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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

Consultant required to co-produce a report for CLG Europe

From ambition to delivery: How can policy enable and encourage more sustainable choices by business and households in the EU? (working title)

Deadline for applicants: 28 March 2022

We are inviting submissions for a competitive proposal for the supply and delivery to the University of Cambridge of the services set out in the below specification.

Request for a consultant or a team of consultants to produce a report on policies relating to climate change, sustainability and business in collaboration with CISL’s Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, which convenes the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe).

About CLG Europe

CLG Europe bring together European business leaders to accelerate progress towards a low carbon, sustainable economy. Through exchange of ideas, experience, and a dialogue with policymakers, CLG Europe facilitates solutions that support a resilient and prosperous future. CLG Europe is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Find out more:

Background and context

The European Green Deal and Climate Law enshrined the EU’s climate neutrality latest by 2050 objective in law and drastically increased its 2030 targets in order to accelerate its transition to climate neutrality. To this end, the European Commission proposed a package of policies in 2021. This so-called ‘Fit for 55 package’ includes a set of policy proposals designed to achieve 55 per cent Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and to put the EU on the path to achieving its 2050 climate neutrality target. The package outlines revisions to various existing EU regulations and directives, including fuel taxation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and land use. It also introduces a set of new policy measures.

Although the Fit for 55 package provides a useful set of targets and objectives to inform Member State plans, including some specific targets for each Member State (MS), it does not provide detailed guidance or plans for how the targets set at the EU level can and will be achieved by Member States (e.g. energy efficiency targets). Yet, for the EU to achieve its ambitious climate targets, these targets must be supported by a set of concrete policy instruments and measures, and for these measures to be effectively implemented. This will need to happen at the EU level and at the MS level, potentially also requiring action by regional and local authorities. According to the Governance Regulation, Member States are due to start revising plans next year.

However, climate policies and emissions reduction targets do not exist in isolation: they are part of the broader set of objectives covered by the European Green Deal, including improved wellbeing and quality of life, reduced pollution and cleaner environment, economic growth, creation of new jobs, and reduced inequalities. The ability of climate policy measures to achieve the required emissions reductions is also influenced by the interrelationships between different climate policies, and policies that are not directly aiming to achieve climate outcomes, including fiscal policies, housing policies and transport policies.

The scope and focus of the report

This report takes as its starting point the need for businesses and households to change their choices and behaviours to facilitate the transition to a climate neutral economy, and the need for strong policy synergies to support positive climate policy outcomes. Strong positive synergies between different policy instruments and objectives could help the EU achieve the agreed emissions reductions for 2030, and perhaps even overshoot these targets, in addition to supporting progress towards other objectives of the Green Deal.

The report will focus on specific policies that seek to directly influence the choices that businesses and households make (such as subsidies to incentivise the take-up of heat pumps or electric vehicles) and the policies that influence the broader conditions within which these choices are made (such as the relative pricing of different energy carriers or the availability of charging infrastructure). The policies included in the second category are important for the effective implementation of policies that incentivise households and businesses to make sustainable choices because they create (or fail to create) the enabling conditions that make sustainable choices viable, realistic and appealing.

This approach is present in Figure 1, which illustrates how the policies influencing the contextual factors can affect the effectiveness of climate policy.

Figure 1: Climate policy measure interactions


As illustrated in Figure 1, the approach builds on an assumption that businesses deliver goods to meet demand, meaning that policies that influence demand (including business-to-business transactions as well as household consumption of goods and services) will also affect supply. The policies influencing contextual factors will affect the viability, feasibility and comparative attractiveness of choices by households and businesses. This approach is influenced by our previous report Tomorrow’s Markets Today (University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Agora Energiewende, 2021), which explored the role that demand side policies could play in driving the development of markets for low-carbon materials and products. Unlike the 2021 report, which focussed predominantly on basic materials and the downstream value chains, this report has a broader scope.

The intended scope in terms of the policy instruments that seek to directly influence the choices that businesses and households make will be restricted to:

  • buildings (such as energy efficiency, space heating and water heating, energy consumption etc)
  • renewable energy (such as investment in on-site renewable energy generation technology)
  • transport (public transport, active transport, car use, company policies on different public transport options etc), and
  • circular practices (focusing on food and the packaging of food and other essential household consumables).

The policies that influence the enabling conditions (such as energy costs, availability of infrastructure to enable public transport, active transport and recycling, pricing incentives etc) will be broader, and will ideally include examples from different levels of governance (e.g. national, regional, local).

The examples will ideally cover a range of policy measures that have been adopted, that could be adopted, or that could be amended. Through these examples, this report will illustrate how climate policy implementation and delivery could be accelerated through cohesive policy packages at the EU, Member State and local levels. These policy packages include climate policies, but also other policies. The analysis is NOT expected to cover all policy measures in all EU Member States.  

Structure of the report

The report will have the following components:

1. an introduction setting out the opportunities and environmental, economic and social benefits of a comprehensive implementation of the Fit for 55 Package and achieving broader sustainability objectives.

2. a background section setting out the approach of the report described in Figure 1 by:

  • providing a brief overview of the Fit for 55 Package and pre-existing policies at EU and Member State level (including as presented through National Energy and Climate Plans - NECPs) in the sectors of interest;
  • illustrating how the process described in Figure 1 works, by drawing on existing policy analysis, academic literature, and examples of policies that have been unsuccessful in encouraging businesses or households to make more sustainable choices, as measured by their uptake (or lack of it), wider co-benefits, impact on emissions and cost-effectiveness.
  • This part would draw out what kinds of policy synergies (and incompatibilities) can emerge when policies that incentivise sustainable choices are adequately (or inadequately) supported by policies that may be the responsibility of an entirely different government ministry.

