UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources



We support cross-disciplinary research approaches to promote the globally sustainable use of natural resources.

Image outlining the research theme explain in the text on this page.

We do this through the expertise of our in-house academic research staff, as well as a network of academic and research staff across The Bartlett, the wider UCL community and around the world.

We also collaborate with other departments across UCL, including joint project development and co-supervision of PhD students. 



Sustainability at the water-food-land nexus

The water-energy-food nexus is a conceptualisation of the interlinked nature of natural resources. ISR expands this debate by incorporating minerals and land into nexus research. 

river, pylons and turbines

Energy system transitions to achieve net-zero

The aim of this research theme is to understand how societies around world can transform their economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement goals. 

City of London at night

Financing the low carbon transition

This theme explores the cross-cutting role of finance in the global transition to a low-carbon economy, with particular emphasis on avenues for integrating finance elements into climate policy design.

wires on a telegraph pole

Improving energy access and resource use in the developing world

The improving energy access research theme uses social research methods and policy analysis to examine the governance of energy and natural resource use in developing countries and the outcomes for different social groups.

City centre green spaces

Sustainable resource-efficient economies and societies 

This theme conducts research about the road to low carbon circular economies by investigating how we can transform current linear systems of resource consumption into more circular ones.

innovation image

Directing innovation for sustainable development

Our innovation research is diverse, including qualitative research into governance arrangements and policies, alongside quantitative analysis of innovation diffusion and funding.

Methodological research groups

We employ a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods in our research. ISR also includes three research groups that focus on economic methods across projects and themes:

Macro-economic Modelling

Our research studies the inter-linkages between the economy and the environment, focussing on the use and management of scarce resources and assessing the impacts of resource and environmental policies on the economy.

Econometric Assessment

Econometric assessment focuses on the modelling and evaluation of natural resources, including food and energy. We cover a wide range of topics such as climate change, crop yield, trade, energy demand and energy efficiency, food systems, commodity markets, biodiversity and models for road traffic.

Behavioural Environmental Economics Team

This team brings together ISR staff and students who apply behavioural economics theories and techniques to promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly behaviours and choices.

Project directory 

Through our research we tackle some of the fundamental built environment issues facing society. Explore our project directory to discover the array of past and present research projects undertaken by the Institute. 

field of solar panels

Explore our project directory