CEP at the XV International Congress of Environmental Psychology 2019


Dr Clare Twigger-Ross is giving a keynote talk on Tuesday 16th July at the XV Congreso de Psicologia Ambiental-PSCIAMB: Community, resources and sustainability: the challenge of territories. She will be presenting her paper Building resilience capacities of communities to flood risk: reflections on theory and practice in the UK. The paper draws on research that CEP and associates have carried out for Defra and the Environment Agency over the past decade.  

The conference is being held at the University of la Laguna, Tenerife from 16th – 19th July 2019.

For more information please contact Dr Clare Twigger-Ross (Technical Director).

Building resilience capacities of communities to flood risk: reflections on theory and practice in the UK


Climate change will increase the frequency, severity and extent of flooding in the UK with the present 1.8 million people living in areas at significant flood risk predicted to rise to 2.6 million under a 2° scenario and to 3.3 million under a 4° scenario (CCRA, 2017)The health and social impacts of floods have been documented over a number of years (e.g. Walker et al, 2005; Tapsell and Tunstall, 2008) with recent robust studies on the effects on mental health (e.g. Public Health England, 2017;Miljevic et al, 2017) showing the impact to be quite considerable.   Given these negative social impacts it becomes even more important to understand how communities and individuals alongside local professionals (e.g. local authorities, emergency services) might be able to improve or develop greater community resilience. Dr Twigger-Ross together with her colleagues at Collingwood Environmental Planning has been working on projects for the UK government and its agencies since 2005 on aspects of flooding and this paper draws on that work within the framework of community resilience.   Community resilience is a way of thinking about resilience to flooding at a local and place based level, understanding that there will be multiple communities and social networks intersecting in a given flood risk area.  In this paper Cutter et al’s (2010) disaster resilience of place is drawn on to locate  community resilience which is defined as a “set of capacities that can be fostered through interventions and policies, which in turn help  build and enhance a community’s ability to respond, recover  from [and adapt] to disasters”(Cutter et al, 2010).   The capacities examined by Twigger-Ross et al, (2015) are institutional resilience capacities, social resilience capacities, community capital, infrastructure resilience capacities and economic resilience capacities and they will be elaborated on within this paper.  Importantly, in order to meet the challenges of climate change the type of resilience will need to focus on the proactive/transformative type of resilience rather than the reactive/defensive type of resilience.   A number of active interventions have been developed in the UK by to improve levels of resilience capacity, through government and charity funding, together with grassroots interventions emergent after a flood and the factors for their success or otherwise will be discussed in relation to the community resilience framework. Further, it is recognised that the concept of resilience is both complex and contested, not just the opposite of vulnerability and the paper will comment on that, specifically in the context of its use by UK government and its agencies.  Finally, the role and impact of “contract” research and the position of researchers within that will be examined through the paper.

CEP delivering EKN training

Incorporating natural capital and ecosystem services into environmental assessments: Exploring best practice

Two dates for this course in 2019:

  • 26th June 2019, Leeds (Coth Hall Court, LS21 2HA).

  • 27th November 2019, Central London (Cotton Centre, SE1 2QG)

This course, which is now in its third year, will equip you to inform clients or colleagues on the merits of including the ecosystem services and natural capital concepts in environmental assessment processes. There is now strong interest in what ecosystem services, natural capital and nature-based solutions mean for Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal.  The course is delivered by Dr Bill Sheate and Spela Kolaric of Collingwood Environmental Planning and organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.

Find out more and book at:

CEP and Brussels-based MILIEU renew their commitment to collaborate


CEP and Milieu - a multi-disciplinary consultancy based in Brussels specialising in providing high quality legal and policy services primarily for public sector clients - have been collaborating for more than 14 years.  In acknowledgement of our longstanding working relationship and successful collaborations, we are delighted to announce that we have renewed our Memorandum of Understanding which covers our mutual commitment to collaborate where appropriate in the provision of environmental consultancy services and to share expertise, knowledge and resources.

CEP and Milieu have been working together since 2005.  During this period we have jointly delivered some exciting, innovative and influential projects for both the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA).  This work includes projects related to: policy evaluation and impact assessment; SEA; state of the environment reporting; environmental futures assessment; climate proofing policy; water management; science-policy interface; and environmental governance.