3. A review of promising examples of policies that have been implemented at various levels of governance in different Member States and have successfully addressed the pitfalls identified above to support sustainable choices by businesses and households.

The examples will be presented in the format of short case studies, which will inform the general conclusions that are drawn from them. The policy case studies may showcase policies that sought to directly influence the actions of businesses or households, how a policy measure’s impact was increased or improved by enabling conditions, or how additional policies were implemented to address an identified barrier to its effectiveness. Examples will also be sought to show how the absence of enabling conditions may have made it difficult for businesses or households to make choices that they know would have had positive environmental impacts and how the situations could have been remedied.

The report will also include examples of innovative business action that has brought about transformational change at policy level and behavioural change in households that enabling policies could support further.

The case studies will be sourced in collaboration with CLG Europe from a diverse group of stakeholders, including businesses, policymakers, think tanks, consumer advocacy groups and NGOs.

4. Recommendations for how Member States and policy makers at local level can accelerate implementation, with a highlight on which policies could be integrated in the NECPs. This section would draw general lessons from the case studies. Specific takeaways for MEPs and the European Commission in relation to the Fit for 55 Package would also be identified.

The final output will provide evidence for policy makers at Member States and regional/local level of concrete policy measures with evidence of effectiveness to enable them to see how targets can be translated into concrete action. It will also help set out how they may need to kick-start the process by ensuring that enabling conditions are in place to make policy and business interventions more effective and to remove barriers to sustainable choices. Finally, it will document stories of business action in this space to show how business can and are supporting sustainable choices and how this can be further supported by policy.

Purpose of the report

The main purpose of the report is to illustrate how a better understanding of policy synergies and collaborative action across different government departments can maximise the effectiveness and co-benefits of climate policy measures and give recommendations for how policymakers can unlock this ambition. This will show how cohesive policy packages could help achieve even higher climate ambition in the framework of the Fit for 55 Package.

It will do so by:

  • providing concrete examples of successful policy interventions to enable policymakers (at various levels of governance, including national, region and local) to see how they can take an active role in various ways to actively instigate change. This will allow policymakers to see how targets can be achieved, and what roles they can play in the process and support them in their revision of National Energy and Climate Plans.
  • providing examples of situations where unsupportive conditions (contextual factors) adversely affect(ed) the effectiveness of certain climate / sustainability policy measures, and to discuss how these contextual barriers could best be addressed. This will help national, regional and local governments in different Member States to learn from each other’s mistakes. It will also enable businesses and consumer advocacy groups to campaign for conditions that they see would enable or better support more sustainable choices on their part.

In doing the above, the report will also:

  • illustrate the role that businesses and consumers can play by making choices and by engaging with the policy development and delivery.
  • scope the need for, an interest in, an open access database of policy instruments designed to achieve climate outcomes and the necessary preconditions for their effectiveness. Such database, which could not be created as a part of this project, could facilitate better knowledge transfer and peer-learning across all levels of governance within and between Member States. It could also serve as a useful tool for other countries, thus supporting effective climate action internationally.


The output will be a structured document with good referencing (style to be agreed), and no longer than 25 pages of text (excluding references).

The report will be published in the name of CLG Europe and will represent insights from a business group supporting ambition on climate change and the transition to a sustainable economy.

Target audience: The primary audience is policymakers in EU Member States at national, regional and local level, but also MEPs and the European Commission; businesses.


Deadline for applicants: 28 March 2022

Shortlisting deadline: 29 March

Appointment deadline: 31 March

Contract start date: 4 April

A briefing meeting is provisionally scheduled for 4 April 2022.

Deadline for delivery of final product: mid to late August 2022

First draft to be completed by mid-June and final text to be submitted by mid to late August 2022.

The service provider(s) will also be expected to be available to participate in structured online discussions with the CISL team over the period of the contract. Specific time and dates are to be confirmed.

To assist in attracting relevant stakeholder input, we will discuss the opportunity of convening a workshop which would be organised by the CLG Europe team. The timing of such workshop will be negotiated to accommodate existing commitments of both the consultant(s) and CLG Europe, and any costs associated with the workshop will be remunerated separately.


The University intends to award to the most economically advantageous offer or offers in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Suitability of proposed approach (25%)
  • Demonstrate understanding of brief (25%)
  • Relevant experience (25%) 
  • Value of quotation (25%)

Expressions of interest

If you are interested in applying, please submit the following information to by close of business on 28 March 2022:

  • CV(s) (max 4 pages per person)
  • Quotation (including staff cost breakdown, excluding VAT)
  • Description of the approach you would take (max 2 pages)
  • Proposed structure for the report (max 1 page)
  • Examples of relevant work experience (max 1 page)

The University expects to decide award of contract by 31 March 2022.

For further information or any questions, please contact us at

Please note

Do not supply any goods or services until you have received confirmation that your proposal has been successful.  Acceptance of the proposal by the University will be in writing. A purchase order will normally be issued.

The University will not reimburse any bidding costs.

This Invitation is confidential. Do not discuss with any third parties the bid you intend to make (except professional advisers or joint bidders who need to be consulted) nor canvass your bid for acceptance.

The University will regard submissions as confidential until award.  Information you believe would be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 after award must be individually identified in your submission together with the reason for the exemption and for the non-disclosure period claimed.

Variant bids may be submitted but must clearly identify all variants from the University’s specification and state all cost implications.

Proposals and supporting documents shall be in English.  Any contract subsequently entered into will be subject to English law and jurisdiction. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, proposals and orders are issued subject to the University’s Standard Terms, a copy of which is available on request. 

Proposals shall comprise a response to the specification and a pricing schedule.

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