The Sustainable Development Commission is the Government's independent adviser on sustainable development, reporting to the Prime Minister, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. Through advocacy, advice and appraisal, we help put sustainable development at the heart of Government policy.
On 1 February 2009, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) became an executive non-departmental body (Executive NDPB).
The SDC is registered with Companies House as a Company Limited by Guarantee, and registered with the Cabinet Office as an Executive NDPB. It is wholly owned by Government, and is governed by a Board.
As a separate legal entity the SDC will:
Previously the SDC was an advisory NDPB and its secretariat functioned as part of core Defra.
The SDC’s expert Commissioners will continue to be recruited as public appointments and appointed by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the Devolved Administrations.
In 2005, the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Securing the Future , strengthened the SDC’s role to act as an independent watchdog, scrutinising the UK Government’s progress on implementing the strategy, and monitoring targets on the sustainable management of the Government estate and sustainable procurement. The SDC performs a similar scrutiny and advisory role for the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Assembly Government works closely with the SDC in Wales which provides it with policy advice on sustainable development. Proposals for the SDC’s role in Northern Ireland are currently being considered by NI Ministers.
The Devolved Administrations (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) will all be part-owners of the new Sustainable Development Commission Ltd (Company No: 6798740).
» Sustainable Development Principles
» More on sustainable development
» SDC in Scotland
» SDC in Wales
» SDC in N Ireland
We work towards achieving our aims in a number of ways, including:
Our work is divided into ten policy areas: climate change, consumption, economics, education, energy, engagement, health, housing, regional & local government and transport. Each policy area is led by a steering group of Commissioners and SDC staff.
Commissioners decide on which projects will be undertaken in each policy area, taking into account: knowledge gaps in Government, new policy initiatives, contentious issues and technological innovations.
We are led by 11 Commissioners, from a mix of academic, scientific, business and NGO backgrounds, chaired by Will Day, and supported by 60 staff, directed by Andrew Lee.
We were founded in October 2000, and in 2006 expanded to take on a watchdog role.
» Commissioners' biographies
» More on the SDC watchdog role
» History of the SDC
We receive funding from several sources, which have included: the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, WWF-UK, Office of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister (OFMdFM) (Northern Ireland), Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Health.