Sustainability is the glue that holds everything together. Sustainability is interpreted in different ways by different people. The International Integrated Reporting Council talks about ‘Six Capitals’; the Green Investment Bank talks about its ‘double bottom line’. Nathan’s report on Sustainable Cities discusses four pillars of sustainability: social, economic, environmental and institutional. The basic principle is the same – to be sustainable, a project or an initiative needs to meet several needs and objectives at once – over a sustained period of time. This is a major challenge if the business model tends to a high degree of separation and specialism and demands instant results.
Sustainability needs to be embedded throughout supply chains. Nathan led a project which examined how mid-sized businesses and organisations were thinking about sustainability. The report is included here:
Sustainability must be embedded in the business model or it won’t deliver results that last. Investment horizons are key to delivering sustainable project outcomes, as are understanding and articulating long term benefits delivered by projects in ways that investors can understand.
Social Value, recognising the range of benefits and impacts that interventions can have on people and communities, is a key element of delivering sustainable outcomes. It is also an increasingly important element of public procurement and service delivery across the UK.
Nathan is working with the Social Value Portal to enable public and private sector clients to implement social value strategies in ways that are robust, accessible and meaningful.
Nathan recently produced a comparative analysis of the experience to date of implementing social value outcomes. A link to the white paper is included here:
Other projects Nathan has advised on include:
- Finance for a range of energy efficiency projects: LED lighting, heat, building retrofit, etc.
- Development of aggregator platforms for city-region focused investment