Waterloo Releases First SDG Report

Friday, April 22, 2022

On Earth Day 2022, Waterloo is excited to release its first report to reflect on some of the work being done across the University to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals are a global framework agreed to by all countries, intended to guide nations and institutions in building a better future for all. 

“The UN SDGs are meant to inspire action toward a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable future,” says Vivek Goel, University of Waterloo president. “Countries and institutions around the globe are reflecting on how their actions contribute toward this vision, and it is exciting to see Waterloo continue to embrace and champion these goals.”

SDG Report Cover Image
The report includes a foreword from President Goel, key accomplishments achieved in 2021, different campus groups whose efforts are supporting sustainable development toward each SDG goal, and plots the number of researchers, publications, collaborations, and courses that touch on SDG topics. Great progress is indeed being made.  Yet more is still needed, and the report ends with a survey of opportunities for the University to increase its impact both locally and globally.

“The SDGs are a very holistic framework, and as such both the report and its contents represent the cumulative effort and incredible work of many individuals and groups across campus,” says Mat Thijssen, Director of Sustainability. “Even though we are just capturing a part of work, it is encouraging to see activity under each of the SDGs, and we know there is much more to be done.”

Led by the Sustainability Office, contributions were made by Institutional Analysis and Planning, University of Waterloo Library, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Anti-Racism, Indigenous Relations, Campus Wellness, and Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, among many others.

All members of the University community are encouraged to read the report and continue to support and accelerate the many efforts underway across campus to build a prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world.

This article was originally featured on the Daily Bulletin on April 22, 2022. And a special acknowledgement to Heather McDiarmid, the Sustainability Living Lab Coordinator, for compiling the tremendous amount of information and case studies from across campus.