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Well-being of Future
Generations (Wales) Act 2015

The Well-being of Future Generations Act gives us the ambition, permission and legal obligation to improve our social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.

The Act is unique to Wales attracting interest from countries across the world as it offers a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive change to current and future generations.

Seven Well-being Goals

To make sure we are all working towards the same purpose, the Act puts in place seven well-being goals. The Act makes it clear the listed public bodies must work to achieve all of the goals, not just one or two.

  • A prosperous Wales

    An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change), and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work
  • A resilient Wales

    A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change)
  • A healthier Wales

    A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood
  • A more equal Wales

    A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio economic circumstances)
  • A Wales of cohesive communities

    Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities
  • A Wales of vibrant culture and Welsh language

    A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, sports and recreation
  • A globally responsible Wales

    A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being
“We have big ambitions for protecting our environment and the future generations in Wales and are leading the way with our Environment Act and Well–being of Future Generations Act” Sophie Howe | Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

The Sustainable Development principle

The Future Generations Act defines Sustainable Development in Wales as: "The process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales by taking action, in accordance with the sustainable development principle, aimed at achieving the well-being goals." It sets out five ways of working needed for Public Bodies to achieve the seven well-being goals. This approach provides an opportunity for innovative thinking, reflecting the way we live our lives and what we expect of our public services.

The Five Ways of Working


The importance of balancing short-term needs with the needs to safeguard the ability to also meet long-term needs


Considering how the public body's well-being objectives may impact upon each of the well-being goals, on their objectives, or on the objectives of other public bodies


The importance of involving people with an interest in achieving the well-being goals, and ensuring that those people reflect the diversity of the area which the body serves


Acting in collaboration with any other person (or different parts of the body itself) that could help the body to meet its well-being objectives


How acting to prevent problems occurring or getting worse may help public bodies meet their objectives

Public Bodies subject to the Act

There are 44 public bodies in Wales covered by the Act who are required to carry out sustainable development

  • Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales
  • Arts Council of Wales
  • Local Authorities
  • Local Health Boards
  • Public Health Wales NHS Trust
  • Fire and Rescue Authorities
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • National Library of Wales
  • National Park Authorities
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Sport Wales
  • Velindre NHS Trust
  • Welsh Government

Public Services Boards

The Act establishes Public Services Boards in each Local Authority area. They are required to assess the state of well-being locally, set objectives and produce a plan designed to improve economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their local area, maximising their contribution to the well-being goals.