Well-being statement

This information is part of our Corporate Plan to 2030


This Well-being statement sets out how our Well-being objectives meet our statutory duty under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and should be read alongside our corporate plan.

It explains:

  • How our well-being objectives were set, including how we have applied the five ways of working under the sustainable development principle.
  • How our well-being objectives maximise our contribution to all seven of Wales’ long-term well-being goals as specified in the Act.
  • How our work will provide multiple benefits for people, climate and nature.

We have included additional information on our vision and mission, and considered the findings of the first Future Generations Report published by the Future Generations Commissioner in May 2020.

We have also highlighted how other elements of our work, in particular the State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) 2020 and the ongoing Nature and Us programme have informed the development of our well-being objectives and our corporate plan.

Our vision

Nature and people thriving together

Our mission

Focussing our passion and collective action towards

  • nature’s recovery
  • resilience to climate change
  • minimising pollution

through the sustainable management of our natural resources.

Our well-being objectives to 2030

By 2030 in Wales:

  • nature is recovering
  • communities are resilient to climate change
  • pollution is minimised

By focussing on these three well-being objectives together, we will protect and enhance the wider well-being of people and communities:

  • Nature is the foundation stone of Wales’ well-being - supporting community cohesion and resilience, strong local economies, employment, learning, and mental and physical health.
  • Nature underpins vibrant rural communities, with a direct relationship between nature and sustainable agriculture, woodlands and those that manage the land. This relationship must be nurtured if Wales is to maintain clean water, productive soils, food supplies and fibre.
  • Thriving nature stores carbon and reduces the risks and impacts of a warming world. Many actions to support the recovery of nature also help us adapt to and mitigate against climate change.
  • Minimising pollution and waste has a direct benefit to the health and resilience of people and nature, with industry and business directly benefiting by improving their efficiency, effectiveness, helping to reduce costs and protect jobs and livelihoods.

The evidence tells us that by targeting action on these three well-being objectives, wider opportunities and benefits will flow for:

  • mental and physical well-being
  • lifelong learning and creativity
  • job creation and skills

In turn, these contribute to the seven well-being goals for Wales.

The ambition running through all our efforts will be to ensure that nobody gets left behind as Wales pursues action for nature and climate. To exacerbate or to widen existing inequalities in our communities would be at odds with the commitments made within the Programme for Government. Our ways of working will need to evolve to ensure that these wider benefits are considered from the outset.

For the lifetime of this plan, and through applying our purpose, we will sharpen our focus on social and environmental justice, on equity and inclusion, making sure delivering for rural and urban communities across Wales is at the heart of everything we do.

How our well-being objectives were set

In setting our well-being objectives, we have taken into account the global, UK and Welsh contexts within which we are working, reflecting on:

  • Landmark international reports from the UN that have informed preparations for COP26, COP27 and COP15, including Making Peace with Nature, as well as the outcomes from the UN climate and nature conferences and reports from IPBES and the IPPC.
  • Programme for Government and Welsh Government Deep Dives for biodiversity, woodland creation and energy.
  • SoNaRR 2020
  • NRW’s Area Statements
  • PSBs’ (Public Services Boards) Well-being plan process
  • Nature and Us

We have carefully considered recommendations set out in the Future Generations Report 2020, and applied the five ways of working (sustainable development principle).

The Nature and Us national conversation on what future we want for nature, has been running alongside this process. It has contributed to our thinking about the longer-term, and the impacts of the climate and nature emergency on different communities.

The outcomes of the first phase of this work put climate change, species decline and pollution as the top three issues that people were concerned about in Wales.

By hearing different voices from across Wales, it is clearer than ever that we need to bridge across environmental, social and economic factors and divides. These voices shape a vision for Wales which provides a focal point against which we can continue to review progress.

In setting our well-being objectives, we have recognised that we need to challenge and adapt how we work in the future, moving further into an advocacy role and taking steps to be bold and innovative in our ambitions to achieve multiple benefit solutions to the issues we face.

Our well-being objectives are intentionally set at a high level and are interlinked, recognising that actions we take to address one well-being objective will usually contribute to meeting another, or even all objectives. The steps to take are clear and intended to be SMART and outcome-focussed to enable us to monitor and demonstrate how we are making a difference.  

