Sustainable Development Strategy

Stirling Council adopted its first Sustainable Development Strategy in December 2006.  The over-arching sustainable development aim of the Council is:-

to enable all people throughout the Stirling Council area to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a good quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations.

 The UK government and devolved administrations adopted a shared framework for sustainable development in 2005 and this included a set of guiding principles and priorities for action.  For continuity and consistency of delivery, Stirling Council adopted the same framework, adapted where necessary for the local situation.

 Guiding Principles

1. Ensuring a Strong, Healthy & Just Society:

Meeting the diverse needs of all people in existing and future communities; promoting personal well-being, social cohesion and inclusion; and creating equality of opportunity for all.

2. Living Within Environmental Limits:

Working locally to respect the limits of the planet's environment, resources and biodiversity.  The aim is to improve our environment and ensure that the natural resources needed for life are unimpaired and remain so for future generations.

3. Achieving a Sustainable Economy:

Building a strong, stable and sustainable local economy which provides prosperity for all and in which environmental and social costs are taken into consideration and efficient resource use is encouraged.

4. Promoting Good Governance:

Actively promoting effective, participative systems of governance at all levels of society -engaging people's creativity, energy, and diversity.

5. Evidence-based Policy:

Ensuring policy is developed and implemented on the basis of strong evidence, whilst taking into account scientific uncertainties as well as public attitudes and values.

These principles form the basis for sustainable development policy in the Council.  For a policy to support sustainability, it should respect all five principles.

Four broad Priorities for Action were used to develop the Strategy’s objectives.

1. Climate Change and Energy

The effects of a changing climate can already be seen – global temperatures and sea levels are rising while ice and snow cover are declining.  Scientific evidence shows that the main cause of these effects is the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere largely from human activity.  Significant changes in the way we generate and use energy are needed to stop this trend.

Objective 1: The Council will work to reduce the cause and effects of climate change in line with national targets.

2. Sustainable Communities

Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life.  They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.  People also need public open space where they can relax and interact and the ability to have a say on the way their neighbourhood is run.  At the same time, we also need to consider the impact of our everyday actions on communities overseas.

Objective 2: The Council will work to create thriving, vibrant, sustainable communities that will improve everyone’s quality of life.

 3. Sustainable Consumption and Procurement

This includes thinking about the impacts of products and materials while in use as well as how goods and services are produced, delivered and disposed of.  By reducing the inefficient use of resources, there should be less negative impact on the economy with the intention of reducing the direct link which has been present to date between economic growth and environmental degradation.

Objective 3: The Council will promote sustainable use of resources through procurement, use and disposal.

4. Natural Resource Protection and Environmental Enhancement

Natural resources are vital to our existence and that of communities throughout the world.  We need to develop a better understanding of environmental limits, enhancement and recovery to ensure a decent environment for everyone now and in the future.

Objective 4: The Council will work to conserve and enhance the natural environment.

The guiding principles apply to all work carried out by the Council, whilst the priorities for action and associated objectives provide direction for more specific activity in progressing the Council’s sustainable development agenda.

 These Guiding Principles, Priorities for Action and Objectives are still as relevant as when they were adopted, but the Strategy document itself needs to be updated to incorporate more recent legislation.

Sustainable Development Indicators

Indicators are central to most attempts to measure and report effectiveness in delivering a strategy.  Sustainability or Quality of Life indicators measure environmental, social and economic conditions in an area.  Rather than measuring sustainable development itself, such indicators are intended to demonstrate movement towards or away from sustainable development objectives.  A local set of sustainability indicators has been developed to help scrutinise progress towards a more sustainable Stirling and these too will be reviewed, along with the Strategy.

For more information on the aims and guiding principles behind the Council's Sustainable Development Strategy please read our Sustainable Development Strategy Framework

Further information…