Measuring Sustainable Development Goals: Impact in the Co-operative Sector
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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After decades of work with the United Nations 193 countries including Canada adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. The development of the SDGs brings a new global framework by which countries, co-operatives, mutuals and traditional businesses as well as communities are figuring out how to measure and report on their impact regarding the 17 SDGs.
The SDGs and Co-operatives Project
The Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives (CEARC) at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS have set out to answer the question: How is the Canadian co-operative sector contributing to Canada’s measurement and reporting on SDG impact?
The Canadian co-operative sector is broad and diverse, with over 31.8 million member shares held by Canadians. Being deeply rooted in social and community issues, and active in the economic sphere, co-operatives are ideal enterprises to measure their impact in relation to the SDGs. The SDGs are designed to encourage all sectors of society, including co-operatives and mutuals, to make changes improving our world, impacting the environment and people.
Working with co-operatives and mutuals across Canada that are interested in how they can implement the SDGs in their corporate environment, this project will help co-operatives and mutuals understand the impact of, and increase knowledge and action regarding, the SDGs in the co-operative sector. The year-long project will unfold in three phases: SDG indicator alignment, testing, and dissemination of results.
Dr. Fiona Duguid, CEARC Research Fellow