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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

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…

Environmental footprint of shared e-scooters

September 2019: Carbon emissions from upstream and downstream processes of electric scooters have similar overall emissions to travelling by bus, bicycle, or moped. These emissions could be mitigated if operators would use more efficient vehicles when collecting and re-distributing scooters, reduce the overall frequency of collection, and reduce the environmental impact during manufacturing.

Environmental footprint of shared e-scooters - Read More…

Climate change challenges human rights

September 2019: Climate change has the potential to erode human rights, such as social security, access to food, healthcare, shelter, and decent work. The report identifies government leadership and private sector investments as key drivers to adapt current human rights mechanisms.

Climate change challenges human rights - Read More…

Socially accepted litter – cigarette butts

September 2019: Cigarette ends remain one of the most socially accepted and common forms of litter, but can inhibit plant growth and are hazardous to marine life. New evidence supports calls to ban single-use plastic cigarette filters, and highlights the need for policy intervention.

Socially accepted litter – cigarette butts - Read More…

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Manulife Investment Management becomes newest member of CISL’s Investment Leaders Group

Oct 09, 2020

9 October 2020 – Manulife Investment Management is the latest organisation to join the Investment Leaders Group (ILG), a voluntary member initiative striving to create an investment chain that prioritises economic, social and environmental sustainability. The ILG is 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.