The relationships between the natural environment and poverty have been a central theme in the sustainability and development literatures. However, they have been less influential in mainstream international development and conservation policies, which often neglect or fail to adequately address these relationships. This paper examines how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may influence the framing of environment–poverty relationships. We argue that the SDGs’ comprehensive nature could provide an opportunity for better environment–poverty integration. To realise this potential, SDG-related activities will need to challenge the institutional status quo; transform how we measure, understand and implement development; design interventions that reflect local visions of development; make trade-offs between SDGs explicit; and address ultimate drivers of environmental degradation and poverty.