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Sustainable development and UK faith groups: Two sides of the same coin?

Classification:Sustainable Communities, Faith and Sustainable Development, Economics
Document type:SDC Reports & Papers
Download:SDandUKFaithGroupsv2_1.pdf - 624 KB
Summary:imageThe SDC's Redefining Prosperity project, which culminated in the Prosperity without Growth? in 2008, exploded the myth that, above a certain threshold, more money makes us happier.

An earlier stage of the Redefining Prosperity project saw the SDC hold a series of five seminars exploring alternative measures of wellbeing. For one of the seminars, we invited UK faith leaders to explore sustainable development within their faith communities. Out of that session came the suggestion that senior faith group leaders could make more connections between their spiritual beliefs and the need to preserve the earth.

In response to this, the SDC, in partnership with WWF, began work on a report in which we sought to clarify these connections and to highlight the current faith-led activities on these issues.

The report found that UK faith groups have much to offer in helping to deliver sustainable development. Rooted in their locality over generations, defined by a strong, shared set of non-materialistic values, and experienced in working together with trust and respect, faith groups are well-placed to influence and deliver sustainable development at all levels.

We argued that the following aspects of sustainable development offer particular opportunities for progress:

• Education, information and awareness-raising about sustainable development
• Acting responsibly as resource managers, employers and purchasers
• Energy and climate change
• Moving towards sustainable consumption
• The global agenda: trade justice and tackling world poverty
• Social and economic agendas
• Promoting people’s well-being and health.

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