New Peg site tracks progress, inspires action

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No one left behind. Not in Winnipeg, not in the world.

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Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/06/2018 (1509 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

No one left behind. Not in Winnipeg, not in the world.

That’s the goal behind the new Peg website which uses innovative technology to track how Winnipeg is doing on key issues and, for the first time, links that progress to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The recently launched Peg site puts Winnipeg at the forefront of communities connecting our city’s well-being to 17 global goals.

The goals were outlined at a chamber of commerce meeting by Scott Vaughan, president and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development headquartered in Winnipeg. In 2015, 190 heads of state committed to 17 SDGs to counter inequality and injustice and address climate change. The goals range from no poverty or hunger, to good jobs and economic growth, to clean water and sustainable cities.

The goals are focused on all countries — both mature and emerging economies. And since it is clear everyone must play a role if we are to achieve a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world, the UN invited the participation of the private sector, and is already seeing active participation.

Every day at United Way Winnipeg, we see the power of working together. When business, government, community organizations and labour unite, we accomplish amazing things, and together we have the potential to create a city in which no one is left behind.

Companies around the world have seized the UN’s initiative, and are looking at how core business practices, corporate social responsibility and employee engagement can contribute to moving the goals forward. In fact, Impact2030, a private sector-led initiative with the UN, is entirely focused on how employee volunteer efforts can contribute to local and global change.

Highly engaged business leaders are moving sustainability from its perception as a peripheral “green” issue, to one that is central to a company’s core business, fuelled by the demands of consumers and employees.

It is clear Winnipeg businesses care, and are actively engaged in making our community better, perhaps without yet realizing how they are contributing to a global agenda. Business leaders from Johnston Group Inc., Fools & Horses and Assiniboine Credit Union spoke at the chamber’s recent Celebrate Winnipeg event about how their organizations improve Winnipeg, and beyond.

And while caring is important, it is not enough. Businesses measure progress to understand where they need to focus; as a community, we must as well. We are collectively accountable for the city, and the world, we live in and leave behind.

This is where Peg comes in. Peg is Winnipeg’s community indicator system (mypeg.ca). Created through a partnership between the institute and United Way Winnipeg, and with the wisdom of many, Peg tracks progress and inspires action on the issues important to our well-being.

Peg includes 66 economic, environmental and social indicators. For example, Peg shows Winnipeg is trending positively on gross domestic product, and reducing waste to the landfill. Peg also shows we have more work to do when it comes to improving readiness for school.

Peg encourages us to celebrate progress and, when progress is not as we would like, to act.

Peg now also links our local indicators to the SDGs, allowing us to see how we are contributing — not only to a better Winnipeg, but how Winnipeg is contributing to a better world.

Winnipeg is one of the first cities in Canada to measure its progress on sustainability, and to link our collective efforts to the global agenda. With the expertise of the institute, Peg will now be a model used by cities across Canada and around the world.

I have no doubt Winnipeg could be the most sustainable city in this country. We are a city both small enough and big enough. We care deeply about our community and everyone in it. We know each other.

Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary-general, says the global goals encourage us to act with passion and compassion. “Passion and compassion” sounds like Winnipeg to me.

Connie Walker is president and CEO of United Way Winnipeg.

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