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Sustainability Horizons: what’s coming into view?

Sustainability Horizons is CISL’s monthly scan of issues and evidence coming into view, but which may not yet feature in the mainstream sustainability debate. This is not a prediction of the future, but a way of helping practitioners and policymakers to get early notice of new ideas, trends or evidence, to inform their own view of what might or should happen as a result.

Find out more about our own work in developing new ideas and approaches that have the potential to deliver transformational change and rewire the economy.


Latest review

Soil management

October 2019: Climate change changing rainfall patterns may show negative effects on soil’s ability to retain water. Reduced soil resilience increases risks of groundwater depletion, flash floods, and release of carbon stored in soil.

Soil management - Read More…

Sustainable Palm Oil

October 2019: Connecting isolated high conservation value forest fragments using forest corridors across palm oil plantations could contribute to a more sustainable production of palm oil. The paper calls for the RSPO to include clearer guidelines and criteria on the connectivity of set–aside forests.

Sustainable Palm Oil - Read More…


October 2019: Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) may not be efficient in improving or re-designing mechanisms to address climate change, land use, and biodiversity loss. Scientists are calling for a stronger focus on sustainability, an increased number of scientists partaking in negotiations, and a reduced influence of agri-business representatives.

EU’s CAP - Read More…

Vehicle Ownership

October 2019: Exchanging existing vehicles with cleaner versions may not deliver sufficient environmental benefits. The report recommends a shift towards car ‘usership’ instead of ownership and encourages the government to improve public transport and to diversify investments into future transport technologies.

Vehicle Ownership - Read More…

Measuring water scarcity

October 2019: There is a lower level of access to clean drinking water in urban areas in the global south than previously thought. Access to piped utility water is often limited due to affordability, reliability, and quality of the water provided. The paper calls for a re-focus on public utility water provision.

Measuring water scarcity - Read More…

Mental Health in Prisons

October 2019: Including horticulture programmes in prison shows a positive effect on prisoner’s mental health. The study highlights that engaging with plants as part of rehabilitation and community service may lower the risk of recidivism and support a successful transition into society.

Mental Health in Prisons - Read More…

Infrastructure investments

September 2019: The emergence and rise of new multilateral development banks is increasingly shaping how large infrastructure projects are financed. New evidence calls for collaborative guidelines and standardised lending approaches to promote the design of climate resilient infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure investments - Read More…

Water resource management

September 2019: Groundwater levels are continuously decreasing around the world, emphasising calls for active governance and management of extraction practices. Impacts of depletion especially effect rural communities relying on groundwater as their primary source for domestic and agricultural use.

Water resource management - Read More…

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John Belgrove, Senior Partner at Aon, appointed Chair of the Investment Leaders Group

Oct 16, 2019

16 October 2019 – John Belgrove has been appointed Chair of the Investment Leaders Group (ILG), a group of 12 leading pension funds, insurers and asset managers convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

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Adele Wiliams

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The views expressed in these external research papers are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.