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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Embedding sustainability

We help clients embed sustainability into the way they work as an organisation by building awareness and understanding, achieving alignment around a clear purpose and strategy, instilling a sense of responsibility and agency, and addressing critical capability gaps. 


Embedding sustainability across your organisation

For many clients, the greatest challenge they face in achieving a sustainable business is the challenge of embedding sustainability into the way they work as an organisation. This requires them to engage, empower and inspire colleagues across the business to align their decisions and behaviours with what is needed to achieve a sustainable future. This can require them to build awareness and understanding, to achieve alignment around a clear purpose and strategy, to instil a sense of responsibility and agency and to address critical capability gaps.

Contact us to find out how we can help you.


Integrating sustainability and future preparedness into how leaders are developed

We help clients to understand the challenges that their leaders will face as they work to align the business with a sustainable future and to identify the critical leadership values, knowledge and skills that will be required. We support clients to integrate these into leadership frameworks and into the way that leaders across the organisation are developed.


Building awareness and inspiring action across key functions

Many clients recognise the need to embed sustainability into specific functions or specific leadership tiers, often with the objective of building a sense of ownership and empowering leaders to integrate sustainability into their functional or divisional strategies or governance structures. We work with them to design and deliver workshops and education programmes that are customised to reflect the priorities and remit of participants and which support the development of individual and collective strategies and commitments to action.


Building specific capabilities

Through skills workshops, site visits, group projects and experiential learning, we support clients to develop specific capabilities. This includes: communication and dialogue skills; stakeholder engagement and collaboration; trust building and conflict management; systems thinking and engaging with complex systems.


Investing in the development of key individuals, exposing them to leading-edge thinking

Our Board, executive and practitioner-level seminars, our graduate education and our online programmes provide opportunities for companies to invest in the development of key individuals. From a one-day programme for Non-Executive Directors to a two-year Master's programme in sustainability leadership, these programmes provide an opportunity for individual students to be exposed to leading-edge thinking and build an international peer network, gaining new insights and relationships to take back to the business.


Developing the evidence and tools to support decision-making

Drawing upon our practitioner research and our access to leading academics, we support individual clients and collaborative groups of clients to build the evidence base for action and to develop, pilot and roll out decision support tools.


Emdedding sustainability up and down your value chain: engaging supply chains or customers

For some clients, their greatest risks and impacts sit within their supply chains or with their customers. As society increasingly holds multinational businesses accountable for these impacts, a growing number of clients are committing to engage and educate their suppliers and customers.


Equipping client and supply chain facing staff to innovate and influence the value chain

We support clients to build the confidence and credibility of relationship managers to effectively engage and influence clients to take action on sustainability, often through creating opportunities to explore and understanding client perspectives and needs. We also work with group services, supply chain and procurement teams to build insight into leading practice in building sustainable and resilience supply chains. 


Case study

Read how Jaguar Land Rover worked collaboratively with its tier 1 supplier Novelis to go beyond incremental cost savings by innovating. Instead it made radical savings in costs and greenhouse gas emissions by incorporating more recycled aluminum into its cars. 


Engaging and educating suppliers and customers

Leveraging our independence and reputation for excellence, we support a number of sector-leading clients to convene key supplier or client representatives, or other influential stakeholders, to educate and inspire them to take action on sustainability, thereby enhancing positive impact and deepening relationships across the value chain.  


Case study

Read how we convened the soft drinks value chain to set an ambitious collaborative vision and roadmap to eliminate plastics waste from the category.