Sustainability and future generations

Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

The seven well-being goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 apply to local authorities, public service boards, local health boards, HEFCW, most public bodies and the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government has produced a number of guidance documents to support understanding of the legislation and its application.

Although universities and colleges are not directly included, they are referred to within the legislation as being invitees to sit on public service boards who in turn are charged with responsibility for:

  • assessing the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in its area setting objectives (‘local objectives’) that are designed to maximise their contribution within their area to achieving those goals
  • taking all reasonable steps by members of the board (in exercising their functions) to meet those objectives

The Future Generations Commissioner has identified four priority to progress:

  • Climate change
  • Economic change
  • Population change
  • Citizen disengagement

We believe higher education has much to contribute to this agenda through research, teaching, and civic engagement, and we will seek to support the HE sector through our own strategic engagement with universities and colleges.

We have developed our own Well-being Statement and associated objectives. We will seek to contribute towards the delivery of the seven goals of the Act through implementing the sustainable development principle and the actions that will be set out within our new corporate strategy and operational plan.

We will seek to work with those in HE who are supportive of this agenda, particularly the Higher Education Wales Future Generations Group, The United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise Wales and Advance HE’s Future Generations Group.

Environment (Wales) Act 2016

We have published an Environmental Report to meet our Section 6 duty under the Environmental (Wales) Act 2016.

HEFCW’s Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems Duty Report 2019