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Publications

Our practitioner-based sustainability reports, briefings and case studies highlight some of the best examples of sustainability leadership that have emerged over the past few years and explore new ideas and approaches that have the potential to deliver transformational change.

 

European industry in the 21st century: New models for resource productivity

September 2017 – This report is based on interviews with companies that are using circular economy principles to reduce their exposure to risk, and to access new markets. It discusses some of the successful transformations and changes made, obstacles faced, and potential policies for overcoming those obstacles.

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Soil health: Evidence review

July 2017 – Many leading food and beverage sector organisations have demonstrated progress in managing natural capital impacts in their direct operations, including greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Many recognise, however, that the largest impacts occur in their upstream value chains, particularly on farms where raw materials are produced. A key natural capital resource is soil, and managing soil health is one way in which businesses may be able to reduce their negative land use impacts.

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Global Definitions of Leadership and Theories of Leadership Development: Literature Review

27 June 2017 – the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has been working with the British Council to help define what good leadership looks like in a global policy and political context and across different locations and cultures. The study, undertaken by CISL, will inform the design of a new British Council programme to support future global leaders in the UK and overseas.

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The commercial logic to measuring natural capital

June 2017 – The launch of the Natural Capital Protocol has led businesses to become more aware of their impacts and dependencies upon the natural environment. However, a need has been identified to link to commercial drivers to these impacts and dependencies across businesses. Simple metrics and key performance indicators that relate these two could be a next step to embedding natural capital into business operations and strategies. This working paper sets out the outcomes of a small piece of qualitative research. It explores the use of different metrics for standard business processes by sustainability professionals and their relationship to natural capital measures.

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Healthy ecosystem metric framework

May 2017 – Investors and companies want to demonstrate their positive impacts on natural capital and show they are reversing the trend of natural environment degradation. The challenge is to identify metrics that are relevant for businesses’ decision-making processes, whilst being simple and practical for investors to use. This working paper outlines the concept for such metrics as developed by members of the Natural Capital Impact Group. It explores how the metric can be categorised as impacts upon the quality and quantity of soil, water and biodiversity. The paper explains the simple methodology that can be applied for business to calculate their impacts consistently and comparably, focusing particularly on the biodiversity component of this metric (soil and water components will be described in separate papers).

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