Professor Dame Polly Courtice


Professor Dame Polly Courtice

Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Dame Polly Courtice sits on a wooden bench



Speaker at the Social Sciences Oxford Minds lecture series on the topic of Sustainability.

Dame Polly Courtice, DBE, LVO 

Polly is Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which since its foundation in 1988 has grown to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in sustainability leadership. She is also Founder Director of The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme, and Academic Director of the University’s Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership. She is Chair of the Faculty Board of Engineering, a Director of Judge Business School Executive Education Limited, and a member of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee. She is a By-Fellow of Churchill College and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. 

External appointments: Polly is a Commissioner on the Commission on Climate for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a Director of Jupiter Green Investment Trust and a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water Services Ltd. She is a Board Advisor to the British Standards Institute and serves on the environmental/sustainability advisory boards for AstraZeneca, Lloyds Banking Group and Nespresso. She is a member of the judging panel for the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, and Chair of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards. 

Honours and awards: In 2016 she was nominated by the University of Cambridge and appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Sustainability Leadership. Prior to that in 2008 Polly had been made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. In 2015 she received Stanford University’s Bright Award for Environmental Sustainability which recognises ‘an individual who has made unheralded contributions to environmental sustainability’. In 2016 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Awards, and in 2018 she received Business Green’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Polly holds a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MA from the University of Cambridge.