The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme
Evidence informed solutions
The Power of Academia-Industry Collaboration
As the sustainability conversation pivots from the why to the how, the private sector is turning to universities to provide evidence-informed tools and frameworks to underpin its decision-making.
The underlying causes of biodiversity loss, climate change, and social inequality are complex and interrelated and can rarely be addressed with single interventions. The complexity of current and future challenges means it is critical to foster collaborative environments in which new, multi-stakeholder partnerships can thrive.
The power of academia-industry collaboration lies in its ability to develop robust, tested, and evidence-informed solutions to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy.
Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy.
CISL believes that the economy can be rewired to deliver positive outcomes for people, Nature and climate, creating the right conditions for society to prosper. In 2018, in honour of The Prince of Wales’ lifetime dedication to environmental causes, CISL launched its flagship Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme to explore potential solutions with industry.
The Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme currently hosts eleven Fellows funded by philanthropic donations from visionary companies, foundations, and individuals. Together, these outstanding academic minds at the University of Cambridge work closely with business, policy and finance leaders to put new knowledge into practice.
Professor Jason Snape, Global Head of Environmental Protection at AstraZeneca, one of the Programme’s donors, said, “AstraZeneca’s strong partnership with CISL is based on a shared drive to advance science-based approaches to address sustainability, in this case the impacts of air quality on population health. AstraZeneca’s Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow has been integrated into the best of scientific research in Cambridge, with an aim to translate their results into practice. This includes helping to demonstrate the environmental and public health benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles in African cities.”
The Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme sits on the border of academia and industry, unconstrained by disciplinary or sectoral boundaries. It is in a unique position to address questions of strategic relevance to companies and their boards, such as:
- How can retailers accelerate public behaviours on sustainable consumption?
- How can luxury become a driver for positive social change rather than emblematic of inequality?
- What legal form should a sustainable organisation take?
- How do living wages benefit business, and how can they be delivered in complex value chains?
- How can the food industry align with public health messaging to drive healthy and sustainable diets in the low-income countries?
- What is the impact of e-mobility transitions on air quality in cities?
The overall goal is to create a robust evidence base that produces challenge-led and impact-driven recommendations that business leaders can implement. Its co-design approach combines industry expertise and academic rigour for impact and ‘real-world’ applicability. These real-world solutions are relevant, practical, and grounded in research to enable private sector action on sustainability. Each Fellow undertakes a three-year programme of work with the ambition of combining academic insight with operational pragmatism.
Fellows produce a range of outputs for both academic and non-academic audiences, including thought leadership pieces, frameworks, tools, metrics, journal articles, books, films, blogs, practitioner reports, and media articles.