Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development

Finland's National Strategy for Sustainable Development was reformed in 2013. Instead of a traditional strategy, the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development decided to prepare a commitment to sustainable development titled “the Finland we want by 2050”. With the Commitment, the public administration, together with other actors, pledges to promote sustainable development in all its work and operations.

Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development

Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development is a key instrument for implementing the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, Agenda2030. Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development is a shared long-term vision of the Finland we want to see in the future. The Commitment is founded on a common understanding of the compelling need for change.

Society's Commitment includes mutually agreed-upon objectives and practices that are required to secure a good life now and for the future generations. The Commitment is the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development's interpretation of what sustainable development entails. The practical measures will, in turn, define the contents of sustainable development.

Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development includes eight objectives: equal prospects for well-being, a participatory society for citizens, sustainable work, sustainable local communities, a zero carbon society, a resource-wise economy, life choices that respect nature’s boundaries and decision-making that respects nature. Read more about the objectives here.

Operational commitments

In order to achieve the goals of society’s sustainable development commitment, businesses, communities, educational institutions, public administration, political parties, cities and other actors can make an operational commitment on concrete action to achieve common goals. Private individuals can also make the commitment.

By making operational commitments, the actors commit themselves to doing their part in attaining the set objectives. The commitment lays out concrete actions that can be taken within the next 5 to 10 years, changes in policies and operating methods and innovative experiments that promote mutually agreed goals. Through these concrete commitments, operators can take part in the promotion of all or just some of the shared objectives both in Finland and globally. By making a commitment, the operators participate in the national implementation of the global agenda for sustainable development, Agenda2030.

More than 2700 commitments from all sectors of society have already been made. Join us!

Give your commitment

How to make a commitment

1. Deciding on a commitment

Come up with a theme or issue that is natural for your organisation and around which you can make the commitment. The commitment can aim to develop your own operations, boost the achievement of an already existing objective, introduce a completely new operations model, product or solution, or increase the awareness of a certain issue or procedure in society. In order for the commitment process to have real impact, the operational commitment must contain something new for the organisation making the commitment. A concrete commitment must strive to promote one or more of the shared goals of Society's Commitment.

You can make a commitment alone, together with another operator or with the entire industry, or you may challenge others to make their own commitments. Operational commitments do not need to be restricted only to Finland; in accordance with the principles of sustainable development (globality, cross-generationality), a commitment may also concern production chains, countries or functions outside Finland. The commitment may be small or big, a long-term change or a campaign-like act.

2. Register your commitment online

The operational commitment can be made in the online service.

A commitment must include

  • title
  • objectives and indicators
  • scheduling
  • possibly some additional information related to the commitment to be shared with others.

3. Follow up on the progress

Attainment of the set goals requires work, monitoring and active communication. Once the commitment has been registered online and published, it becomes public. The Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, its general secretariat, and an expert panel monitor and support the commitments and their progress.

The General Secretariat on Sustainable Development asks actors who have made the commitment for annual reports on their progress. The commitment holder reports on the progress in the same online database where the commitment was made. The commitment holders can also report on the progress of their commitment based on their own monitoring systems or reporting schedules.

Equivalence of the Commitment to Sustainable Development and Agenda2030

Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development was made by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development in 2013 at the same time as the global negotiations on Agenda2030 were underway. After Agenda2030 was adopted in autumn 2015, it was decided that Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development would be updated to reflect the guidelines of Agenda2030.

With the update, Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development is now in line with the UN Agenda2030 on Sustainable Development. The Commitment’s goals comprehensively cover all 17 main goals of Agenda2030.