Trial with SDG-oriented environmental vison (2019 – 2020)

Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG)

An important issue in the implementation of the Environment and Planning Act in the Netherlands is how municipalities can ensure that they take an integrated perspective when it comes to the physical environment. How can sustainability themes such as renewable energy, health and air quality be integrated into their environmental vision? And which framework can be used for an integrated consideration of these themes in the living environment?

In order to support municipalities by providing an assessment framework, the VNG organized a trial involving four municipalities to explore the option of using the UN SDGs as a compass. The results are being brought together in a guide for municipalities, which links the environmental vision to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) in a practical way.

NextGreen facilitated working sessions with the municipalities, during which a draft assessment framework with a tailored SDG-compass was co-created. It seems that the Global Goals can serve as an inspiring basis for the environmental vision due to two specific characteristics: working on a positive agenda of ‘doing good’, which involves looking at going beyond the legal requirements; and the principle that everyone is included: ‘leave no-one behind’.


Municipalities of Dongen, Smallingerland, Staphorst and Súdwest-Fryslan


To co-develop an assessment framework using the SDGs as a tailored compass, which municipalities can use for their environmental vision in order to take an integrated perspective

Role and activities of NextGreen

Preparing and facilitating six working sessions | provide input for the assessment framework and compass

Together with Ellen van Reesch and Jos van der Schot (Innovation partners)