September 21, 2020

Making a lasting impact with global goals

Global Goals Week is about action, awareness, and accountability. Today, we are at a turning point: this year marks five years since the 193 member states of the United Nations promised to leave no one behind with 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and leaves us ten more years to achieve this vision by 2030. It’s time to think about how each one of us can make lasting change.

Colleges and institutes have been leaders in sustainability for many years and are constantly coming up with new initiatives to reduce their own footprint, have a lasting impact in their communities, and make progress towards achieving the goals. Our biweekly SDG Spotlight highlights some of the action:

  • Canadore College’s new sustainable food development site houses four grow pods conducting applied research on growing food in various environments, evolving technologies, yield maximization and hybrid growth methods. The site will support food security in the north, specifically rural and remote communities, and will have the capacity to produce approximately 30,000 pounds of food annually!  
  • Carlton Trail College recently released a report on regionalized, labour market information as part of a needs assessment project to better understand projected skills shortages and workforce issues within east-central Saskatchewan. Anticipating demand for skilled labour and preparing for disruption is important to ensuring that everyone can find decent work and contribute to economic growth!
  • Cégep Garneau’s plan to remove all single-use plastic water bottles from campus includes installing new drinking fountains and water stations promoting potable water as the #1 choice for hydration, eliminating 25 000 plastic bottles annually! The move is part of a larger institution-wide vision and environmentally conscious plan to both reduce its own carbon footprint while educating students on their own environmental impact.
  • Vanier College unanimously passed a resolution pledging commitment to climate action by signing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord. The accord represents a network of post-secondary institutions and educational organizations around the world who have each identified climate change as a global emergency and committed to action promoting sustainability in education.
  • Capilano University recently launched a unique digital ambassador program to offer peer support to students coping with virtual learning. The digital ambassadors help by creating tutorials, videos, and FAQs for digital learning and providing technical support for students using digital platforms. They help flatten the “hierarchy of learning” and ensure that everyone has equitable access to quality education!
  • At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the new Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security combines a balanced approach from both KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and its Faculty of Arts to tackle uncertainties in the global food system stemming from issues such as climate change, environmental and ecosystem degradation, pandemics and more.

Working together on initiatives like these, we can make progress towards achieving the goals by 2030 and empower others to reach their full potential and help Build Back Better!