Developing a SDG Index for Canadian Municipalities

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SDSN Canada is developing a ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index for Canadian Municipalities’ to benchmark municipal progress on the SDGs. The Index will be a valuable tool for municipal governments to align their visions of sustainability with the global SDG framework and explore how municipal leaders can set a framework for action to address the many sustainable development challenges affecting their communities.

Downtown Vancouver and Stanley ParkResearch for the Index is led by the University of Waterloo, in collaboration with project partners Statistics Canada and SDSN Global. The Index is planned to launch to the public in the fall of 2019.

In September 2015, world leaders from all 193 countries adopted the SDGs to guide action on the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our planet. Three years into the mandate, progress is slow. The majority of Canadians have never heard of the Goals and SDG policy is missing throughout many levels of government. As we look ahead to 2030, there is a need to find ways to localize the SDGs so they are relevant to communities of all sizes across Canada.

SDSN Canada sees a unique opportunity to use a SDG Index for Canadian Municipalities to accomplish three key objectives:

  • Encouraging stronger and more impactful activity at the local and municipal level in support of the SDGs.
  • Promoting and raising awareness of opportunities for municipalities and local authorities to respond to the SDGs.
  • Developing metrics, tools and systems that will allow Canadian municipalities to assess their SDG-related activities.

Data-visualization tools will be developed to ensure the results of the index are easily communicated to the public. An open consultation with municipalities on the draft Index will take place throughout the summer of 2019.

For more information, contact Dr. Bruce Frayne ( and Dr. Cameron McCordic (

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