Sustainability is in the heartbeat of Wales. We take it seriously, looking out for our future generations and our planet’s resources. We are known for taking a leading role and coming up with innovative ideas to ensure sustainability is achieved at all levels, creating a sustainable Wales. Whether it’s cleaner, low carbon energy sources, managing and reducing waste or mitigating climate change – we’re already thinking ahead to the future and acting now.
As one of the first industrialised nations in the world - playing a pivotal role in the industrial revolution - it seems only natural that we are one of the first nations to make sustainable development a constitutional duty.
For Wales, sustainable development is much broader than perhaps the environmental definition we may be used to. Sustainable development is about improving the way we can achieve our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being - it’s about making sure we are using the most appropriate method in the long term to achieve our goals in the short term.
'Wales was the first nation in the world to legislate
for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.'
The ground-breaking Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 created a ‘sustainable development principle’ which embeds sustainable development at the centre of our decision making - ensuring that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This means that public bodies must set and publish how they will contribute to achieving the 7 well-being goals identified in the Act. The introduction of the Act also meant Wales was the first nation in the world to legislate for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the goals is to build a ‘globally responsible Wales’ – making a positive contribution to global well-being. Wales is forging a strong track record of international collaboration including our Wales for Africa Programme. The infographic below documents our journey since becoming one of the first nations in the world to have a constitutional duty on sustainable development.