Sustainability first

Sustainability First is a charity and think-tank focussed on social and environmental issues in energy and water


clean energy

A Fair Transition

Sustainability First has been working with National Grid to think about how to make the shift to clean energy fair, inclusive and affordable. This engagement was aimed at fostering discussion, empowering citizens, and developing recommendations for National Grid and other decision makers in response to the opportunities and challenges in the clean energy transition.

Regulation in a changing world

Economic regulation is taking place in a changing world; utilities need to deliver reliance against weather and other shocks, in the face of climate change. In this consultation response, we ask how regulators can consider the role of data and we urge for greater engagement with consumers.

electricity board

Tackling SF6 on the electricity network

SF6 is a highly potent greenhouse gas, widely used by the electricity networks in their equipment. New legislation at EU level makes finding alternatives a priority. But alternatives that have been piloted typically use “forever chemicals” (PFAS). This raises questions about how networks should balance these concerns with the network growth needed to meet net zero. 

Looking through the FOG - Future of Gas Networks

There is much uncertainty around the decarbonisation of heat but gas networks are likely to play a smaller role than today. In this viewpoint, Associates Judith Ward and Maxine Frerk raise questions about policy and how the decline of the gas networks will be regulated, as well as customer disconnections, and possible stranded assets.

Water sewage and solutions

Why flexibility matters in PR24

Associate Martin Hurst makes the case for more, and meaningful, flexibility in the Price Review (PR24) process in the water sector, and considers what options might exist. This feature first appeared in The Water Report. We are keen to engage further on this topic; if you are interested in having a discussion please contact

hands together

Engagement lessons in shifting to clean energy

The word engagement is increasingly bandied around by companies. But what does it mean in practice? As we shift to clean energy, it is vital that this process is fair. This is why Sustainability First has been helping National Grid engage with stakeholders and citizens in a series of workshops, to hear their views.

Together for a Fair Climate Future

Our Together for a Fair Climate Future programme of events culminated in a series of key messages about how we should respond to climate change. It became abundantly clear that we must address the climate crisis and social inequality together. Click on the image to see our virtual book including the huge variety and richness of entries to this year’s art and writing prizes.


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Sustainability First is a proud member of The Climate Coalition