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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they control it, wish to influence its direction - Theodore Zeldin

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in early 2020. We will be publishing extracts on this site and across social media during the last quarter of 2019. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the book.

What Changed? - Sustainability (2013-15 archive)

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about sustainability. Please contact Dominic Kelleher with any questions.  


June 2015





May 2015


  • INSEAD warned that companies get stuck in box-checking when it comes to sustainability. But there is substantial value to be found in making sustainability a strategy.To capture the full value potential from the issues that impact one’s stakeholders, more is needed than the stereotypical checking of boxes in a sustainability report. Companies that exclusively use their materiality matrix (which is used for deciding which CSR initiatives to invest in) for reporting purposes fall into the “reporting trap” where basic environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting apparently fulfils the entire sustainability requirements of the Board and the company’s shareholders. Failing to transpose materialities into a well executed sustainability strategy will lead to missed opportunities for innovation and engagement of stakeholders.








April 2015












March 2015



  • Water is fundamental to business – to heat, cool, clean and as an ingredient. Having too little or too much, or water that’s too dirty or too expensive can have devastating effects. Yet, water is the most problematic of resources – think about the reliability and quality of the supply; the impact of drought and flooding; having to manage it on the way out as well as the way in; and having to share it with other users. It’s a challenge for a business in its direct operations and its supply chain, and is often an unquantified risk in its portfolio. PwC therefore launched the Water Hub, where you’ll find everything you need here to engage your clients in a conversation about water. And the right SMEs to introduce to your clients when they want to discuss their water challenges in more detail. Please see Global water network.




February 2015




January 2015






December 2014


  • Project Syndicate warned that the use of plastic must be reined in. Since the 1950s, worldwide production has increased by a factor of one hundred. Every year, more than 280 million tons of plastic is produced, with vast quantities making their way into groundwater, rivers, and oceans – and onward up the food chain. Though plastic is not biodegradable, not a single country has pledged to prevent it from entering our environment.


  • The world will need more and better targeted financing to meet the challenges of global development post-2015, argued the OECD. This means taking important decisions not only on what qualifies as official development assistance, but also on how those flows can be most strategically used. An important objective is to provide a better picture of the total resources available for global sustainable development, including for action on climate change, as it is now widely understood that climate change and development are intrinsically linked.




November 2014


  • Technology is at the cutting edge of efforts to make growth more sustainable. As the global population swells and more people move into higher consumption classes, the demand for food, for energy, for water, will all increase. But the resources our planet offers will not. Clearly the status quo is not sustainable. So the question is, how do we use these scarce resources more efficiently? How do we allow everyone to benefit from economic growth, without impinging on opportunities for future generations? The answer for Grant Thornton, is through technology.




  • PwC published its latest corporate sustainability update. In this year’s report PwC continues to pioneer new ways of describing corporate performance in order to provide better quality information to our stakeholders. If you have the time, please share your thoughts on it by completing the short survey at the end of this article.


  • KPMG launched a guide meant to help companies pinpoint issues that matter most to investors in a bid to improve sustainability reporting. Sustainable insight: the essentials of materiality assessment, breaks down assessment of materiality in sustainability into seven phases and seeks to link key issues in sustainability with processes such as enterprise risk management. KPMG says the guide seeks to fill a growing need for materiality assessment amid a growing international focus on sustainability reporting with new reporting frameworks and accounting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines, the International Integrated Reporting Framework and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.






October 2014


  • An EIU report Sustainable at every level? Reaching new heights through good values found that for asset managers and other institutional investors, what is required is a fundamental shift away from short-term incentives and reporting and toward more long-term strategies. A deep change in attitudes across the whole investor community is required to ensure businesses are confident their sustainability initiatives will boost, not damage, their attractiveness to investors.


  • Dow Jones published its annual Sustainability World Index. The ever widening assessment criteria included tax strategy (to address the growing risks associated with tax optimisation schemes); social and environmental reporting factors, including materiality; human capital development policies; and performance scoring related to occupational health and safety, and talent recruitment and retention.


September  2014


  • The Economist cautioned that most corporate sustainability plans rarely amount to more than cost-saving measures and compliance with regulations, plus a few projects with a public- relations punch, but fall well short of putting sustainability at the heart of what firms do. For some companies, though, that is changing.  It added that, while the first wave of sustainability  rewarded itself",the new wave will not do that. It is more akin to investing now to have a licence to operate in future, with consumers, lobbyists and regulators ever more demanding about the way firms behave.




August 2014





July 2014




June 2014



  • With a global climate deal due in 2015, carbon pricing will play a key role in controlling emissions. This has implications for clients with carbon-intensive assets or investments. The 9th IETA GHG Market Sentiment Survey, that PwC produced, analyses private sector views on carbon pricing. In it, carbon market participants suggest China may put a price on emissions, with a carbon market or similar mechanism expected in the coming years. For a copy of the report, click here.



May 2014





March 2014





February 2014





January 2014




December 2013









November 2013



  • PwC published its latest Global Green Policy Insights. Highlights of this edition:China elevates environmental protection to a 'pillar industry'; UK focuses on shale gas, consulting on a proposed tax regime and announcing community benefits; Spain introduces energy market reforms further cutting renewable support and South Korea proposes carbon tax on fossil fuels and electricity and CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 - What's driving climate change action in the world's largest companies?






October 2013




September 2013 


  • To assist policymakers and the energy industry with pressing forward sustainable energy systems, the World Energy Council, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, prepared the report World Energy Trilemma: Time to get real – the case for sustainable energy investment. This second of a two-part series of reports examines the drivers and risks preventing the development of sustainable energy systems. It then recommends an Agenda for Change to address these risks and to accelerate a global transition to more diversified, and therefore sustainable, energy systems that will present opportunities for economic growth.


  • The Arctic’s summer sea ice is set to nearly vanish in less than 40 years, according to the final draft of a sweeping UN climate change report that sharply revised past estimates of how fast the icy north is melting. “A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely,” said the draft of the first large-scale study in six years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The retreating ice is encouraging for Arctic nations such as Russia, which is trying to boost shipping traffic along its icy Northern Sea Route. But it is worrying for scientists because of what was described in a recent study as an “economic time bomb” that could explode if the melting Arctic permafrost releases vast plumes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and drives significant climate change.




August 2013



  • KPMG named the US, Japan, the UK, France, South Korea and China as the most active during Q2 2013 in using tax policy to drive sustainable corporate behaviour and achieve green policy goals. The finding is part of the first ‘KPMG Green Tax Index,’ which explores how governments use tax systems to meet global challenges such as energy security, water and resource scarcity, pollution and climate change.




July 2013