About the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC)

Sustainable development is about creating a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. The London Sustainable Development Commission works with the Mayor of London and others in the capital to help make this happen.  

The London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) is a body that has an important role in promoting sustainable development in London and that provides independent advice on the sustainable nature of London-wide strategies, including those produced by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

First established by the Mayor of London in 2002, the LSDC comprises key representatives from London’s economic, social, environmental and governance sectors, who give their time voluntarily. The LSDC is supported in its work by a small secretariat provided by the GLA.

Achievements of the LSDC

Since its inception, the LSDC has advised the Mayor of London on a wide range of issues. Its contribution includes:

  • helping ensure sustainability was at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • recommending measures to connect the city’s children with nature
  • reporting on quality of life in the capital
  • nurturing over 80 innovative new leaders in sustainable business and communities through its London Leaders programme
  • recommended measures to help develop a cleantech cluster innovation cluster in London
Alongside this, the LSDC was responsible for ground-breaking research into carbon emissions. This research covered not just those emissions produced in London, but also from the goods the city imports.  Its work in this area resulted in an international standard to measure imported carbon emissions for cities.

Current work of the LSDC

The Mayor of London has recently appointed a new Chairman and set of commissioners, and tasked them with helping the capital meet the environmental, social and economic challenges posed by a population that is set to increase by 37 per cent to more than 11 million people by 2050.

The LSDC’s work complements that of the Sustainable Development Team at the GLA and includes: strategy input, research, programme delivery, and sustainable development mainstreaming.

The new LSDC will over the coming weeks be defining its work priorities, but current areas of focus include: 

  • Cleantech and Innovation: how to speed up the growth of London’s low-carbon goods and services sector  
  • Quality of Life Indicators: updating this important set of measures on sustainable development in the capital, and using results to define future priorities
  • Green Finance: exploring ways to finance the transition to a zero carbon, sustainable London
The Commission's Terms of Reference can be accessed here: 

Terms of Reference [PDF 23Kb] 

Terms of Reference [RTF 46Kb]