Sheridan is first Ontario postsecondary institution to sign Sustainable Development Goals Accord
Sheridan recently became Ontario’s first institution to sign the SDG Accord, the postsecondary sector’s collective international response to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Global Goals were adopted by countries around the world in 2015 as a means to guide global action on the urgent social, economic and environmental challenges facing our planet.
“By signing the SDG Accord, Sheridan is aligning its strategies and operations based on the lens provided by the SDGs. We are demonstrating our commitment to play a pivotal role in building a more sustainable world and equitable future for all through innovation, education and principled leadership,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor. “Through initiatives across Sheridan – including curriculum and research, operations and governance and external leadership – we will work to make significant contributions to the SDGs across the linked social, economic and environmental goals.”
Signing on to the SDG Accord is a natural progression for Sheridan, which is a pioneer in green campus initiatives, including its Mission Zero sustainability framework. Sheridan’s Mission Zero goals are ahead of schedule, having exceeded the aim of reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 50% by 2030. The school has been recognized with a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) as well as inclusion in the Princeton Review’s list of the Top Green Colleges in North America in 2019 and 2020. This commitment is also reflected in Sheridan’s new Campus Master Plan.
Sheridan’s sustainability initiatives tackling energy, GHGs, and waste led by the Office for Sustainability have been increasingly complemented by a focus across the institution on a variety of economic and social impact goals. Sheridan’s commitment to inclusive development has been enshrined in its strategic plan, Sheridan 2024: Galvanizing Education for a Complex World. Within the plan, fiscal and environmental sustainability is a key enabler to achieving the vision of being a ground-breaking, standard-setting institution. So too is engagement with communities, locally and globally, based on interdisciplinary innovation required to help solve complex problems – an approach that is fundamental to the achievement of the SDGs.
“Our commitment to the role of education and learning within the SDGs is also foundational to Sheridan’s current national Open Innovation Challenge: Reimagine Learning and Education in our Communities Challenge,” said Dr. Morrison. The stage two launch event on Feb. 18 was a kick-off for teams from across the country to develop ideas based on findings that came forward in stage one in response to the challenge question: How might we collaborate within our communities to reimagine learning and education so that no one is left behind and all youth and adults can realize their full potential? “Education is pivotal to the SDGs, and our hope is that the Open Innovation Challenge will draw forth inspirational ideas from across the country to advance this cause,” added Morrison.