The United Nations has called 2020 the start of a Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a time for transformative solutions and cross-sector collaborations to tackle the world’s toughest sustainability challenges.
While all countries have pledged their commitment, no country is currently on track to achieve the SDGs. In fact, a majority of countries (including Canada) are moving backwards on some indicators, with inequalities rising and environmental degradation continuing. Progress is being made on others through the dedication of many individuals and institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the fragility of our global economic, social, and environmental systems. As we begin to consider life beyond the public health emergency of the pandemic, it is critical that the SDGs be used as our road map to ‘build back better’, guiding us towards creating a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous world.
This toolkit by Colleges and Institutes Canada is an important part in finding ways to accelerate SDG action in Canada. Our post-secondary institutions are powerful drivers of innovation, economic development, and societal wellbeing. We are training a generation of global citizens, supporting innovative solutions-focused research, and demonstrating sustainability leadership within our communities and across the country. This guide provides a starting point and an opportunity to dive deeper on how Canada’s colleges and institutes can engage with the SDGs.
As a post-secondary network working to mobilize members around SDG solutions, we are proud to support CICan in the creation of this guide and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that Canada’s post-secondary institutions have the tools and resources they need to be leaders in pushing for change for the SDGs.
There is no single approach to implementing the SDGs and no single institution or government can take this work on alone. Progress will depend on finding multiple pathways to achieve our goals and to create more opportunity to work together, across society. We all have a part to play.
Dr. Jean Andrey
Chair, SDSN Canada
Dean, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
Manager, SDSN Canada