Polly Courtice Honoured for Sustainability Services

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Polly Courtice, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Polly Courtice, who founded the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, is set to be made a Dame. The news came as the Birthday Honours list was published on the Queen’s Official birthday over the weekend. Polly Courtice has been honoured for her services to sustainability leadership.

Polly Courtice will be made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her achievement in building a world-leading institute at the University of Cambridge that has helped thousands of leaders from business, finance and public organisations to understand and find solutions to critical global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity and social inequality.

As Founder Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Polly has built and led a team which has, over the Institute’s 25 year history, catalysed significant action towards more sustainable practice in business and government.

The Institute educates leaders from around the world, and brings together groups of organisations to work collaboratively to tackle challenges they cannot solve alone. Examples of these groups include The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, the Banking Environment Initiative and the Investment Leaders Group.

In response to the announcement, Polly said: “This is a wonderful recognition of the work of the Institute, its brilliant and dedicated staff and associates, and its global network of over 7,000 alumni. I’m delighted to be recognised for having built an institute that in many ways has pioneered leadership efforts to tackle global sustainability challenges.” 

“In recent decades there has been an important shift in the way many businesses have come to view their impact on society and the environment and we are glad to have played a small part in that.

“Through our work we have seen at first-hand the power of education and collaboration in helping leaders to understand and be more confident in the role of companies in dealing with issues such as climate change and inequality whilst also achieving growth and competitiveness.

“Our position within the University of Cambridge has allowed us to draw on the extraordinary breadth and depth of its intellectual resources and support a more science- based approach to decision-making.  This, combined with the support of our Patron, HRH the Prince of Wales, has been pivotal in our success as an institute.”

Polly was made an LVO in the 2008 Honours List, and last year she received the prestigious Bright Award from Stanford Law School in recognition of her contribution to global sustainability.