Ric Eales, CEP’s Managing Director, commented:

We enjoy excellent relationships with many partners in the UK and across Europe, but our relationship with Milieu has been particularly rewarding and successful over the last 14 years.  Over this time we have worked together on numerous projects particularly for European institutions and the success of these collaborations is to a great extent down to our shared culture and commitment to delivering quality services to our clients.  We look forward to our relationship with Milieu continuing to grow and strengthen in the years to come”.

This agreement highlights CEP’s continuing commitment to service our European institution clients, such as the European Commission and European Environment Agency (EEA).  Our ongoing work for European institutions includes projects on important topics, such as urban sustainability, emerging environmental risks and foresight, improving access to environmental information and justice, and the effectiveness and implementation of environmental regulations.


For more information contacts Ric Eales (Managing Director)

CEP-led consortium to deliver new EEA project on transitions governance

CEP-led consortium has been awarded a new EEA project to develop a report on governance and policy for sustainability transitions

A new project has been awarded under the CEP-led framework service contract for the European Environment Agency (EEA) which provides assistance on forward looking analysis, sustainability assessments and systemic transitions.

This project, led by the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester, will further develop and finalise a report on the implications of research into sustainability transitions and transformations for European policy and governance. This project continues work previously completed under an earlier project. CEP has a role in this project to review the report for quality purposes, overall coherence, and to ensure accessibility for the target audience.

For more information please contact CEP’s Owen White, the overall Framework Contract Manager, or Dr Bill Sheate, the Framework Contract Director.

CEP-led Consortium delivers second set of European Environment Agency contracts


CEP is pleased to announce the successful completion of the second set of five contracts awarded during 2018 under the CEP-led framework service contract for the European Environment Agency (EEA) which provides assistance to the consolidation and update of the knowledge base on global megatrends and resource nexus in support of SOER 2020 (the European Environment State and Outlook Report) [1].

The five most recent projects have again had the overarching objective of supporting the framing and content of SOER 2020 by building on the first set of seven contracts to further consolidate the evidence and knowledge base across a range of topics as well as providing new analysis.  

Three projects have directly followed-on from contracts delivered under the first set:

·         The first [2], led by CEP on ‘Drivers of Change’, involved the development and implementation of an analytical framework for identifying and analysing the implications of drivers of change on consumption and production systems in Europe.  This contract built on our previous work on global megatrends and the resource nexus. 

·         The second follow-on contract has supported EEA in the development of the knowledge-base and reporting related to sustainability transitions.  As part of this contract CEP coordinated research and reporting into the empirical description of food, energy and mobility systems in Europe. 

 ·         The third follow-on project, led by CEP, was on urban sustainability and continued our previous work developing a new framework for urban sustainability assessment and supporting the EEA in running related stakeholder events. 

In addition, two specific contracts represented new areas of work.  One identified and characterised critical interactions between environmental SDGs from a European perspective.  CEP provided expert advice on methodology development and developed a report on the implications of the key project findings for EU research, policy and governance.  The other, led by CEP, supported the development of an EEA report, planned for publication in 2019, on the linkages between the environment and quality of life in EEA member countries.  CEP’s contribution to the report focuses on environmental health across Europe, environmental risks to health and the environmental benefits to health and well-being.

All the projects were completed between May and December 2018 and have helped EEA by providing critical inputs, often to tight timescales, to support the drafting of SOER 2020, as well as developing new knowledge and reporting on environmental challenges for Europe from a systems and transitions perspective.

For more information please contact CEP’s Owen White, the overall Framework Contract Manager, or Dr Bill Sheate, the Framework Contract Director.


[1] Awarded in May 2017, CEP has now overseen the preparation and delivery of a total of twelve projects awarded under the framework contract to date.  CEP has led the delivery of seven of the twelve projects delivered so far, including overall project management, technical lead on research tasks, and preparing reporting to summarise findings to provide maximum support to the EEA in relation to SOER 2020.  CEP’s work on these projects has involved collaboration with a diverse range of partners including universities and research institutions, consultancies, national environmental agencies and European networks of experts (such as the Eionet network of foresight experts).

[2] Assistance to the development of the report ‘Drivers of change and their implications on the European environment – A systems-based overview’ and to the extension of the analysis of European policies through the resource nexus lens

Why are Cities Good for Sustainability?

Why are Cities Good for Sustainability?

Blog post by Rolands Sadauskis

Is this the new “age of the City”? Millions of people are moving to cities every week[1] and the growing numbers of megacities (with populations of over 10 million) have the capacity to rival nation states in power and influence.  The importance of the city to achieve sustainability outcomes is increasing by the day.  


