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The Sustainable Development principle and the five ways of working

In the Well-being of Future Generations Act, the Sustainable Development Principle means that public bodies ‘must act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’


To apply this principle, public bodies must ensure they follow the five ways of working:

  1. Long-term thinking – see Public Health Wales’ ‘Futures’ resources and ‘Future Generations Prompts’
  2. Prevention of problems
  3. Integration of sustainable development into all aspects of operation
  4. Collaboration between departments, organisations and sectors
  5. Involvement of service-users, communities and staff

In collaboration with Kingston University London, we conducted a literature review to inform how best to implement these five ways of working:

Implementing the Sustainable Development: Principle Lessons from a Literature Review on Implementing the Five Ways of Working