The sustainable development principle and the five ways of working   

The well-being objectives have been set in accordance with the sustainable development principle and the five ways of working.

From the outset, our Board and Executive Team have provided strong leadership and guidance as the plan has developed.

Long-term, our well-being objectives recognise the key current and future challenges facing Wales from the climate and nature emergencies, and from pollution. Setting well-being objectives to 2030 with a view to 2050 was central to our thinking, and linked to local considerations and key national and international targets. The findings from the Nature and Us programme has also provided key insights, enabling us to consider potential scenarios and challenges Wales may face in the future.

Our well-being objectives and steps to take have been designed to be outcome-focussed ensuring that we are taking action now to prevent further damage to nature’s decline, prevent climate change from getting worse and pollution from occurring in the first place. Through our performance monitoring we will be capturing the impact of our actions to ensure we remain focussed on preventing further harm. 

SoNaRR 2020 has provided us with a strong foundation of evidence that identifies where the challenges are, what we can do ourselves, and how we need to work with others to make sure our environment and our communities in every part of Wales can thrive in the future.

In the development of our well-being objectives we have considered how they impact across each of the 7 well-being goals and also how they integrate with each other in order to support the wider well-being of people and communities right across Wales.

We have made specific reference to working with Public Service Boards, Local Authorities and other public sector bodies to ensure we integrate our actions to achieve maximum benefit for the people of Wales. Through development of the plan we engaged with colleagues across sectors as ‘critical friends’ to help enhance synergies and identify opportunities for collaboration and integration.

Across all areas of our work, we have also considered how we can deliver multiple benefits across all three well-being objectives.

We document how action on nature-based solutions drive benefits for nature, climate and people. Understanding and optimising these multiple benefits will be vitally important if we are to achieve our vision of nature and people thriving together.  Targeting our resources and working with partners to optimise these benefits will be critically important over the lifetime of this plan, and will inform our annual business planning and prioritisation. 

We have worked collaboratively with colleagues across NRW, with our Board, and with our partners to ensure our corporate plan identifies synergies, and presents a range of opportunities where we can collaborate closely with other organisations in the future. We also build on existing relationships and partnerships forged through PSBs and our Area Statements.

Throughout the development of our well-being objectives, we have involved colleagues and partners at a national and local level to reflect the diversity of Wales, providing them with the opportunity to feed back and provide detailed comment as the well-being objectives and steps to take have evolved. We ran two online surveys – the first to gain insight into how we should frame our well-being objectives, and the second to seek feedback on our proposed vision, mission and the clarity of our newly-drafted well-being objectives. We have also taken a range of opportunities to bring people together to share their reflections, and test our ideas at internal and external events and staff webinars.

In delivering our well-being objectives, we will need to involve people and partners in decision-making where our work affects them. The ongoing engagement we will have with people who live and work in our communities, and with our partners, will ensure that the insight they provide is reflected in how we deliver our work. For the lifetime of this plan, and through applying our purpose, we will sharpen our focus on social and environmental justice, on equity and inclusion, making sure delivering for rural and urban communities across Wales is at the heart of everything we do.

Taken together with the commitments we have made in our work with PSBs in the development of their Well-being plans, and our engagement with communities through our Area Statements, our well-being objectives will help support the achievement of the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. The sustainable development principle is firmly embedded in our well-being objectives and in our future ways of working.

Maximising our contribution to the seven well-being goals 

Our well-being objectives focus on the climate and nature emergencies and minimising pollution, and reflect where we can make the greatest individual, organisational and collective contribution.

The pride and confidence we have in using Welsh in our work has been at the forefront of our minds as this corporate plan has evolved, ensuring our vision, mission and values are written in a way that resonates in the Welsh and English languages.

Taken together, we are contributing to all seven well-being goals as illustrated by the examples provided below.

