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The previous website address, operated by the Government as a whole, has been closed, and the contents have been moved to this new address within Defra’s own website. The information remains owned and written by all UK Government departments. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. The UK Government is in the process of reducing the number of websites it operates, to make it easier for customers to find information they are looking for. (1 October 2008)

>>Sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2008 published

Sustainable Development indicators in your pocket 2008The latest edition of Sustainable development indicators in your pocket has been published, giving an updated picture of the UK's environmental, social and economic wellbeing. For the first time the booklet includes some measures of child wellbeing and estimates of carbon dioxide emissions associated with UK consumption, and there are also updates to some of the wellbeing measures included for the first time last year.

The set of 68 indicators covers issues as diverse as health, housing, jobs, crime, education and the environment and shows 'traffic lights' to signal where things are getting better, worse or staying the same. More than half the official measurements show improvement. Find out more.

Policy background on the wellbeing measures included in the publication, a common understanding of wellbeing for policy, and information about how wellbeing measures and concepts are being used across government can be found here.

>>Adapting to Climate Change

The Adapting to Climate Change website was launched by Joan Ruddock.


>>Buy Sustainable – Quick Wins

Defra has reviewed its previous list of ‘Quick Wins' specifications to re-launch and re-brand them as 'Buy Sustainable - Quick Wins’. The mandatory product criteria have been updated according to the market average level for each product group and a brand new set of criteria has been introduced at a best practice level for each product group. Their inclusion provides procurers with a tangible target to aim for and will facilitate a quicker and wider adoption of best practice standards across the market.

Defra Secretary of State Hilary Benn gave the keynote speech at the SDUK annual conference on 6 March 2008. He talked about sustainable development achievements and challenges three years after the publication of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future.


>>Regional sustainable development indicators updated

Updated regional versions of 46 of the 68 national sustainable development indicators were published on 31 January 2008 to help provide a perspective of sustainable development in each region. The regional indicators include new indicators on environmental equality and on wellbeing.

See statistical news release


>>Whatever next? SD-scene e-newsletter June / July 08

Sustainable Summer Holiday

When we think of sustainability we rightly think of the need to consider economic, social and environmental factors together. But what role does culture play in SD? The government department responsible for all things cultural, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, understands it has a vital role in changing the way people behave. It has just published its SD Action Plan (2008- 2011), which outlines the many powerful ways the high-profile sectors it covers can - and are - contributing to this necessary cultural shift.


>>Climate Change Bill

Advice for local governmentThe Government’s blueprint for tackling climate change has been published. The draft Climate Change Bill, the first of its kind in any country, and accompanying strategy, set out a framework for moving the UK to a low-carbon economy. It demonstrates the UK’s leadership as progress continues towards establishing a post-Kyoto global emissions agreement. Find out more.


The SEED Initiative

The UK Government supports the SEED Initiative which promotes supports and researches such exceptional multi-stakeholder partnerships is pleased to announce the inspiring winners.  An international jury of sustainable development experts will choose 5 winners from the 15 finalists from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. They offer exciting examples of innovative action in important fields of sustainability, recycling, creating community enterprises, climate change adaptation and mitigation, organic, fair-trade agricultural produce, empowering women and youth, biofuels, harvesting and marketing medicinal plants, community-based eco-tourism-they include innovations in small-scale irrigation.

For more information please contact Helen Marquard, Executive Director, Seed Initiative Secretariat;
Tel: 44 7785 706 646



Directgov is the Government’s main public-facing website bringing together ‘everyday’ information and services in one place. It includes a section on the environment and greener living.


Business Link

Business Link logo Businesses’ online gateway to government support, providing action focused guidance, facilitating transactions and signposting businesses to the services and assistance available to help them grow and prosper; serving all businesses from start-up to succession. Find out more.


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Updated: 01 October 2008

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