In the urban curriculum cities are viewed as a double edged sword. They epitomise the social, economic and technological achievements of modern day societies. For policy makers, having people in a concentrated space can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of policy implementation, whereas urban citizens enjoy the benefits of more accessible education, health and work opportunities than their rural counterparts. However, there is a down side – cities generate the majority of the global carbon emissions[2] and consume the majority of energy resources[3]. Pollution and mobility challenges, social inequality, inadequate housing, and exposure to climate change impacts (e.g. floods, sea level rise, tropical cyclones etc.) are among many pressing issues that urban populations are facing globally.

Urban governance is a critical part of any urban sustainability solution that seeks to address these challenges. Urban policies are highly interdependent on each other. In this context, it is crucial to identify suitable governance arrangements to take these interdependencies and possible trade-offs into account. Further, cities are also profoundly connected to their suburban and rural hinterland and so their policies and activities can have a wide-ranging impact, especially on resource demand (consumption) and waste management.


In recent decades, numerous cities have actively taken the path towards sustainability and increasingly are acknowledging the efforts required to achieve their ambition by being part of international organisations committed to sustainable development (e.g. c40, ICLEI etc[4].). These cities have been implementing international standards and often applying and moving beyond existing national standards. A good example is the international response to climate change where cities are actively taking the lead in climate action and inspire deeper commitments from national governments and each other, in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement. More recently a new initiative is bringing together mayors from global cities to develop a collective message and engage in a G20 dialogue process with an urban perspective on key sustainability issues. The inaugural Urban 20 Mayors Summit (October 2018) will be the first ever international summit for cities with such a focus on global sustainability issues.

There are numerous benefits from cities taking the required actions and embracing sustainability. A global effort by cities would likely contribute significantly towards the achievement of various global agendas including the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement. It would also bring many social, economic and environmental benefits both in cities and their hinterland. 


Achieving sustainability outcomes (such as highlighted in UN SDGs) requires a collective effort from all levels of policy making. In these efforts cities must and can be part of sustainable solutions on pressing global issues. Existing global trends in their increasing political influence and willingness to take the initiative in addressing the pressing needs of their citizens strongly suggest that cities provide a good platform for enhancing sustainability. Consequently, one should not question the importance of cities in achieving sustainability outcomes, but rather ask - do cities get the power they need to bring about the change required to address them?

by Rolands Sadauskis, Senior Consultant, CEP, 26 October 2018




[4] C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change,; ICLEI is the leading global network of 1,500+ cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future, 

Environmental assessment and ecosystem services training now booking

Incorporating natural capital and ecosystem services into environmental assessment: Exploring best practice

CEP, in association with Ecosystems Knowledge Network (EKN), will once again be running this popular CPD-level one-day training course in London in November 2018.

“Very informative. Trainers very knowledgeable and approachable. Use of case study
examples ideal.”
Course participant, London May 2016.

The concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services are becoming prominent across Europe, along-side growing interests in nature-based solutions. There is now strong interest in what ecosystem services, natural capital and nature-based solutions mean for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Sustainability Appraisal (SA). This training course will cover:

  • Why these concepts are useful in environmental assessment
  • How the concepts can be used in EIA, SA and SEA
  • How you might use ecosystem services in theory and practice
  • Challenges and opportunities (data requirements; legal compliance; guidance)

Date and venue: 22nd November 2018. Tideway, Cottons Centre, Cottons Lane, London, SE1 2QG.

Who is the training for? The course is for professionals involved in environmental assessment processes (EIA, SEA and SA) across diverse sectors including built infrastructure and development planning, transport, energy, water resources and flood risk management.  It will be applicable to environmental assessment practitioners and stakeholders working from project level to strategic plans; and in relation to terrestrial and marine environments.


Dr Bill Sheate: Technical Director of Collingwood Environmental Planning and Reader in Environmental Assessment at Imperial College London.

Špela Kolarič: Senior Consultant at Collingwood Environmental Planning. An environmental and spatial planning specialist.

For prices and booking visit the EKN website at:


CEP-led consortium to deliver two new EEA projects focusing on SDGs and transitions governance

CEP-led consortium has been awarded two new EEA projects which will explore interactions between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and develop a report on governance and policy for sustainability transitions

Two new projects have been awarded under the CEP-led framework service contract for the European Environment Agency (EEA) which provides assistance on forward looking analysis, sustainability assessments and systemic transitions.

