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

Policy and Research

Over the years the SDC has drawn on expert opinion to produce evidence-based policy advice and research on contentious environmental, social and economic issues. This entailed a unique approach working "inside track" across Government, in a deliberative and participatory way of working bringing knowledge of sustainable development wider than single issues. We provided challenge and foresight on the key environmental, social and governance issues facing Government, business and society, enabled "wicked" issues to be raised and innovative solutions to be considered in a "safe" environment and often forged a consensus.

Whilst the focus of our work programme may have changed every year the overall aim was to help answer the following key questions:

  • How can Government support a transition to a sustainable economy?
  • How can Government ensure that our society stays within environmental limits, while creating sustainable places?
  • How can Government ensure that policies reduce disadvantage rather than having a disproportionate impact on sections of our society?
  • What can Government do to support action in communities and business that encourages changes to people’s behaviour and which enables more sustainable lives?
  • How can Government better organise itself to deliver more sustainable outcomes?

SDC has worked with Government, Business, and the Public and Third Sectors on some of the most important challenges and "wicked issues" being tackled by government. For further information see the following areas:

» Built Environment

» Business and Consumption

» Climate Change & Energy

» Economics

» Education

» Food

» Health

» Local and Regional Government

» Natural Resources

» Transport