Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

This research maps energy initiatives across all UK Local Authorities for the first time, revealing considerable regional and national variation in activity. The research also examines a sample of energy projects in depth from 40 local authorities and compares local authority engagement in Britain and Europe. More...

Do We Need Economic Growth?

By Robert Lyons on 29th November 2017

This BBC World Service Newshour Extra programme features Tim Jackson from the Centre for Sustainable Prosperity, University of Surrey, Daniel Ben Ami, author of Ferraris for All: In defence of Economic Progress, Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to President Barack Obama, and Annie Quick of the New Economics Foundation discussing who really benefits from growth and whether we can have prosperity without it.

This report by the Centre for Sustainable Energy commissioned by Historic England presents the findings of a research project carried out to understand better the areas of convergence and conflict between current legislation, policy and guidance. A further aim of the project has been to suggest ways in which Local Authorities might increase understanding between departments and stakeholders, and develop more integrated and better-informed approaches to policy and decision-making.

This Eftec study for Defra provides initial physical and monetary estimates for a subset of ecosystem services at a scale that is commensurate with a reasonable level of robustness given the data and evidence available and offers recommendations for refining and further developing the initial UK urban natural capital account.

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This paper presents the findings of a food systems model that considers how specific agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture could be harnessed so as to enable it to play a greater role in sustainable food systems.

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This new paper by FCRN member Elin Röös , the FCRN’s Tara Garnett and colleagues explores the following questions: What would be the implications, for land use and greenhouse gas emissions, if our global population moved away from eating beef and other ruminant meats and switched mostly to chicken? What if we all went vegan? What if all our meat demand were met by artificial meat?

Clean Growth Strategy

By Robert Lyons on 17th October 2017

BEIS has launched the new strategy, which sets out our proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy through the 2020s. It explains how the whole country can benefit from low carbon opportunities, while meeting national and international commitments to tackle climate change.

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Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime?

By Robert Lyons on 17th October 2017

Smart city policies and discourses have been criticised for being too technology-oriented, with not enough focus on citizenship. This research article, published in the Journal of Urban Technology (open access), analyses the role of the citizen as propagated in the new smart city standards of the British Standards Institution (BSI). It finds that while there is a strong emphasis on citizens as actors in smart city initiatives, the way their role is envisioned carries some shortcomings and contradictions.

Interdisciplinary whole systems research has attracted increasing interest both in the UK and internationally as a response to complex societal challenges such as the sustainable energy transition. Yet, this article for Energy Research & Social Science argues, this  research is often poorly understood by funders, commissioners, assessors and the researchers involved, in terms of its particular aims and needs.

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An article looking at the findings from a new study commissioned by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the environment is playing a vital role in tackling the problem of poor air quality and helping to protect people’s health and reduce spending on healthcare.

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