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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
How can policymakers and business leaders put Europe and the UK on the path towards economic renewal and climate neutrality?

Deadline for applicants: 29 June 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 based in South Africa to produce a report on the feasibility of a new business climate leadership group in South Africa.

About CISL and the Corporate Leaders Groups (CLGs)

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has for decades worked with leaders on the critical global challenges faced by business and society to develop leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. During this time, CISL has become a key player in the field of climate change, through convening platforms such as The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), established in 2005 and now rebranded as CLG UK; the Green Growth Partnership (GGP) established in 2013; and the Corporate Leaders Group Europe (CLG Europe), launched in September 2019.

The work of the Corporate Leaders Groups (CLGs) is defined by targeted engagement with policy audiences in the UK and the EU, aligned with members’ strategic priorities. Working towards sustainable business models and a climate neutral economy, the CLGs:

  • Convene and mobilise business voices in support of effective policies for a more sustainable and climate neutral economy
  • Provide evidence and business insight to influence the business and policy debate 
  • Secure a high-profile and regular direct engagement with policymakers to influence the development of policy
  • Work with partners nationally and globally to strengthen climate change policy and drive it into practice
  • Support the cross-pollination of best practice between businesses.

Background and context

In a post-COP26 international context, it is more important than ever that businesses worldwide continue to take action and show climate leadership, but also come together and engage with national policymakers to urge governments to increase their 2030 ambitions to put the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century.

At COP26, the Glasgow Climate Pact signalled the end of fossil fuels by calling upon Parties “to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”. This represents a key challenge for countries that still mostly rely on fossil fuels for power generation, including South Africa where coal currently meets around 70% of installed power generation capacity.[1] South Africa was in the spotlight at COP26 where a ‘Just Energy Transition Partnership’ was announced. The $8.5 billion partnership with the US, EU, UK, France and Germany aims to help the country fund its "equitable, inclusive transition” to renewable energy.

In 2022, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Corporate Leaders Groups (CLGs) are seeking to scope the possibility of setting up a new corporate leaders’ group in South Africa, alongside reactivating the ‘Corporate Leaders Network for Climate Action’ (CLN) to bring together progressive business groups worldwide and catalyse their efforts in support of climate action. There is an opportunity to build on the increased focus and momentum towards COP27 to engage leading South African businesses in how they can advocate for ambitious climate policies, including seeking a shift to renewable energy generation in the country.

Objectives and scope of the project

In the initial phase of the project, we are seeking external support to help us undertake a detailed scoping exercise in South Africa.

The end goal of this exercise is twofold:

  • informing the possibility of progressing with the set-up of a new business leadership group in the country, and under what conditions
  • informing local business and policy stakeholders about the climate policy gaps in the country and the role that the progressive business voice in South Africa can play to accelerate climate ambition and action.

To do this, the scoping exercise will:

  1. map the current business engagement landscape in the country
  2. assess the appetite and feasibility of a new business leadership group
  3. establish the climate policy areas requiring further government ambition and action and therefore where a progressive business group could most usefully intervene.

Regarding objectives 1. and 2., the scoping exercise will particularly seek to assess the following parameters:

National context

  • Political economy: existence of channels for government and civil society to interact
  • Policy-making process and structures: transparent enough to allow business to influence policy

Business context

  • Climate action perceived by business as an opportunity rather than as a cost
  • Perceived low risk/potential high reward for business to engage in climate policy advocacy
  • Existing appetite and capacity for collaboration on climate action and ambition


  • Identify added value of a new group compared to existing business organisations
  • Identify a core group of businesses that can lead the change – ideally a mix of both the multinationals operating in the country and larger national businesses headquartered in the country
  • Identify a knowledge partner that can provide the evidence base for action and host the Secretariat – ideally a policy institute or similar.


We expect these parameters will be assessed through a mix of interviews with businesses headquartered/ operating in South Africa, and desk research (including for objective 3).

Interview and research questions will be agreed with the CLGs Team.

The service provider(s) will be expected to be available to participate in regular meetings with the CLGs team over the period of the contract. Specific time and dates are to be confirmed.

Output and deliverables

1. 10 to 15 business interviews over the period of the contract. Businesses to interview will be identified in collaboration with the CLGs team.

2.  A report of around 20 pages (excluding annexes) which:

  • summarises the results of the business interviews and the desk research
  • based on these results, presents an assessment of the parameters described above
  • identifies the climate policy gaps in the country requiring further government ambition.

3. Interview transcripts: the report should include the business interviews transcripts in an annex.


Given the goals of this project, we are seeking a consultant with local knowledge and insight on the South African landscape. Therefore, our preference is for a candidate based in South Africa or with proven local links.


  • Deadline for applicants: 29 June 2022
  • Appointment deadline: 5 July
  • Contract start date: 11 July
  • A briefing meeting is provisionally scheduled for 11 July 2022.
  • Deadline for delivery of final product: 31 August 2022


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

  • Suitability of proposed approach (20%)
  • Demonstrate understanding of brief (25%)
  • Relevant location and/or local links and experience (25%) 
  • Value of quotation (30%). This project is grant-funded therefore value for money will be an important selection criterion.

Expressions of interest

If you are interested in applying, please submit the following information to by close of business on 29 June 2022:

  • CV(s) (max 4 pages per person)
  • Quotation (including staff cost breakdown with an estimate of staff allocation, number of days and costings per task, 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 5 July 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.

[1] International Energy Agency website: