Bioregional has joined with partners to help policymakers implement the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by world leaders in September 2015.

These 17 universal goals and the 169 targets that accompany them aim to set the world on course to achieving truly sustainable development by 2030. That would mean eliminating poverty, ending planet-threatening environment damage and resource depletion and allowing everyone, everywhere the chance of living in safety and decency – including future generations.

But while these goals and targets are ambitious and very wide ranging, they all have to work together and avoid clashes when it comes to implementation. They also have to build on, and mesh with, nations’ existing policies and programmes. Only then can they succeed.

Stakeholder Forum, an international NGO which works on sustainable development, and Bioregional have teamed up with Newcastle University politics expert Dr Graham Long to research these issues.

Together we have produced a report, Seeing the Whole, which sets out a classification scheme for understanding the types and strengths of interlinkages between the SDG targets.

The report then applies this pioneering methodology to the linkages between Goal Number 12, on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), and other targets under other goals. It builds on earlier Bioregional analysis to do this.

The report, which was funded by the Government of Finland, also sets out European Union law and policy relevant to the targets of the SCP goal. It assesses how well aligned existing EU policy is with the goal in terms of coverage and ambition.

Among the report’s key recommendations are:

  • Where SDG wording and indicators are unclear, clarify ambitious targets in national policy
  • Focus on interlinked targets to amplify outputs
  • Interpret conflicting targets such that they complement each other
  • Build on the EU’s ambition with waste legislation in other weaker areas required for SCP such as education and taxation.
  • Member states of the EU should push the sustainable development agenda and take on responsibility where the EU cannot.

For more information on the report or on our work on SCP and the Sustainable Development Goals please contact