The Welsh Government are committed to ensuring organisations in Wales have help to become more sustainable and work with sustainable development principles in mind. In Autumn 2016 the Welsh Government launched a review of the previous Sustainable Development Charter, seeking to explore what Welsh organisations need in the way of support to help them work in ways that will serve them – and Wales – better over the long term.
Between September and November 2016 Databuild (on behalf of Welsh Government) engaged with organisations right across Wales through a range of events, workshops and surveys. Over 200 organisations had their say and we would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the review for the time and effort taken to share thoughts, and feed in opinions on the future of Government support for sustainable development.
By talking to businesses, charities, and public organisations we have identified the characteristics that Welsh organisations feel a future support programme should possess, including:
- That organisations differ in their understanding and awareness of sustainable development principles, meaning a ‘one size fits all’ approach to support isn’t appropriate;
- Support needs to be ‘uniquely Welsh’ and recognise that Wales is a global pioneer in its attitude to sustainable development;
- Nothing should be overly bureaucratic, and not be another ‘scheme / accreditation’ which exists for the sake of it, especially because sustainability is already a part of many other standards and accreditations;
- The scheme should be challenging and meaningful for recipients of support, but provide achievable steps to take;
- The available support should clearly set out and help organisations understand what working more sustainably means, in terms they can communicate with;
- Any support must be available to all types of organisation in Wales, and not be limited by e.g. region;
- The scheme should include a framework to allow organisations to demonstrate their achievements.
Now in January, the review is continuing and Welsh Government are working with external stakeholders to examine different designs that a support programme might take – for example, what support activities it should include and who should be responsible for providing the support.
Welsh Government are aiming to sign-off the development of a new support structure in Spring 2017. We will communicate further for your feedback as part of the process of narrowing down options for a support strategy, to ensure that Welsh organisations continue to be able to provide their opinions and make sure that the support structure that emerges from this review is as well designed and useful as it can be.
SD Charter review – timeline
- Autumn 2016: Launch of review
- Sept-Nov 2016: over 200 organisations Challenge the Charter at events, workshops and seminars
- Nov 2016 – Jan 2017: Compilation of what Wales wants in support of organisations
- Jan-Feb 2017: Options emerge – more work and testing with people in Wales
- Spring 2017: Final decision on what comes next