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


The Healthy Futures Work Programme

The Sustainable Development Commission's Healthy Futures programme was supported by the Department of Health from 2004-2011. Its purpose was to help the Department, NHS and wider health sector explore how best to improve health and promote stronger, healthier and more sustainable communities through sustainable development.

Through its policy advice, capability building and embedded working, the SDC promoted greater understanding of the interplays between sustainable development and health - and between unsustainable behaviours and ill-health – and how they could influence UK policy. When the SDC closed in March 2011 it departed its relationship with the Department of Health as a valued partner of both the DH sustainability team and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit.

Are you a Good Corporate Citizen?

The NHS Good Corporate Citizenship Assessment Model (GCCAM) is a tool to help NHS organisations contribute to sustainable development in their local economies, communities and environment. The GCCAM includes an assessment test, a library of resources and case studies, an on-line forum and an events page to help share good practice among NHS organisations.

The GCCAM was initially developed in 2006 by the Sustainable Development Commission and the Department of Health, and later revised in 2009 in cooperation with the NHS Sustainable Development Unit. Originally hosted by the SDC, the GCCAM has been hosted by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) since 1st March 2011.


In Wales, the Commission has worked closely with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Health and Social Services. We supported the re-establishment of the NHS Wales Sustainable Development Steering Group and assisted in assessments under the Platinum Corporate Health Standard, a scheme under which employers in Wales can apply for formal recognition of their initiatives in Corporate Responsibility and Good Citizenship. The Commission also responded to the public consultation on NHS Wales structural reform. Our recommendation that sustainable development be incorporated into the constitution of the new bodies was accepted by the Health Minister.


SDC Scotland has worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, Health Facilities Scotland and NHSScotland to develop a Good Corporate Citizenship Assessment Model (GCCAM) for Scotland. It is aimed at the eight Scottish NHS Boards and helps them meet public reporting requirements on NHSScotland’s performance.

We conducted training on using the model across the health boards and gathered a set of case studies to highlight good practice across Scotland. Following the launch of the online tool the Scottish Government decided to make use of GCCAM compulsory for all Scottish Health Boards.

Key Publications

Healthy Futures

» Healthy Futures #1 – sustainable development opportunities in the NHS, an overview

» Healthy Futures #2 – food and sustainable development in the NHS

» Healthy Futures #3 - buildings and sustainable development

» Healthy Futures #4 - Are you a good corporate citizen?

» Healthy Futures #5 - Sustainable transport and active travel

» Healthy Futures #6 - The natural environment, health and well-being

» Healthy Futures #7 - The NHS and Climate Change

» Healthy Futures #8 - Are you a Good Corporate Citizen?

» Healthy Futures #9 - Commissioning for sustainable development

» Healthy Futures #10 - Sustainable development and health inequalities

Other Publications

» Sustainable Development: The key to tackling health inequalities

» Healthy and Sustainable – The NHS as a good corporate citizen

» Health Place and Nature report and slide set

» Good Corporate Citizenship - The Business Case

» Evaluation of the Good Corporate Citizenship Assessment Model

» The NHS and Climate Change - Slide set

» NHS England Carbon Footprinting Report

» Primary Care Trusts and Leadership in Sustainability: How PCTs can contribute to sustainable development in LIFT

» Sustainable food procurement in the NHS

» Food procurement for health and sustainable development

» Progress in Practice Case Studies