The Welsh Government’s current sustainable development scheme ‘One Wales:One Planet’ was launched in 2009. This set out how the devolved government in Wales wanted to promote sustainability in its functions along with long term planning for the future that only uses a fair share of the earth’s resources.
Stakeholders at the time made comments about how this government scheme could be made relevant to other organisations, businesses, communities, and individuals across Wales.
In direct response to the feedback, then Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson AM, launched the Charter in May 2010. Twenty-two organisations from the public, private and voluntary sector signed-up to make their commitments to share good practice and learning on sustainable development, and set annual challenges. Some of the early signatories to the Charter included Cardiff University, TYF, Calon Wen, Hay Festival, National Trust, and Marks and Spencer.
Over the last few years, the Charter network has continued to grow and now has over 340 organisations of all shapes and sizes signed up, including Costain, The Clink Charity, Halen Mon, City and County of Swansea, Wales Millennium Centre and Lloyds Bank.
Learning and sharing are important aspects of the Charter. Each year an Annual Conference brings Charter organisations together to share good practice. Between events, online tools including web and social media are used to support the Charter network, highlight activity, innovation and collaboration.
In 2012, the Welsh Government awarded a contract, which included management of the Charter, to Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales. Since then Cynnal Cymru has been improving collaboration between Charter signatories and encouraging innovation.
Alongside the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, the aim of the Charter is to realise Wales’ ambitions to be a leading nation on sustainable development.