Centre for Environmental Risks and Futures
The Centre for Environmental Risks and Futures (CERF) conducts research, teaching and consultancy in a range of areas spanning natural, technical, economic, social and political systems. Our risk work includes all aspects of environmental risk analysis (including hazard characterisation, exposure prediction, risk assessment, risk perception and risk communication) and management. Our environmental work includes life cycle assessment (with a particular focus on food and agriculture), environmental modelling, spatial ecology, environmental economics (particularly valuing natural capital and ecosystem services) and environmental regulation and governance.An important component of the Centre's activity is "futures" analysis which aims to derive sets of feasible future scenarios and assess associated risks and opportunities. We contribute heavily to the pan-University Centre for Climate Change Adaptation.
CERF was formed in January 2011 to enhance Cranfield's strategic capabilities in environmental risk. It combines the activities of the EPSRC/ NERC/ ESRC/ Defra funded Collaborative Centre of Excellence in Understanding and Managing Natural and Environmental Risk (the Risk Centre) with the previous Natural Resources Management Centre and complimentary expertise from across the University. CERF's principal focus is the delivery of solutions for strategic and operational problems on behalf of government and industry.
Our clients include: Defra, Unilever, LARCI, BIS, UK Energy Research Centre, American Water Works Association Research Foundation, Heineken UK, European Commission, The World Bank, Department for Trade and Industry, Environment Agency, Grantscape, International Water Association, Malaysian Ministry of Health, National Grid plc, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research, Shell Global Solutions, SITA, Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency, UK Water Industry Research, Waste and Resources Action Programme (UK), Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water, The Drinking Water Inspectorate, The Chemicals Regulation Directorate, EPSRC, BBSRC, ESRC, NERC and HEFCE.
- De-bunking the "food miles" myth
- Delivering tools to help Defra's Management Board compare environmental risks of national importance
- "Writing the book on risk" - new Government Guidelines on Environmental Risk Assessment and Management
- Analysing systemic risk of animal disease incursions
- Assessing environmental impacts of major agricultural commodities across their life cycles
- Guiding the responsible use of nanomaterials
- Measuring the intellectual contribution university research makes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Reviewing the climate change adaptation plans of several reporting authorities
- Understanding the effect of organisational culture on effective risk management
- Improving our understanding of the fate and associated risks of new and existing synthetic organic pollutants
- Developing models to assess the risks associated with pesticide transfers from land to water
Under the direction of Dr Mick Whelan, we frequently collaborate closely with colleagues from across the University, providing multi-disciplinary support to clients and to our students. CERF is a member of the Environmental KTN, founder of a network of risk expertise for Defra, and accredited under the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.
- Agriculture and forestry systems modelling
- Economics and Policy
- Ecosystem services and well-being
- Evidence and uncertainty
- Emerging technologies
- Horizon scanning and futures
- Life cycle assessment
- Integrated landscape management
- Reliability engineering
- Strategic risk appraisal