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 briefing sets out why the scale of the air pollution problem in the UK requires a bolder and more holistic approach, which involves moving away from diesel vehicles (in favour of petrol and, ultimately, hybrid and electric alternatives), as well as a shift from private car ownership to car sharing schemes, public transport, walking and cycling. Not only could these shifts save thousands of lives, they could also drive improvements in two of the government’s other transport objectives: a reduction in congestion, and a reduction in road-based CO2 emissions.

Two-thirds of cities experiencing relative economic decline face above average flood disadvantage according to new research by Sayers and Partners for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report highlights how floods interact with social vulnerability across the UK to create flood disadvantage, an issue which will be exacerbated by climate change.

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Healthy and Sustainable Diets for European Countries

By Robert Lyons on 20th June 2017

This report by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) presents both evidence and recommendations for European policy development on sustainable healthy diets. Starting with an overview of the health and environmental consequences of dietary habits, the report moves on to present an analysis of individual and societal costs and benefits of implementing sustainable healthy diets, and a list of the European actors and institutions working on this issue. 

Reusing waste water for non-drinking uses in decentralised plumbing networks may improve the efficiency of water supply in urban areas, a new study has found.

This new report for Citizens Advice Scotland points to the monopoly nature of district heating schemes, depriving consumers of many of the protections usually available in gas and electricity markets. With district heating set to expand in Scotland, the report explores what consumer protections might be needed in future and the options available to secure them. 

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This new UKERC report argues that energy cooperation over the past decades has helped European countries to enhance their geopolitical security, respond to growing climate threats, and create a competitive pan-European energy market. Maintaining close cooperation in this field, and the UK’s integration in the European internal energy market (IEM), will be important for the UK and the EU27 post-Brexit.

Europe aims to obtain 20 per cent of its growth from industrial processes by 2020 and at the same time has set itself incredibly ambitious environmental targets.

This recent Green Alliance report looks at how small scale, low carbon energy technologies such as solar panels and electric cars are rapidly falling in cost as their popularity grows. The UK’s future energy market will not only consist of passive customers buying power from big and distant power stations. Instead it will increasingly be owned and operated by those who purchase these technologies.

The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK

By Robert Lyons on 26th April 2017

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has published a new report arguing that the government has no clear plan for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The report questions whether the government has a clear plan for meeting the Goals, and calls for a Cabinet-level minister to take responsibility for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals across government and to report on progress every three years from 2018.

Global trends in renewable energy

By Robert Lyons on 25th April 2017

A new report for UN Environment’s Economy Division finds that wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up eight per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before. The added generating capacity roughly equals that of the world's 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined. Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation.

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