Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Manulife is playing a leadership role in the private sector with regards to the United Nations (UN) call for all parts of society to come together to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2016, they commissioned the CIW to help them, and civil society, understand the SDGs in a Canadian context by mapping the SDGs to the CIW framework and metrics. 

About the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations (UN) report, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by UN’s General Assembly of almost 200 countries around the world, resolved by the year 2030:
... to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.1

In identifying 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN has laid out an ambitious plan that, at its heart, strives to transform the world. To do so, the UN recognises the need for international support for and engagement in the implementation of the agenda, which must “bring together governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilising all available resources.”2

1,2 United Nations. (2015). Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat Building, New York, NY. Available at

Click to expand the seventeen SDGs 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development.

Mapping the CIW to the SDGs

How do we achieve such an ambitious plan? Where should we focus our energies, our resources, our investments, to realise the transformation of society that would lead to a better life for all? As the UN emphasizes, how do we ensure economic development as well as social development without degrading the environment? Mapping to a Canadian framework and metrics seemed like a reasonable first step to gain a better understanding of what the SDGs mean in a Canadian context.

To summarise the mapping exercise, the figure below illustrates the degree of connection between the domains of the CIW and the 17 SDGs. Each linkage includes an indication of the number of national and community wellbeing survey indicators that have been identified as having relevance to each SDG.

Full report: Mapping the Canadian Index of Wellbeing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (PDF)

Figure showing 17 SDGs and 8 CIW domains with lines mapping to each