Dr Sullivan’s primary research focus is investment governance, and the role that can be played by investors and the capital markets in delivering systemic change in the sustainability performance and impacts of key industries and economic sectors.


Dr Rory Sullivan, Co-Founder and Director of Chronos Sustainability, is an internationally recognised expert on climate change, human rights and investment. He has almost thirty years’ experience in the public and private sectors on these issues, including over fifteen years in investment management. He was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the University of Leeds.

He has advised a range of organisations – including DfiD, UNEP FI, the World Economic Forum, UNDP, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – on the design and implementation of climate change and climate finance policy. His recent projects include:

  • Supporting the international investor climate change networks (IIGCC, INCR, IGCC, AIGCC), Ceres, PRI and UNEP FI with their international policy work including on The Investor Agenda.
  • Advising the PRI on its public policy and Sustainable Financial System programmes.
  • Supporting UNEP FI with the development of the Principles for Responsible Banking.
  • Preparing the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century and Investor Obligations and Duties: Asia reports on behalf of the PRI, UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation.

Rory also holds the following positions:

  • Senior Associate, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
  • Chief Technical Advisor, Transition Pathway Initiative
  • Senior Advisor, Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century
  • General Editor, Routledge Responsible Investment book series
  • Member of the Editorial Boards for CSR and Environmental Management and Business Strategy and Development.

Rory is the author/editor of eight books, over 40 peer reviewed journal articles, over 50 book chapters and many reports and articles on climate change and investment issues.

Research Interests

  • Financing the low carbon transition.
  • Climate change and climate finance policy and regulation.
  • Responsible investment.


Amos, N. & Sullivan, R. (2018), The Business of Farm Animal Welfare (Routledge, Abingdon, UK).

Sullivan, R. (2011), Valuing Corporate Responsibility: How Do Investors Really Use Corporate Responsibility Information? (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

Sullivan, R. (ed.) (2008), Corporate Responses to Climate Change (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

Sullivan, R. & Mackenzie, C. (eds.) (2006), Responsible Investment (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

Sullivan, R. (2005), Rethinking Voluntary Approaches in Environmental Policy (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK).

Warner, M. & Sullivan, R. (eds.) (2004), Putting Partnerships to Work: Strategic Alliances for Development between Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

Sullivan, R. (ed.) (2003), Business and Human Rights: Dilemmas and Solutions (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

Sullivan, R. & Wyndham, H. (2001), Effective Environmental Management: Principles and Case Studies (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, Australia).

Research Articles

Dietz, S., Fruitiere, C., Garcia-Manas, C., Irwin, W., Rauis, B. & Sullivan, R. (2018), ‘An Assessment of Climate Action by High-carbon Global Corporations’, Nature Climate Change.

Sullivan, R. & Gouldson, A. (2017), ‘The Governance of Corporate Responses to Climate Change: An International Comparison’, Business Strategy and the Environment, Volume 26, pp. 413-425.

Sudamant, A., Gouldson, A., Colenbrander, S., Sullivan, F., McAnulla, F. & Kerr, N. (2017), ‘Understanding the Case for Low-carbon City Investment through Bottom-up Assessments of City-scale Opportunities’, Climate Policy, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 299-313.

Doda, B., Gennaioli, C., Gouldson, A., Grover, D. & Sullivan, R. (2016), ‘Are Corporate Carbon Management Practices Reducing Corporate Carbon Emissions?’, CSR and Environmental Management, Vol. 23, pp. 257-270.

Sullivan, R. & Gouldson, A. (2016), ‘Comparing the Climate Change Actions, Targets and Performance of UK and US Retailers’, CSR and Environmental Management, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp. 129–139, May/June 2016.

Gouldson, A., Kerr, N., Millward-Hopkins, J., Freeman, M., Topi, C. & Sullivan, R. (2015), ‘Innovative Financing Models for Low Carbon Transitions: Exploring the Case for Revolving Funds for Domestic Energy Efficiency Programmes’, Energy Policy, No. 86, pp. 739-748.

Gouldson, A. & Sullivan, R. (2014), ‘Understanding the Governance of Corporations: An Examination of the Factors Shaping UK Supermarket Strategies on Climate Change’, Environment and Planning A, Vol. 46, No. 12, pp. 2972-2990.

Sullivan, R. & Gouldson, A. (2013), ‘Ten Years of Corporate Action on Climate Change: What do we have to show for it?’, Energy Policy, Vol. 60, pp. 733-740.

Sullivan, R., Gouldson, A. & Webber, P. (2013), ‘Funding Low Carbon Cities: Local Perspectives on Opportunities and Risks’, Climate Policy, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 514-529.

Gouldson, A. & Sullivan, R. (2013), ‘Long-term Corporate Climate Change Targets: What Could they Deliver?’, Environmental Science & Policy, 27 (March 2013), pp. 1-10.

Sullivan, R. & Gouldson, A. (2012), ‘Does Voluntary Carbon Reporting Meet Investors’ Needs?’, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 36, pp. 60-67.


Dietz, S., Garcia-Manas, C., Gardiner, D., Irwin, W., Matthews, A., Nachmany, M., Sullivan, R. & Ward, F. (2018), Carbon Performance Assessment in Oil and Gas: Discussion Paper. November 2018 (Transition Pathway Initiative, London, UK).

Miller, A., Grabski, T. & Sullivan, R. (2018), How Securities Regulators Can Support the Sustainable Development Goals: A Sharing of Experiences (Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, Geneva, Switzerland).

Dietz, S., Garcia-Manas, C., Gardiner, D., Irwin, W., Lion, A., Nachmany, M., Rauis, B. & Sullivan, R. (2018), The State of Transition in the Coal Mining, Electricity and Oil and Gas Sectors (Transition Pathway Initiative, London).

Sullivan, R. & Fischer, R. (2017), Portfolio Investment in a Carbon Constrained World: The Third Annual Progress Report of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (UNEPFI, Geneva; CDP, London).

Chesebrough, D. & Sullivan, R. (2017), Coping, Shifting, Changing 2.0: Corporate and Investor Strategies for Managing Market Short-termism (UN Global Compact and Principles for Responsible Investment, London, UK).

Sullivan, R., Feller, E., Martindale, W. & Robinson, J. (2016), Investor Duties and Obligations in 6 Asian Markets (Principles for Responsible Investment, UNEP Finance Initiative and The Generation Foundation, London).

Martindale, W., Sullivan, R. & Fabian, N. (2016), How Asset Owners Can Drive Responsible Investment: Beliefs, Strategies and Mandates (Principles for Responsible Investment, London).

Sullivan, R., Martindale, W., Feller, E. & Bordon, A. (2015), Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century (UN Global Compact, UNEPFI, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, London).



Research - 2018


Policy - 2022


News - 2022

The issue of corporate lobbying activity by companies on climate change, and how responsibly it is carried out, is fast becoming a central issue for global investors. This commentary explores the actions investors can take to ensure that corporate lobbying does not undermine implementation of the Paris Agreement. Read more

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