Sustainable Development Goals Scotland
Scotland's Goals - 17 Goals to achieve transformative change

In 2015, the First Minister pledged that Scotland would lead the way to deliver a more equal, more just world. In signing Scotland up to the Sustainable Development Goals - also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals - the Scottish Government made a bold statement of intent not just to the people of Scotland but to the world.

Scotland should be a place where people can satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a good quality of life. Unfortunately, this is simply not a reality across our country today. These Goals give us the framework to achieve real change, from eradicating poverty to ensuring a good home for everyone. Meeting these goals for 2030 is not just up to politicians, it is a responsibility for us all.

Recent progress

In Scotland, many groups with an interest in sustainability and development have been engaging with national and local government to explore ways of working and to undertake projects, programmes and initiatives.

The SDG Network Scotland, an open coalition bringing together the voices of over 300 people and organisations across Scotland, was formed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in 2017 to assist with the development of a Scotland-wide response to the Goals challenge. 

Alongside developing this website to serve as Scotland's National Platform for the SDGs, and launching a forum to host the Network, SDG Network Scotland published an open letter in January 2018 with the support of nearly 100 organisations asking for action on the SDGs.

Since then, the Network has worked with the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to produce material for the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review and Scotland's National Review - which can be accessed on our reporting hub - and worked to fuel a vibrant community within our coalition. 

In 2018, the Scottish Government launched a refreshed National Performance Framework (NPF) with the SDGs embedded throughout. The NPF and the Goals share the same aims, and it is viewed as Scotland’s way to localise and implement the SDGs. 

National Performance Framework

The backstory

The Rio Group

The Rio Group was founded by Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sniffer, and CIFAL Scotland in 2011 to provide a platform for discussion in Scotland for organisations interested in engaging with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Its vision was for Scotland to be a world leader in Sustainable Development and fully implement all the Sustainable Development Goals

The Rio Group ran several events designed to enable interested organisations to exchange knowledge and also to collate priorities from Scotland to feed into the development of the SDGs at international level. One example is the document we developed - ‘A Flourishing Scotland’ which set out ten ‘celebrations’ and ten ‘ambitions’ civil society organisations in Scotland wished to see reflected in the finalised SDGs. This was formally submitted to the United Nations in 2012.

The post-2015 group

Since the SDGs were adopted in 2015, the remit of the Rio Group evolved. The mission shifted to be a catalyst for achieving the full implementation of the SDGs within Scotland.

This became the Post-2015 SDG group which oversaw targeted events designed to help keep the SDGs high on the political agenda whilst promoting both practical and policy initiatives to help ensure all the goals are being prioritised and acted upon by the Scottish Government, by civil society and by the business community.

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