The UN SDGs at Sheridan
Sheridan recognizes the urgency of ongoing social and environmental crises and understands its responsibility to drive just and sustainable development that meets the needs of both present and future generations.
Sheridan’s Strategic Plan 2024: Galvanizing Education for a Complex World focused a wider contingent of the institution on sustainable development by recognizing education as a primary driver of individual transformation and empowerment that enables us to collectively make decisions and take actions to realize a sustainable future.
This commitment to sustainability includes Sheridan’s dual foundation embrace of Western and Indigenous worldviews, incorporating the two for the benefit of the community.
What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), adopted by countries throughout the world in 2015, are a guide to global action on the urgent social, economic, and environmental challenges facing our planet. The SDGs enable all of us to become changemakers, working to positively impact community well-being and the health of our planet.
Why are the SDGs important to Sheridan?
Sheridan has a strong history of commitment to and engagement with sustainable development within its three campus communities. Our early work in sustainability concentrated on the environment and climate action through Mission Zero initiatives and now reflects the extensive work underway throughout Sheridan to consciously interlink social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability.
In February 2021, Sheridan became the first post-secondary institution in Ontario to sign the SDG Accord, the university and college sector’s worldwide response to integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In so doing, Sheridan committed to aligning its strategies and operations based on the lens provided by the SDGs; demonstrating our commitment to play a pivotal role in building a more equitable future and sustainable world for all through innovation, education, and principled leadership.
How has Sheridan advanced the SDGs so far?
Sheridan takes a holistic approach to integrating the SDGs based on our multi-faceted understanding of sustainability which has important social, economic, and environmental aspects. Recent actions and activities which underscore Sheridan’s commitment to advance the SDGs and build a more sustainable and equitable future for all, include:
- Sheridan became Ontario’s first institution to sign the SDG Accord. Postsecondary institutions worldwide have signed the Accord as a commitment to further the SDGs, and to share their progress along the way.
- Sheridan joined the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada, which connects postsecondary institutions who are dedicated to sustainability, with a focus on implementing the SDGs.
- In 2021 Sheridan launched our inaugural Open Innovation Challenge which aimed to bring our community members together to reimagine learning and education so that no one is left behind and everyone can realize their full potential.
There are many projects and initiatives happening across Sheridan which are advancing sustainability through the three pillars of economic, social and environmental impact. Some examples include: the Sheridan Repair Café, the Zero Waste Bin Program, the Mission Zero Freeuse Pop Up Shop, the Sheridan Bike Hub, and the Wildflower Garden at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus, which is home to 25 native species of wildflowers, grasses, and perennial groundcover.
If you would like more information on opportunities for engagement or on upcoming SDG events and activities, please email MissionZero@sheridancollege.ca.