1. A prosperous Wales

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Building the capability and capacity of the Welsh workforce to support nature’s recovery through working with others to advocate for green skills and jobs
  • Delivering multiple benefits and opportunities for nature, people and the rural economy through supporting Welsh Government in the development and implementation of the Sustainable Farming Scheme, providing evidence and expertise

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Supporting the development of sustainable offshore and onshore renewable energy through our evidence, advice and regulation, building a common understanding of the standards required in the statutory planning and permitting processes
  • Securing the timber producing potential of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate through providing harvestable timber meeting global standards of sustainable forest management

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Minimising pollution and waste through working collaboratively with industry and others to identify how legislation and Welsh Government policy need to change
  • Stimulating supply chains to use timber grown in Wales through using our position as the dominant supplier of sustainably harvested timber in Wales

2. A resilient Wales

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Securing the effective protection and management of at least 30 per cent of land, freshwater and sea for nature through identifying opportunities to enlarge and better connect the series of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • Protecting species at the greatest risk of extinction through using our advisory and regulatory tools, working in partnership and monitoring to evaluate effectiveness

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Restoring peatland through the National Peatland Action Programme (NPAP) working with delivery partners, including on the land in our care using a range of advisory and regulatory tools, financial incentives and undertaking monitoring to evaluate effectiveness
  • Stimulating restoration of marine and coastal habitats such as saltmarsh, sand dunes, sea grass and native oyster reef through working with delivery partners, using a range of advisory and regulatory tools, financial incentives and undertaking monitoring to evaluate effectiveness

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Ensuring the sectors we regulate, including illegal non-permitted activities, take effective action to control and minimise pollution and increase resource efficiency through the provision of advice and guidance that effectively sets out the standards required to ensure compliance
  • Avoiding pollution and waste through exploring innovative approaches using all our regulatory tools, including experimental powers


3. A healthier Wales

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Engaging with people to take action creating opportunities for being in, learning about and becoming advocates for nature and climate through working with the education, physical activity and health sectors
  • Scaling up nature-based solutions in urban and rural areas to build connectivity between habitats, securing multiple benefits for people and nature through working with planners and developers to embed in developments

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Reducing the risk to life from flooding to people and communities from main rivers, reservoirs and the sea, through the delivery of flood alleviation schemes
  • Identifying opportunities to optimise the collective action and impact of the public sector through using SoNaRR and Area Statements to work with the public service boards, public health and local authorities

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Improving air quality for people and nature through reducing and eliminating emissions to air in our regulation of industry
  • Minimising harm from environmental pollution incidents through preparing for and responding to priority incidents as a Category 1 responder


4. A more equal Wales

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Ensuring local communities benefit from equitable access to green and blue spaces and act responsibly through providing guidance and support, working collaboratively with strategic partners such as Visit Wales and Local Authorities
  • Ensuring social and environmental justice, equity and inclusion inform and strengthen our decision making for nature’s recovery through the review of current mechanisms and development of guidance

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Ensuring all future developments are resilient to climate change through making the case for changes to development plans and advising on planning applications
  • Ensuring water companies maintain security of water supply to customers through scrutinising and reporting to Ministers on their water resource management plans, drought plans and infrastructure investment plans

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Improving poor local environmental quality through working with local authorities to understand the issues and develop shared action plans
  • Meeting the needs of specific audiences to stimulate action for pollution through collecting, managing, synthesizing, evaluating and communicating ours and others evidence.


5. A Wales of cohesive communities

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Building ecosystem resilience into the strategic planning system for land and sea, including Future Wales and other development plans, Planning Policy Wales and the Welsh National Marine Plan, through strengthening our provision of advice and guidance
  • Ensuring a diverse range of people are taking action for nature through sharing the vision and outcomes from Nature and Us to expand our networks and increase involvement

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Reducing the risk to life from flooding through issuing flood warnings that meet the changing needs of communities, maintaining and improving the 24/7 Flood Warning Service
  • Building the resilience of communities, Local Authorities and businesses to current and future flood risk through improving and sharing our evidence to stimulate action

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Minimising the harm from illegal waste through taking action with local authorities and third sector partners to prevent fly-tipping
  • Creating opportunities for individual and collective action on nature through delivering a sustained communications campaign


6. A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Accelerating action for nature’s recovery at a landscape scale through sharing our evidence and expertise with National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other partners
  • Inspiring people to take action, empowering and transforming their relationship with nature through working with creative industries and the cultural sector