The first project, led by SEI Stockholm, will provide the EEA with assistance in identifying and characterising critical interactions between environmental SDGs and from a European perspective.  CEP’s role will be to provide expert advice on methodology development and to lead the development of a report on the implications of the key project findings for EU research, policy and governance.

The second project, led by the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester, will develop a report on the implications of research into sustainability transitions and transformations for European policy and governance.  CEP will coordinate the characterisation of three key ‘socio-technical’ systems (food, energy and mobility), working with project partners Fraunhofer ISI and the German Environment Agency.

For more information please contact CEP’s Owen White, the overall Framework Contract Manager, or Dr Bill Sheate, the Framework Contract Director.

CEP presenting at the European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross is presenting at the European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum in Edinburgh, 23 -24th November 

The 2017 Forum will ask whether evaluation is evolving in line with the societal and environmental challenges policy is trying to address. Europe, in order to achieve its goal of “living well, within the limits of our planet”, will need to rely inter alia on innovation to make the transition to sustainability. Many forms of innovation will be required to turn Europe into a resource-efficient, green and low-carbon economy.  

Clare is presenting  work carried out by a team at CEP (Dr Bill Sheate, Dr Clare Twigger-RossOwen White, Rolands Sadauskis, Paula Orr, Liza Papadopoulou and Ric Eales):  "Learning Lessons from evaluations across the nexus: a meta-evaluation", which examined CEP evaluations in the context of complexity and impact, developing insights and key questions for future evaluations.   This is being presented as part of a session from CECAN on Innovations in instrument evaluation - integrating complexity into Environmental policy evaluation: Insights from CECAN on Thursday afternoon.   The project report and summary can be found here.

CEP delivering EEA workshop on urban sustainability

CEP delivering workshop to support the EEA develop their thinking on urban sustainability as an input to SOER2020.

For the first time, the European Environment Agency (EEA) will be explicitly addressing urban sustainability in the European Environment State and Outlook Report for 2020 (SOER2020). As part of CEP's current framework contract with the EEA on forward-looking analysis, sustainability assessments and systemic transitions, CEP in partnership with LSE Cities is currently undertaking a specific contract on urban sustainability to support this aspect of SOER2020. Specifically, the project is reviewing the EEA knowledge base on urban sustainability and developing a conceptual framework to guide the EEA's work in this area, including for SOER2020.

On Thursday 26th October, CEP's Dr Peter Phillips and Rolands Sadauskis are running a one-day workshop with EEA experts in Copenhagen to go over the results of the knowledge review and critically appraise, refine and validate the proposed conceptual framework for urban sustainability. 

CEP to develop EEA's urban sustainability knowledge base

CEP commissioned to develop integrated knowledge base for EEA urban sustainability assessments

CEP has been commissioned to lead the first Specific Contract let under the CEP-led framework service contract for the European Environment Agency (EEA) on the provision of expert assistance on forward looking analysis, sustainability assessments and systemic transitions (EEA/IEA/16/003). The project will provide support to the EEA's urban sustainability assessments by developing the integrated knowledge base for urban sustainability issues. CEP is working with consortium partners LSE Cities and various other experts from the CEP-led consortium. 

The project will review existing EEA data products, reports, and research programmes to assess the current state of knowledge "in-house" and any key gaps. Drawing on this, a conceptual framework and vision for urban sustainability related activities within the EEA will be developed and tested with EEA internal and external stakeholders, via participatory meetings to be held at EEA offices in Copenhagen during October and November 2017. 

For more information on this project please contact the CEP Project Manager Dr Peter Phillips.  

CEP's Owen White is the overall Framework Contract Manager and can provide general information on the framework.  CEP's Dr Bill Sheate is the Framework Contract Director.

Clare Twigger-Ross at IAPS board in Spain

Photo credit: ''A Coruña' by Gabriel Gonzalez on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross at IAPS board in A Coruña, Spain

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross attended the International Association of Person-Environment Studies (IAPS) board meeting and AGM  on the 29th and 30th August, A Coruña, Spain.  She is the Treasurer of the IAPS board and part of the executive along with Prof. Ricardo Garcia Mira and Dr. Tony Craig.  The meeting covered a wide range of topics concerning the running of IAPS including the next IAPS conference in Rome, 2018 see here for details on the call for papers and the conference itself which is titled: Transitions to sustainability, lifestyles changes and human wellbeing: cultural, environmental and political challenges