We are the UK Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development. Through advocacy, advice and
appraisal, we help put sustainable development at the heart of Government policy


SDC Annual Review

29 November 2001


Sustainable development, which integrates the social, economic and environmental
factors in decision-making, must become the central organising principle
underpinning our society, urges the Sustainable Development Commission today.

In its Review: Headlining Sustainable Development, the Commission takes six key
headline events from the last 12 months and re-presents them through the prism of
sustainable development. The events explored are the dot.com crash, the low
general election turnout, the foot and mouth epidemic, flooding, the Bradford and
Oldham riots and the collapse of Railtrack.

In all these cases, only policies which aim at sustainable development - delivering
economic improvements, social justice, and environmental protection - can deliver a
lasting quality of life for UK citizens.

The Commission's Chairman, Jonathon Porritt, said: 'This Government is doing more
to promote sustainable development than any preceding government. But the
honest truth is that it is still an add-on for most Ministers - as it is for most
companies, most local authorities, most charities, most universities - and most of us!
We must put sustainable development at the heart of things, not leave it on the
fringes. That's our big idea and we don't believe there's any other that gets
remotely close to answering the challenges we're up against.'

The Review comes at the end of the first year of the Commission's life, during which
it published two significant reports, A vision for sustainable agriculture and Forging
an energy policy for sustainable development. Other work covered the company law
review, aviation policy and the EU sustainable development strategy.

The Commission's work programme for the next six months includes a project
exploring the sustainability of food procurement in the NHS, embedding a
sustainable development agenda into regional strategies, institutions and policies
and developing sectoral sustainability strategies within the business community.

A copy of the Review is now available at www.sd-commission.org.uk

Notes to editors

Established in October 2000, the Sustainable Development Commission is an
advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Cabinet Office and
reporting to the Prime Minister and the leaders of the devolved administrations. The
Commission's objectives include advocating a compelling vision of a sustainable
economy and society and reviewing how far sustainable development is being
achieved in the UK across all sectors.

The Review builds on the Commission's substantial pieces of work outlining a vision for sustainable agriculture and an energy policy for sustainable development. On agriculture, the Commission has argued for a radical new industry structure, moving away from production subsidies, but rewarding farmers and other land managers for the environmental and cultural benefits they provide. On energy, the Commission believes that, using sustainable development criteria, the contribution of more demand management and more renewables is a more attractive option than the
development of new nuclear capacity

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