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Communities Living Sustainably

Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) was a £12 million, five-year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Twelve communities in England received funding to help deal with the potential impact of climate change and build the sustainability and resilience of their local community, providing inspiration to other communities and sharing what they have learned.

Topics that were explored included:

Food growing
Domestic and commercial energy saving
Renewable energy
Climate change adaptation
Fuel poverty
Local power generation
Community enterprises
Local currencies
Waste oil recycling

A Learning Partnership of five organisations with expertise in tackling climate change and helping communities to live more sustainably has been brought together to encourage and support the funded communities to share any lessons from their projects. The partnership comprises Groundwork UK, the Energy Saving Trust, the Federation of City Farms and Gardens, the New Economics Foundation and Building Research Establishment (BRE).

A learning network was established to encourage peer learning between communities, to better understand how communities can successfully live and work in a sustainable way and to provide information to inform and influence policy and practice both within the CLS programme and within the wider sustainability arena.

Here you can find some of the resources that were produced during the programme:


Our Place, Our Planet: Programme report - May 2017

Looking for Leaders: Policy report - March 2017 


'How To' Guides:

Click here to view all six. 

Meanwhile Gardens - August 2016

Strengthening local food economy - August 2016 

Community flood plans - August 2016

Community renewable energy - August 2016

Wellbeing Walks - August 2016

Upcycling - August 2016

New Economics Foundation: 

Influencing people through peer groups - November 2016

Encouraging sustainable behaviours through working with schools - November 2016

Learning approach - November 2016

Working at different scales - November 2016

Community approaches - November 2016

Indicators of Behaviour Change - November 2016


Climate resilience information directory - July 2016

Key findings report -July 2016

Energy Saving Trust:

Community approaches to domestic energy efficiency - May 2016 

Federation of City Farms and Gardens:

Which tool to use - May 2016 


CLS Behaviour Change Report - January 2015

CLS Behaviour Change Summary - January 2015

CLS Growing and Green Space Report  - August 2015 

CLS Growing and Green Space Summary - August 2015


CLS Growing and Green Space Report - March 2014

CLS Energy Learning Summary - March 2014 

CLS Growing and Green Space Summary - June 2014

CLS Climate Change Report - September 2014

CLS Climate Change Summary - September 2014

CLS Round Table Booklet - November 2014