sustainable retrofit of Entopia, CISL's new home in central Cambridge.

Read the case study

 

 

 

Education on a sustainable built environment


For over three decades, CISL has been at the forefront of sustainability education. We have a deep understanding of the changing global context and access to a wealth of world-leading research into sustainable business. Our programmes draw upon leading academics, practitioners and innovators to help inform business strategy and inspire action. 

Sustainable Real Estate: Creating a Better Built Environment 

For professionals who want to understand
the sustainability challenges facing the real estate sector.

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Postgraduate programme for the
built environment

Explore the importance of building
knowledge and leadership skills to drive
real change through collaboration.

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Executive Education (open application and custom)

Identify innovative and commercially compelling approaches to address sustainability challenges.

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Postgraduate student stories


Hear from postgraduate students on the Sustainability Leadership in the Built Environment courses how have shared their experience of the programme and detailed what an average day looks like for them during a residential workshop in Cambridge, UK.
 

 

"I am invigorated and stimulated by the discussions [...]. I challenge my beliefs and biases, and I am more intentional about actively listening"

Sonia Green-Browne, Principal Engineer, Graphite Engineering Ltd.

Read more

 

 

"I would be lying if I didn’t say that there
is a lot to take in on an average day! I feel like I am learning many new ideas and insights which I can reapply in my field of work."

Neiad Adams-Austin, Traffic Engineer, London Borough of Waltham Forest 

Read more

 

 

"The huge merit of the part-time course structure is the opportunity to apply what we have learnt to the real world immediately after we absorbed the lectures."

Emi Sugiyama, Sustainability Consultant, PwC Japan

Read more

 

 

Sustainable built environment innovation and collaboration opportunities


For over three decades, CISL has built individual and organisational leadership capacity and capabilities and created industry-leading collaborations, to catalyse change and accelerate the path to a sustainable economy. To discuss how we can work with you to support you in your transformation, please get in touch.

Find out more about CISL Canopy and Accelerator opportunities, which foster sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship through our community of founders, startups, corporate intrapreneurs, investors and systems change experts. 

 

Resources and research


Building Resilient Cities: From Risk Assessment to Redevelopment

23 October 2014

November 2013 – ClimateWise publishes priorities, planning framework and toolkit. Urban resilience against the weather effects of climate change is an imperative of the insurance industry. It reduces losses, promotes insurability, and presents opportunities for innovative risk transfer and insurance solutions to help manage climate risk.

Building Resilient Cities Priorities for Collaborative Action

23 October 2014

November 2013 – This is one of three documents developed by insurance industry leaders and city stakeholders through the Building Climate Resilience in Cities workshop series convened by Ceres and ClimateWise in 2012 and 2013. This document distils the key priorities that emerged from the workshop series for collaborative action between key urban resiliency stakeholders to build climate resilience in cities.

Sustainable Mobility

23 October 2014

December 2013 – Sustainable Mobility. Lightweighting: the players, the stakes and the keys to unlocking potential gains.

The Bali Communiqué

23 October 2014

November 2007 – This communiqué comes from the business leaders of over 150 global companies. It is being issued in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2007, taking place from December 3 to 14 in Bali, Indonesia.

The Copenhagen Communiqué

23 October 2014

2009 – The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change is the definitive progressive statement from the international business community ahead of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Copenhagen this December. It has already secured the support of over 500 companies, from US, EU, Japan, Australia and Canada, to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, ranging from the world’s largest companies and best known brands, to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The 2°C Challenge Communiqué

23 October 2014

2011 – As business leaders, we are committed to action on climate change, sustainable development and the green economy. Green growth offers the potential to create a more prosperous and resilient economy, and deliver innovation, new industries and jobs. We continue to broaden understanding amongst our peers of the economic case for green growth and the urgency of meeting the 2°C challenge.

The Carbon Price Communiqué

23 October 2014

November 2012 – The growing variability, intensity and uncertainty of the earth’s climate is already affecting communities, markets and business operations. A clear, stable, ambitious and cost-effective policy framework is essential to underpin the investment needed to deliver substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions by mid-century.

The Trillion Tonne Communique (2014)

23 October 2014

2014 – The Corporate Climate Communiqués are international business statements calling for policies and action to tackle climate change. Bringing together hundreds of business leaders in support of a robust and equitable international treaty on climate change, they are seen by many as representing the definitive voice of progressive business in advance of policy discussions.

Energy Security and the 2030 Climate and Energy Package

23 October 2014

June 2014 – The European Union (EU) is at a crossroads; it can create a competitive Europe-wide energy system that responds to energy security and climate concerns whilst stimulating job creation and growth, or it can become increasingly un-competitive, strangled by high energy imports (the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes) and an underinvested, underperforming energy system.

We Mean Business: The Climate has Changed

23 October 2014

September 2014 – Climate action was once perceived by many governments and many businesses as about sacrifice. Today, the value proposition is very different.

Advisory Services

Find out how we help organisations build long-term resilience, gain competitive advantage and identify new opportunities
for value creation aligned with a transition to a sustainable economy.

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Canopy

A community of impact-led startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses accelerating solutions to global sustainability challenges.

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Webinar series - Building natural connections

In 2021, the Future Spaces Foundation (FSF) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) collaborated to host three panel discussions on how the interdependence of nature, society and economy can be leveraged to provide solutions for a sustainable built environment. 

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CISL Conversations

Hear from global professionals tackling real-world sustainability challenges across business, policy and finance.

Listen now