Sustainable Development

What is sustainable developmenti?
Sustainable development is a regulatory cross-cutting theme across all of the EUi Structural Fundsi.

Sustainable Development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Brundtland Commission Report, "Our Common Future", 1987)

Sustainable development can only be achieved by designing policies and delivery arrangements which create a balance between economic, social and environmental concerns.

What does sustainable development Cross Cutting Theme means?

Sustainable Development Cross Cutting Theme means that the 2007-2013 ESFi Programme and all its activities should promote the following three issues for putting sustainable development into practice:

  • providing opportunities to allow everyone to fulfill their potential;
  • environmental protection and enhancement through the delivery of projects; and
  • providing skills that businesses both demand and require – now and in the future.

Why is sustainable development important?
In the next 50 years, the earth's population is likely to increase by about 50% and cumulative growth in human economic activity will place between four and six times the current level of strain on the earth's environmental capital in the form of pollution and waste use.
Increasingly, people all round the world are beginning to understand that 'business as usual' is not a sustainable option. This is reflected in the EU's strategy 'Sustainable Europe for a Better World', which was proposed at the Gothenburg European Council in 2001. In 2006 the EU adopted its renewed Sustainable Development Strategy. This strategy forms the overall framework within which the Lisbon Strategy, with its renewed focus on jobs and growth, provides the motor of a more dynamic economy. These two strategies recognise that economic, social and environmental objectives can reinforce each other and they should therefore advance together.
Sustainable development is a regulatory cross-cutting theme across all of the EU Structural Funds, which means that sustainable development will be integrated into the programme. The programme’s key strategic aims in terms of promoting employment and skills are delivered in ways which use resources and energy as efficiently as possible and in ways which can also help enhance or protect the physical and natural environment; and it contributes to the UK Sustainable Development Strategy.

New England and Gibraltar European Social Fund (ESF) Sustainable Development Mainstreaming Plan 2007-2013
This plan describes how sustainable development will be mainstreamed in the England and Gibraltar ESF programme during 2007-2013. It describes the action that will be taken to help ensure that sustainable development is integrated into all aspects of the programme. The approach adds value to the DWP and LSC’s own sustainable development policies and procurement strategies.

Full details of the approach to be taken are described in the ESF Sustainable Development Mainstreaming Plan 2007-2013. To view the mainstreaming plan click on the following link: England and Gibraltar European Social Fund (ESF) Sustainable Development Mainstreaming Plan 2007-2013

What does this mean for staff delivering projects?
The strategic priorities of jobs and skills will be the main drivers for ESF activity. However, the new programme will also have a strong emphasis on making sure that the environmental aspects of sustainable development are better integrated into delivery arrangements. Project providers will be expected to prepare sustainable development policies and implementation plan covering a range of environmental issues.For further information for Sustainable Development in ESF, please visit: ESF Sustainable Development. You can also contact us at Network For Europe.