Sustainability institute of the week: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership



The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership has been working to build the leadership capacity necessary to tackle critical goal challenges for 25 years. Through education programmes and initiatives the organisation aims to deepen leaders’ understanding of the social, environmental and economic context in which they operate.

The ambition of the institute is to help individuals, major organisation and whole sectors work more effectively to address critical sustainability challenges and achieve “paradigm shifts”. The organisations adds that it help leaders develop strategies that reconcile profitability and sustainability and encourage collaborative working to act as a catalyst for real system change.

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is identified five crucial ingredients that it says it has combined to inspire and support change. These key factors compromise of conversing with senior leaders, taking a collaborative approach to leadership and change, focusing on the world’s most critical challenges, advocating and supporting change, and seeking to inspire game-changing ideas and fostering innovative solution that will deliver significant change.

Amongst its achievements the institute lists numerous launches and formations of programmes and groups, including the Investment Leaders Group, the ClimateWise insurance group, the Natural Capital Leaders Platform and the Banking Environment Initiative.

Recent reports that the institute has played a role in include one from investment institutions with over $5 trillion (£2.96tn) of assets under management. The Investment Leaders Groups made a moral, financial and economic” case for responsible investment, adding that there is still a lot more that investors can do to have a positive impact on the economy, environment and society.

It also co-ordinated a report on the best use of UK agricultural land, which found a shortfall of 2 million hectares of land for food by 2030.

Photo: foshie via Flickr  

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Further reading:

Enlightened business: 20 years of the Cambridge Business and Sustainability Programme

Allianz, Aviva and Zurich make ‘moral, financial and economic’ case for responsible investment

UK’s severe shortage of famland will hit food production – study

Future sustainability leaders: Alice Goodbrook

McKinsey: company leaders rallying behind sustainability


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