UN sustainable development goals



"The UN Global Goals offer a vision of the world that I believe people in Scotland share. The national and international dimensions to poverty and inequality are interlinked. Scotland cannot act with credibility overseas, if we are blind to inequality here at home. And our ambitions for a fairer Scotland are undermined, without global action to tackle poverty, promote prosperity and to tackle climate change." - First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - November 2015


SUII's 2019/21 themed calls for proposals focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, intended to complement and support existing work in this area to help accelerate progress towards achieving the goals in Scotland. The work was steered by a broad group of policy, practice and civil society partners, in close collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, co-investment partner for the programme, and SDG Network Scotland.

The United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals were supported by 193 signatories at the General Assembly of the UN in September 2015. They form part of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Scotland was one of the first countries to commit to the goals in 2015 and they are incorporated into the National Performance Framework.​

The goals are aimed at mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind”. They are summarised as being all about “people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership”. (Source: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/).


Over three calls for proposals, SUII supported eleven projects aimed at: accelerating progress towards the SDGs; integrating the goals; and stimulating behavioural change. 

The projects cover a wide range of areas including climate change, place-making, land and sea management, community development, social justice, health, education and food. Each project brings a different perspective to achieving a fairer, greener Scotland, yet there is also a strong interconnection between many of the projects, generating cross-cutting insights. More details about each project can be found on this website as well as in this dedicated poster room.


In November 2021, an online conference wove together the threads from these projects and the programme as a whole and considered how the knowledge generated and shared by the programme can be translated into practice. 

The conference took as its starting point the SDG goals (and their relationship to the National Performance Framework in Scotland) and took place against the background of two major challenges: