Our achievements

The LSDC has played an important part in helping the capital to become a sustainable world city since 2002.

We've advised the Mayor on the status of Londoners' quality of life. We've identified and nurtured some of the most exiting new leaders in sustainable bushinesses and communities. We've helped ensure sustainability was at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Explore the timeline below to explore these and other achievements and contributions, and how sustainable development thinking has evolved over the years.

2002-2003: The LSDC is set up and gets to work!




  • The LSDC was formally named in London's successful 2012 Olympics bid as independently assuring its sustainable development commitments.
  • We persuaded Transport for London to use our Sustainable Development Framework to assess its congestion charge extension.
  • We developed a simpler way to assess Mayoral and other strategies. Our Integrated Impact Assessment methodology is used for the first time to assess the new version of the Mayor's London Plan.
  • We worked with local authorities from across the country on ways to embed sustainability at a local level


  • We advised the Mayor on his further alterations to the London Plan.
  • Sustainability Challenge London was commissioned in 2006 by the Commission and undertaken by Golder Associates. This international research informed the development of the LSDC's London Leaders programme and highlights key sustainability success factors critical for a sustainable city approach.


  • We gave birth to CSL 2012 as our sister Commission to carry on our work to ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games and legacy met their sustainability commitments.
  • In Making It Happen, we reported on our original research with Golder Associates into where sustainable development is working from around the world, from Bogota to New York City. We identified the key factors which led to sustainable development happening at a local level. 
  • We assessed how London is tackling the challenges set out in the national sustainability strategy, 'Securing the Future', identifying any gaps in and opportunities for London's policy response.



  • To build on Making it Happen we issued a challenge to London to put SD into practice. In 'A Greater London: what are you doing?', we announce our first 15 London Leaders. This programme would go on to nurture more than 80 amazing individuals from all walks of London life who exemplify sustainable development in practice.
  • We updated our Quality of Life indicators and ran a conference to engage London's diverse sustainability sector with a stake in improving performance against these key measures of the city's sustainability.
  • We launched our report for policy-makers, 'Virtuous Cycles', which set out the benefits of a sustainable development approach to policy development and project delivery, and how to go about it.  


  • We published ground breaking independent research, 'Capital Consumption', on London's real carbon emissions, which was taken to the global climate talks in Copenhagen.
  • We responded to the Mayor's new Economic Strategy, advising that a capital-wide transformation would be required with all economic sectors fully supporting London's transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.


  • We contributed to the important, London-wide debate on economic fairness by conducting research into the impacts of income inequalities on sustainable development in the capital.
  • We continued to advise on Mayoral strategies, including the new London Plan.


  • We continued to advise on new Mayoral guidance, including through recommendations for Olympic Legacy Planning.
  • We commissioned an important piece of research, 'Sowing the Seeds', that examined how best to reconnect London's children with nature. 
  • Together with the GLA Group and the National Physical Laboratory, we explored and recommended better tools for measuring, modelling and monitoring London's carbon emissions. 
  • We provided advice to committees of MPs on the definition of sustainable development in the draft National Planning Policy Framework.




  • We launched our fourth Quality of Life report at City Hall. The report highlghted the strength of London's green economy, leading us to launch a big piece of work on green entrepreneurship - starting with this scoping report on the topic.
  • The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL), formerly one of our sub-groups and then a sister organisation, finished its work. You can peruse a full archive of materials and the organisation's achievements here.


  • We provided advice on the Mayor's Further Alterations to the London Plan.
  • We launched our 'Green Means Business' report, setting out why London is such a good place for green entrepreneurs to base themselves, and recommending a growth ambition for the sector of nine per cent, per year.
  • The Mayor of London was awarded for work to create a new carbon accounting standard (PAS2070). This international best practice benchmark was built from recommendations in our Capital Consumption report.




  • We published our fifth Quality of Life Indicators report, which we are using to inform our work and advice to the Mayor, and inspire further action on sustainability in the capital.
  • We kick-started work on green finance, which will be looking at how to fund the transition to a zero- carbon, sustainable London


  • We launched our Women in Cleantech work, which is looking at how to encourage more women to take part in and lead London's low-carbon economy.

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