United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Resources for the study and the promotion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

About the collection

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are nineteen goals to promote human flourishing while protecting the environment. All of them are closely linked to either science or social science, and the British Library has a large number of resources which can be used to help promote them. We receive many of our books, journals, and e-books through Legal Deposit from British publishers, but we also purchase foreign material.

What is available online?

The United Nations Development Programme – official information on what the goals are, and how the UN helps work towards them in an integrated way. https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform – in depth discussion on the various programmes of the UN and partner organisations to achieve the Goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

International Institute for Sustainable Development – organisation whose website includes a wide range of publications on sustainable development and related subjects, with both scientific and economic focusses. https://www.iisd.org/

Sustainable Development Report – reports on the progress of individual countries towards achieving the Goals. https://www.sdgindex.org/

ELDIS: Curated collection of quality documents on global development research. https://www.eldis.org/

GreenFILE: A free online abstract database from Ebsco covering literature on environmental issues. https://www.ebsco.com/products/research-databases/greenfile

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

Very many paper and digital resources available in our Reading Rooms are relevant to at least one of the Goals. However, ones of particular interest include:

Electronic databases:

Agricultural and Environmental Science Database: A full-text database covering various subjects related to agriculture and the environment.

Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts: Abstracts database covering health, social services, economics, politics, and education.

CAB Abstracts: Abstracts database covering agriculture, forestry, and the management of natural resources.

Idox Information Service: Abstracts database covering social policy, including development and regeneration.

PAIS International: Abstracts database covering politics, social conditions, economic, and environmental policy.

Social Policy and Practice: Abstracts database on social policy, public health and community development.


Bromley, D W, Institutions and the Environment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013. Shelfmark (B) 333.7

Hauschild, M Z, Rosenbaum, R K, & Olsen, S I, Life Cycle Assessment: Theory and Practice, Cham: Springer, 2018. Available in Reading Rooms as Non-Print Legal Deposit ebook.

Kauffmann, J & Lee, K-M (Eds.), Handbook of Sustainable Engineering, Dordrecht: Springer, 2013. Shelfmark (B) 628

Khan, M M & Islam, M R, Zero Waste Engineering, Hoboken: Scrivener, 2017. Shelfmark (B) 628.4

Klemes, J, Assessing and Measuring Environmental Impact and Sustainability, Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2015. Shelfmark (B) 333.714

Letcher, T M, Scott, J L, & Patterson, DA, Chemical Processes for a Sustainable Future, Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015. Available in Reading Rooms as Non-Print Legal Deposit ebook.

Matthews, J A (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Change, Los Angeles: Sage, 2014. Shelfmark (B) 363.703

What is available in other organisations?

British Library for Development Studies, University of Sussex. Claims to be Europe’s largest research collection on development issues. Over 50% of the collection is material published in the Global South, including some holdings that are unique in the UK. Free access to members of the public for reference use, charge for borrowing.

Royal Society of Arts library, London. An institution promoting innovation and development. Holds a contemporary collection of books and journals covering social sciences, technology, and design. Open to the general public with free registration.