Publications - Affordability, Vulnerability & Fairness

This discussion paper begins by exploring the importance of engagement in terms of delivering public value. It considers the reasons why engagement is important, different types of engagement and the concept of engagement maturity.

It then puts forward Sustainability First’s ‘Essential Services Utopia’ proffering some key outcomes we should aspire to achieve in the water and energy sectors, and which engagement can play a key role in delivering. The paper then highlights 26 recommendations to maximise public value. There is much good work going on in this area but to really seize the ‘engagement opportunities’ available, we consider that decision makers should stand back and ask some fundamental questions about their approach.


A pro bono report for Sustainability First by Frontier Economics

This report provides a starting point for the development of a framework that considers the intergenerational effects of decarbonisation and climate adaptation policies, focusing on approach and appraisal (creating a comprehensive framework would require further development).

By understanding and articulating the long-term intergenerational benefits of environmental measures, policymakers can accelerate the rate at which these measures are realised, which will be central to delivering upon commitments of the Paris agreement as well as achieving successful outcomes for this year’s COP26.


One of the challenges in tackling a long-term fundamental issue like climate change is to ensure that the approach taken is “fair” between current and future generations. To help us think about this we commissioned Frontier Economics on a pro bono basis to provide a framework for analysing the issue of intergenerational equity.

This Viewpoint summarises the key messages from that work as we see them, provides some of our own reflections building on the Frontier report and highlights where further work is required.


This Briefing summarises the latest research from Sustainability First’s major 3-year ‘Fair for the Future’ project. This project has mapped the disruptive landscape of risks and opportunities behind the case for public purpose orientated utilities and set out what companies need to do to move in this direction (including how progress can be measured) and the implications of this for policy and regulation in the energy, water and communications sectors. This Briefing is primarily focused on energy.