Last updated on:
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Year of approval of the SD strategy and updates

The UK government published Agenda 2030: Delivering the Global Goals (2017) to provide more detail on UK government activity to support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) delivery both domestically and internationally.

Each UK government department has embedded the SDGs into its Single Departmental Plan – an established process to focus government efforts on important issues. Each department’s Single Departmental Plan outlines how planned activity will support the delivery of the SDGs.

Additionally, the SDGs are integrated into: Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF); Wales’ Well-Being of Future Generations Act; and Northern Ireland’s draft Programme for Government (PfG).

The UK published a Voluntary National Review (VNR) of progress towards the SDGs in 2019, a product of collaboration between government, civil society and private sector organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK’s VNR provides a comprehensive account of action and also identifies areas of further work and next steps.

Type of SD strategy

In 2015, the UK along with the 192 other UN Member States signed-up to the global Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK Government is committed to supporting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs have been embedded across government departments in their Single Departmental Plans, which provide a framework to focus efforts on important issues in sustainable development. Single Departmental Plans (SDPs) are central to the way that the UK Government plans for delivery of its priorities including the SDGs. SDGs are embedded within SDPs, alongside other public commitments, and departments are specifically required to show what work they are doing that contributes at home and abroad. 

Additionally, the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own approach to embedding the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) is the main mechanism for implementing the Goals in Scotland. The NPF is underpinned by law and is intended to inform discussion, collaboration and planning of policies and services across Scotland.
  • Since 2015 Wales’ efforts have been shaped by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 which puts sustainable development on a significantly stronger footing in the legislative and policy landscape in Wales. The Act localises the 17 Goals into domestic legislation through Wales’ own 7 sustainable development goals (wellbeing goals).
  • Northern Ireland has incorporated the three dimensions of sustainable development; economic, social and environmental, into the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) strategic plans, rather than through separate sustainability strategies. This has resulted in the principles of sustainable development being embedded in the Northern Ireland Executive’s highest- level strategy, the draft Programme for Government (PfG).
Lead ministry/institution in the SD strategy process

• UK Government – The Department for International Development provides overall leadership and policy oversight of the 2030 Agenda and the Goals, with Cabinet Office supporting on domestic implementation. All other government departments are responsible for supporting delivery of aspects of the SDGs that relate to their policy remit. The Office for National Statistics are responsible for reporting data on the SDG indicators through the National Reporting Platform.

Separate arrangements exist in the Devolved Administrations.

Link to the SD strategy document

On 5 July 2019, the UK Government published a report highlighting examples of how delivery of the Government’s programme supports the delivery of the SDGs. Development, sustainability and inclusivity underline much of our domestic approach to policy making and delivery. The report can be found at:

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (2019)

Further information about the SD strategy process

UK Government
The UK Government is committed to supporting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UK published a Voluntary National Review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in 2019. The UK’s VNR is data rich and sets out the UK’s journey to 2030, incorporating input from a wide range of sectors from all parts of the UK. It provides a balanced account of progress thus far, pinpointing areas of success as well as areas of further work.

The UK and the Devolved Governments
The UK’s approach to SDG delivery reflects its unique constitutional arrangements. Full detail on the approach across the UK is found in the UK’s Voluntary National Review (in particular page 10-12)