UK innovation agency The Technology Strategy Board has launched a free digital tool designed to help businesses identify sustainability issues, risks and opportunities, and integrate them into strategy and commercial decisions.

The open access Horizons offering is a free a tool to help companies get a handle on issues such as climate change, population growth, food and energy security.

The tool - in beta - is already being used by the likes of Coca-Cola, BT and Levi-Strauss.

Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and Dragon's Den star, said: "Despite the challenges of these difficult economic times, I believe there is a genuine desire amongst UK businesses to embrace sustainability.

"Growing numbers are seeing the business case of understanding the big trends coming their way and working for the long term, and Horizons is a great resource to help them do that."

Horizons is made up of a number of "cards" which outline the issues and trends driving the development of the future economy, like access to information, levels of pollution, public trust and energy security.

Detailed information on why each issue is important is available, plus links, films and case studies "to bring the issues to life", said the Technology Strategy Board, which has developed the tool in partnership with Forum for the Future, the global sustainability non-profit organisation.

Richard Miller, Technology Strategy Board head of sustainability, said: "The sustainability challenge that the world economy faces represents a fantastic opportunity for smart and innovative businesses to create new products, services and business models.

"Bringing sustainability thinking into mainstream business activities is the most important thing we can do to make that opportunity real."