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Creating new woodlands and restoring ancient woodlands through working with delivery partners, using a range of advisory and regulatory tools, financial incentives and undertaking monitoring to evaluate effectiveness
  • Maintaining, improving and restoring terrestrial and freshwater habitats to build ecosystem resilience and deliver societal benefits through using our advisory and regulatory tools, financial incentives and undertaking monitoring to evaluate effectiveness

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Creating opportunities for individual and sector specific action through delivering a sustained communications campaign
  • Involving different communities and sectors in our work, through applying behavioural insights to inform our approaches

7. A globally responsible Wales

By 2030 in Wales, nature is recovering

  • Ensuring nature’s recovery is driven through our supply chains, grant programmes and land management agreements through inclusion in our procurement and funding frameworks
  • Ensuring partners are delivering against our strategic commercial approach through nature positive certification in commercial products and services

By 2030 in Wales, communities are resilient to climate change

  • Strengthening our strategic approach to decarbonisation through developing and delivering an organisation wide net zero plan, building on the lessons learnt of parners
  • Increasing energy efficiency and deployment of renewables in all our buildings and assets through reviewing current systems and taking action

By 2030 in Wales, pollution is minimised

  • Improving environmental performance of those we regulate through advising poor performers on prevention measures and identifying star performers to share lessons learnt and good practice
  • Ensuring that NRW's financial and business decisions integrate zero pollution and waste through applying the lessons learnt from others on effective tools and frameworks

Our enabling services – our core corporate activities

Colleagues providing essential services in procurement, governance, communications and finance - our enabling services -  have a significant role in helping us both meet our well-being objectives and contributing to the seven well-being goals.

In developing the well-being objectives and steps to take, our enabling services have been fully engaged alongside our operational delivery and policy teams, to identify their specific contributions. In this section we highlight some of their specific commitments as referenced in the corporate plan.

Effective workforce planning will be essential to delivering our corporate plan and meeting our well-being objectives. We will be developing a suite of leadership and management tools to support colleagues in applying the values in their day to day working lives. We will be investing in the provision of a specific training programme for climate and nature literacy.

We recognise that we can also do more to harness our purchasing power to make an impact. A number of governance changes will be introduced in April, including each well-being objective will have an accountable Director providing vision, momentum and assurance to the wider Executive Team and Board; a new strategic risk register will be developed to reflect the new well-being objectives and ways of working; Executive Team separating their transactional work from their strategic, longer-term thinking; Leadership Team Group (LTG) will transition into a forum for leadership development and sharing of key messages from across functional areas.

To ensure we follow-though on the delivery of our well-being objectives a new Planning and Resources Group (PRG) will be established to provide the forum for integrated financial and business planning and prioritisation across the organisation.

Success will only come when we challenge and evolve established working practices, and take every opportunity to innovate and improve. 

Measuring performance

We recognise we need to focus on measuring our own performance and impact in delivering our well-being objectives and steps to take, so we can be held to account by Ministers and the people of Wales.

Our performance management approach and indicators, metrics and milestones will provide the line of sight from the corporate plan to the annual business plan and service level agreements (SLAs), and will be reported in the quarterly performance reports and annual report. Through the annual business planning process we will keep the steps to take under review and will report on any changes in the annual report and business plan.

Performance framework hierarchy:

  • Corporate plan objectives: Three well-being objectives
  • Corporate plan strategic indicators: Each well-being objective to have indicators highlighting the issues that matter most, not those easily measured.
  • Annual business plan metrics and milestones (define pathways to achieving the strategic indicators): Aligned to each step to take, reflecting a combination of qualitative and quantitative storytelling.
  • Annual report commitments (no need to be measurable): Reflect ways of working, including working with others. Narrative description reflected in our annual report.

Building on our work with Welsh Government through the baseline exercise, we will continue to work with them to develop service level agreements (SLAs) to cover all areas of our work and use them to inform negotiations on budgets. 

Our expectation is that once we receive confirmation of the annual budget from Welsh Government, we will use the SLAs to allocate the budget, the level of service we will deliver across our different services and inform the annual business plan, performance metrics and milestones. We will apply this approach in the 2024/25 annual business planning cycle.

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