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.

A new report by WRAP has revealed that over half of the food waste generated by the UK manufacturing and retail sectors is avoidable.

Climate Outreach has produced a digital report which uses interactive maps, video and infographics to explore a complex and controversial issue: did climate change play a role in sparking the crisis in Syria and the flow of refugees out of the country? And how did the media report the issue?

Section 1 looks at what the media said about the role of climate change in the Syrian conflict.  Section 2 asks how much of the media’s narrative is supported by evidence and Section 3 looks at the media’s future predictions, and asks how they compare with existing evidence. 

Governments in several European countries have developed policies that encourage companies to share ownership of renewable energy projects with local communities. Shared ownership presumes that company and community actors have common goals, can form effective partnerships and negotiate fair outcomes. But there is a lack of research on shared ownership, in particular, how it is constructed by different actors, and the role of trust in shaping practice.

EU member states are required to ensure that consumers are informed about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars.  The European Commission is currently evaluating the relevant directive and, in support of this, Gary Haq and Martin Weiss assess the status of car labelling in the EU in their new paper, published in Energy Policy.  

A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford evaluates government-issued food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) from across the world, looking at whether they make links to environmental sustainability as well as public health, with evidence suggesting that dietary patterns that have low environmental impacts can also be consistent with good health. 

The Ecosystems Knowledge Network has produced a new service – Tool Assessor – that provides information about tools that analyse the environment and can enable a better understanding of ecosystem services, natural capital and green infrastructure. 

Tool Assessor focuses on tools that help people manage the environment as an asset, rather than simply managing it for nature conservation objectives.  Profiles are given of 12 tools and it is intended that the list will grow. Users are encouraged to provide comments on the tools so people can learn from each other. 

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has published a new policy briefing which reviews the changing energy policy in both the UK and the EU, in response to various challenges, policy goals and technological developments, and considers the implications for UK energy policy in the event of a vote to remain in the EU or of Brexit. 

This new report from the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), which was commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, aims to define and articulate effective and workable sustainability criteria for the use of biomass in the production of energy, primarily in biofuels, in the post 2020 period.  Its main focus is on renewable transport fuel, but many of the criteria are applicable to the wider use of biomass for energy purposes. 


Our vision for a resilient urban forest

By Editor on 18th May 2016

The Urban Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee (FWAC) Network, established by the Forestry Commission, has produced a vision for the urban forest in England.  This is that the urban forest will be considered as critical infrastructure for urban areas, on a par with utility, transport and the built environment; be viewed and managed as a whole and not considered as separate trees; and will inspire collaboration and creativity to ensure that the urban forest thrives and expands in a world of increasingly complex institutional, ownership, stakeholder and financial arrangements. 

Personal Carbon Trading cartoon

By Editor on 18th May 2016

Dr Yael Parag (IDC Herzliya, Israel) and Dr Tina Fawcett (Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford) have worked with an animation company to produce a short cartoon explaining personal carbon trading. The cartoon summarises years of research in just three minutes. It outlines principles on which personal carbon trading is based, how it would work, and why it could successfully deliver radical reductions in carbon emissions.  The PCT research was originally funded by the UK Energy Research Centre.