Sustainable development

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all".  The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of UN Resolution 70/1, the 2030 Agenda.

The Sustainable Development Goals are:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  10. Reducing Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life On Land
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

For details of the goals and historical background see


July 2020    Scottish Government publication

Review of Scotland's  progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Background, introduction and report.  The report is a downloadable 245 page PDF.

Comment from Learning for Sustainability Scotland, Scotland's United Nations Recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development.


July 2020

European Day of Sustainable Communities 2020

In June ECOLISE launched the 4th European Day of Sustainable Communities 2020, with a special call to citizens and communities who have led local responses to the Covid-19 pandemic to join the day.

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp relief the essential role of communities in times of crisis – ensuring the provision of food supplies and other essential services, caring for the most vulnerable, and sustaining social cohesion in the face of a global emergency

Community resilience is an essential component in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, not only in terms of addressing communities’ immediate needs, but also in relation to the longer term challenge of rebuilding our society and economy in a way that responds to the deepening climate and ecological emergency.

The fourth European Day of Sustainable Communities takes place on the 19th September and provides an opportunity to recognise the thousands of community initiatives across Europe that are reimagining the future, helping to create safer, healthier and more sustainable and just living environments.

This year we would really encourage events that showcase potential longterm responses to the Covid 19 crisis, which also help to nurture sustainability and reduce climate impacts.  The pandemic highlights the importance of decentralised decision making and distributed local provision of goods and services. In many areas this capacity has been lost or severely eroded and needs rebuilding.

Ecolise website

Day of Sustainable Communities website and event registration


Scottish Parliament  Environmental and Sustainable Development Annual Report 2018-19

Find out how the Parliament is working to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its environmental performance. You can also find out about initiatives such as sustainable travel and sustainable procurement.

From the report introduction

"The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) is committed to embedding Sustainable Development (SD) throughout the organisation and seeks to improve its environmental performance year on year.  It has always set its targets in line with the Scottish Government, so this year we have increased our targets to reduce our carbon footprint by 56% by 2020/21, in line with the new Climate Change Bill.  For 2018-19, the SPCB’s emissions reduced by 52% against a baseline year of 2005-06."

Read the report







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