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Government´s analysis, assessment and research activities
Report: Sustainable development goals to the heart of policy-making

Government Communications DepartmentGovernment analysis, assessment and research activitiesMinistry of the Environment
Publication date 19.3.2019 8.16
Press release 162/2019

Finland is committed to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda) by 2030. Finland was ranked third best in the assessment of sustainability in all UN Member States published in 2018, and Finland also has a strong reputation as a global leader in sustainable development work. Yet, we have a long way to go to achieve the 2030 Agenda goals.

The POLKU2030 project was the first comprehensive assessment of Finland’s sustainable development policy during this decade. According to the study conducted by Demos Helsinki, the Finnish Environment Institute and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, the targets and programmes of measures we have in Finland are heading us in the right direction, and sustainable development has become a widely accepted goal for the Finnish society. However, there is a lot to improve in terms of the dynamic and consistency of the policy.

From the sustainable development perspective Finland’s particular strengths are the high level of education and competence, stable society and strong institutions. The greatest challenges are associated with climate change mitigation, consumption and state of the environment, and growing social inequality.

“What the POLKU2030 project recommends is that the sustainable development goals should be incorporated into the heart of policy-making”, says the project’s leader Satu Lähteenoja from Demos Helsinki.

"To achieve this, the key cross-cutting focus of the next government programmes should be on sustainable development, and a roadmap extending to 2030 should be prepared to strengthen a target-oriented and systematic policy approach from the perspective of sustainable development.”

The publication is part of the implementation of the Government’s plan for analysis, assessment and research in 2018 (

Inquiries: Satu Lähteenoja, Project Leader, Senior Expert, Demos Helsinki, tel. +358 44 500 2993, satu.lahteenoja(at); Annukka Berg, Senior Researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, tel. +358 29 525 1842, annukka.berg(at); Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, Research Coordinator, Docent, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, tel. +358 29 415 7905, kaisa.korhonen(at); and Sami Pirkkala, Chair of the Project Steering Group, Chief Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 29 5160487, sami.pirkkala(at)