Measuring up – how the UK is performing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals


Work begins on the first comprehensive assessment of the UK’s performance against the UN Sustainable Development Goals

A major network of leading companies, think tanks, charities, universities, trade unions and professional bodies has reached an important milestone in measuring the UK’s performance against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Organisations including Gaia Education, Good Energy, the Open University and the RSPB are partners of the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), a cross-sector network working to drive action to support the achievement of the SDGs in the UK.

UKSSD decided to carry out an assessment of the UK’s performance against the SDGs because the UK is lacking a comprehensive plan of action for how they will be achieved by 2030.

Gaia Education is the Chapter Lead for SDG4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.  


“SDG4, with its 10 targets, represents a level of ambition for the next 15 years that goes beyond any previous global education agreement.”

May EastCEO of Gaia Education

In coming years, SDG4UK Report will take a comprehensive look at national progress in education using available indicators, questioning their usefulness, reflecting on the quality of sources, introducing new ways of looking at evidence and advocating for improvement.

UKSSD has completed its initial research and its draft findings are now ready to be opened to stakeholder review. It is calling for organisations to volunteer to review the findings and contribute their own expertise to help shape the recommended actions.

“The SDGs offer the opportunity to create a new social contract between government and citizens, to address systemic problems in a coherent way, and to create a culture of collaboration and partnership with stakeholders in the UK. Our stakeholder-led report will be a crucial step in generating a new partnership with government so we can work together to deliver the SDGs. It will provide it with a foundation from which to build its own report, and will help us to build momentum and support for the SDGs in the UK.”

Emily AucklandUKSSD Network Director (Bioregional)

Once the review process is complete, this wide-ranging and in-depth performance assessment will be incorporated into a report to be launched during the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held in New York in July 2018.

The report will include recommended actions that the Government needs to take in the UK if we are to meet the SDGs by the 2030 deadline.

The review of initial findings will take place between 2 February until 16 March, and so far over 140 organisations have signed up to be involved. Organisations can register to take part here.

Full list of organisations leading research

Goal 1 – Glasgow Caledonian University

Goal 2 – The Food Foundation

Goal 3 – The Health Foundation

Goal 4 – Gaia Education

Goal 5 – The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations

Goal 6 – CIWEM

Goal 7 – Regen

Goal 8 – The TUC

Goal 9 – to be announced

Goal 10 – Just Fair

Goal 11 – Sysdoc

Goal 12 – Bioregional

Goal 13 – Earthwatch Institute

Goal 14 – WWF-UK

Goal 15 – RSPB

Goal 16 – Involve

Goal 17 – The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity

This article was originally published on the UKSSD website.


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