Sustainable Communities

What are sustainable communities?

Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the needs of residents, helping them feel included and allowing them to live a high quality of life with opportunity to reach their full potential.

Sustainable communities help to preserve the natural environment and promote values like equality and neighbourliness. They are safe, well run, well built and well serviced.

The United Nations believe that the key to implementing real change in sustainable development lies at the local level. For example, Agenda 21, launched by the United Nations in 1992, set out actions to be taken globally, nationally and locally to influence human impact on the environment. Nearly 180 world governments agreed to adopt the programme.

Nationwide Education's Sustainable Communities programme examines sustainable living through five key themes: Buildings; Communities; Environment Issues; Energy and Recycling; and Travel.

Sustainable Schools

The Government aims for all schools to be sustainable by 2020 and asks them to 'prepare young people for a lifetime of sustainable living' (DfE) through their practice and teaching. The National Framework for Sustainable Schools (published in 2006) lists three interlocking components for a school to become sustainable:

  • A commitment to care - Sustainable schools have a caring ethos - care for oneself, for each other (across cultures, distances and generations) and for the environment itself (far and near).
  • An integrated approach - A sustainable school takes an integrated approach to its improvement. It explores sustainable development through its teaching provision and learning (curriculum); in its values and ways of thinking (campus); and in its engagement of local people and partners (community).
  • The eight doorways - Sustainability themes are discrete entry points or places where schools can establish or develop their sustainability practices.

The following shows how the Framework's 'doorways' relate to our programme's five key themes:

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Food and drink

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities; Environment Issues

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Energy and water

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities; Environment Issues; Energy and Recycling

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Travel and traffic

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Travel

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Purchasing and waste

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities; Environment Issues; Energy and Recycling

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Buildings and grounds

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Buildings

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Inclusion and participation

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Local well-being

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities

Sustainable Schools 'doorways'

  • Global citizenship

Nationwide Education - Sustainable Communities theme

  • Communities