sustainable development

CEP author British Council report on SDG16

New report by CEP on how the British Council is contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16


In 2017 the British Council commissioned Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP) to provide a baseline assessment of how it is contributing to the achievement of a sub-set of ten SDGs. The Council has now published a new report by CEP: SDG 16 – A cultural relations approach to peace, justice and strong institutions.

The British Council is interested in understanding how its work contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 16 is a strategic goal which is fundamental to the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The research drew on international literature about the SDGs, reports on British Council projects and programmes, including inception reports, progress reports and internal and external evaluation; the research team also conducted interviews with selected project managers, stakeholders and/or participants. A set of 12 British Council programmes and projects spanning the breadth of the organisation’s work areas and its geographical spread, were selected for detailed review. Six of the 12 projects and programmes specifically targeted children and young people. Working with young people, especially in regions affected by conflict such as the Middle East and North Africa, is a priority for the British Council.

The report can be found at Sustainable Development Goals Report

For more information, contact: Paula Orr (Technical Director)

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 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.

The future of SA and SEA

Photo credit: London December 1 2014 001 Bloomberg Place by David Hold on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Practitioners respond to the LPEG's report TO PROVE THE VALUE OF SA AND SEA

CEP’s Ric Eales and Bill Sheate have co-authored a paper, prepared by a group of sustainability appraisal (SA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) practitioners from eight consultancies (AECOM, Amec Foster Wheeler, CEP, Levett-Therivel, LUC, Ramboll Environ, Steve Lees Planning and TRL) and Oxford Brookes University, in response to the Local Plans Expert Group’s (LPEG) 2016 Report on Local Plans to the Communities Secretary and to the Minister of Housing and Planning.

The paper - ‘Sustainability appraisal: from LPEG’s “little genuine assistance” to making a real sustainable difference’ – challenges the LPEG report’s overall dismissive tone regarding SA/SEA, whilst acknowledging some areas of improvement are needed.  It focusses on developing a ‘next generation’ approach to SA/SEA, within the context of Brexit, which improves plan making and stakeholder engagement and contributes to more sustainable development.

The authors welcome LPEG’s interest in improving the process, but conclude that they believe that SA/SEA is a robust, insightful tool, informative to plan makers and those affected by plans and, if done well, can help plug a key local democratic deficit.

The paper is available here.