Sustainable Peterborough — a community-based regional partnership comprised of community groups, businesses, educational institutions, local governments, and First Nations — evolved out of an informal group of individuals and organizations who started meeting at the dawn of the new millennium under the name of Sustainability Network.
Their work led to the creation of the Sustainable Peterborough Plan. In the spring of 2012 the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County and its eight townships, and the two local First Nations adopted the Greater Peterborough Area Community Sustainability Plan.
Sustainable Peterborough is overseen by the Sustainable Peterborough Coordinating Committee. Components of the original plan have been incorporated into official plans, and influenced transportation plans, energy plans, cultural plans, economic development and tourism strategies, age-friendly plans, strategic plans, and the City of Peterborough’s Community Wellbeing Plan.
Sustainable Peterborough has assisted in securing over $1 million in external funding for projects such as the Healthy Kids Community Challenge and the Climate Change Action Plan for the Greater Peterborough Area, whose overall objective is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels, lower our energy consumption, and adapt to our changing climate.
Sustainable Peterborough is proud to have worked with over 170 partner organizations, institutions, businesses, local governments, and First Nations to advance local sustainability. To showcase our collective successes, our annual report card was developed and from 2012 to 2018 highlighted some of the countless sustainable accomplishments of our community partners. This report card was cherished in the greater Peterborough area. Each spring from 2016 to 2019 we also celebrated our partners’ commitment to sustainability by hosting the popular Sustainable Peterborough Partnership Recognition Awards.
Since 2012 our community has changed and evolved, as have the definitions of sustainability and related local programs and initiatives. This led to a much-needed review and refresh of Sustainable Peterborough, which has spent the last couple of years conducting an extensive organizational review, including a governance and plan review. This comprehensive work facilitated many insightful conversations and led to the decision that the new Sustainable Peterborough Plan should focus on helping the community implement and track progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDG framework has become a recognized tool for advancing sustainability in the greater Peterborough area. Communities in Ontario and across Canada are working on localizing the SDGs. The SDGs have become a globally recognized framework for measuring progress towards sustainability. Benefits of using the SDG framework include the use of shared language and goal setting for sustainability across many communities globally and locally and access to tools to track and visualize progress towards the goals.
Using the SDG framework provides an opportunity for Sustainable Peterborough to continue the vital SDG work conducted through the 2019-2021 Community Forum led by Kawartha World Issues Centre and GreenUP. It also provides an opportunity to use long-standing community connections and partnerships to build on the significant local interest in sustainability, raise awareness of the SDGs, and incorporate best practices from other communities.
Our newly launched Strategic Plan 2021-2031 was recently approved by the Sustainable Peterborough Coordinating Committee and the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) Board of Directors. It provides a glimpse into our history and accomplishments, our governance structure, and the vision and mission for our path forward as we focus on starting to accomplish the objectives listed therein.
PDF: Sustainable Peterborough Strategic Plan 2021-2031
Sustainable Peterborough Strategic Plan 2021-2031
The SDG framework also aligns Sustainable Peterborough’s new strategic plan and PKED’s Future Ready Regional Economic Development Strategy. The Future Ready strategy identifies five SDGs as priorities for the region to achieve the vision of seeing Peterborough & the Kawarthas become the most sustainable and innovative community and economy in Ontario.
Sustainable Peterborough has been operating under the auspices of PKED since its inception in 2012, and the recent governance review has led to the mutually supported decision that this relationship continue. The partners are looking forward to further solidifying the relationship and having improved alignment through the mutual vision of advancing priority SDGs in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.
“On behalf of the Sustainable Peterborough Coordinating Committee, we are excited to work towards Sustainable Peterborough’s new mission of supporting, measuring, celebrating, and facilitating collective action among local governments, businesses, institutions, and organizations to annually track and measure progress towards achieving targets related to priority Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Karen Jopling (representing Peterborough County) and Michael Papadacos (representing the City of Peterborough), who are co-chairs of the Sustainable Peterborough Coordinating Committee.
For more information and to follow Sustainable Peterborough as we embark on this new and exciting SDG tracking and advancing journey, please visit our website at sustainablepeterborough.ca, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.