Polly was Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (1989-2021), an internationally recognised centre of excellence in sustainability leadership working with business, government and the finance sector. She is a Fellow of Churchill College, an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Advisor to the Aviation Impact Accelerator at the Whittle Laboratory, and Chair of the Faculty Board of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. She is a member of the Supervisory Board for Mercedes Benz AG, and a Non-Executive Director of both Anglian Water Services Ltd and the British Standards Institute.
Polly is a member of the judging panel for the King’s Award for Sustainable Development, a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate, and a Trustee of Cambridge Past, Present and Future, a local charity dedicating to protecting and enhancing the Cambridge area and its green landscapes. Polly holds a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MA from the University of Cambridge
Polly was made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) in 2008, and appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2016 for services to Sustainability Leadership. She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 2021.