Department for Culture Media and Sport


We are committed to supporting and promoting sustainable development in all aspects of our work.

The term sustainable development first came to prominence in 1987, when the World Commission on Environment and Development produced a report for the United Nations called ‘Our Common Future’.


Most interpretations of sustainable development come from the World Commission on Environment and Development's definition of sustainable development:

"development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"

The UK Government and devolved administrations have clearly set out in the new Shared Framework what sustainable development means for them and the approach they will take to pursue their goal:

“The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations…

…for the UK Government and the devolved administrations, that goal will be pursued in an integrated way through a sustainable, innovative and productive economy that delivers high levels of employment; and a just society that promotes social inclusion, sustainable communities and personal wellbeing. This will be done in ways that protect and enhance the physical and natural environment, and use resources and energy as efficiently as possible.”

The UK Government and the devolved administrations have agreed to a shared set of guiding principles for sustainable development, which must be respected in order for a policy to be sustainable.

DCMS and sustainable development

The DCMS Sustainable Development Action Plan 2008-11 details our current plans for implementing sustainable development within the department. This action plan is informed by Securing the future, the UK Government’s sustainable development strategy and the cross governmental Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate.

Securing the future, UK Government’s sustainability strategy, published by Defra.

Sustainability and our sectors

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Sustainability and planning for climate change has been incorporated into every stage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its legacy plans. The sustainability plan for London 2012 “Towards a one planet 2012” outlines the adaptation and sustainability practices covering:

  • flood management
  • building design
  • landcaping
  • ecologica management
  • operational managment

Sustainable and Low Carbon Event Management

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games presents an opportunity to pioneer and champion sustainable events management. The Games has helped inspire the development of BS 8901 a management system and standard that enables event managers and planners to manage their activity in a sustainable way to help minimise the impact on the environment. Trials of BS 8901 were also carried out by, amongst others, Manchester International Festival, Live Nation and Lords Cricket Ground.


A number of Non-Government Organisations and other bodies are also looking at ways to help promote sustainable events. One example is Julies Bicycle, which undertook some independent research into festival related travel and is now working within the sector to try and encourage more carbon friendly events.

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Websites of interest