ONS policy and progress on sustainable development
Sustainable development is about ensuring a better life for everyone, now and in the future.
It is based on the idea that the quality of people’s lives is a combination of environmental, economic and social factors, and that enhancing quality of life requires an integrated approach to planning, decision making and development.
The aim is to achieve economic growth, in the form of higher living standards, while protecting the environment. Environmental protection is not only important socially and scientifically, but also economically. A damaged environment will sooner or later hold back economic growth and lower the quality of life. Failure to consider the wider implications of economic development can lead to more pollution and wasteful use of resources and creates social problems through social exclusion, health inequalities etc.
Many countries, including the UK, are recognising the need for a change of priorities - to take decisions on environmental and social issues which do not neglect economic consequences.
Statistics are produced by a variety of Government departments, and are collated at www.sustainabledevelopment.gov.uk
The UK Government's 'A better quality of life: a stratgey for sustainable development' and the 'Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate' are available to download. See related links.