Pittsburgh Foundation Plays Leading Role in Adopting U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Pittsburgh Foundation CEO Lisa Schroeder joined other leaders from the steel city in a forum at the United Nations General Assembly Annual meeting, which spotlighted the city’s efforts to meet its own Sustainable Development Goals.

The forum, held September 23 at the 74th United Nations General Assembly, “Spotlight on Pittsburgh,” featured Schroder as well as Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and leaders from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University, all highlighting the region’s accomplishments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals -- defined by the UN in 2015 as efforts “for a more peaceful, prosperous planet with just and inclusive societies.” 

The Pittsburgh Foundation has ramped up its efforts toward these goals, particularly its “100 Percent Pittsburgh” initiative, which looks at grantmaking through a racial equity lens and created a Rapid Response Fund this year, which has to date awarded 40 grants to organizations and people addressing social justice in marginalized communities throughout the Pittsburgh area. 

“We’re thrilled that community foundations such as ours, with their deep roots in the regions they serve and broad reach across interest groups, are being recognized as leaders implenting the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level” Schroeder said, of the foundation’s involvement in the United Nations panel. 

“I believe the Pittsburgh experience of partnerships and collaboration across sectors will be a valuable guide as other cities move the development goals from ideals to reality,” she added.

Peduto cited PIttsburgh’s new Office of Sustainability and Resilience, Office of Equity and Gender Equity Commission as contributing factors to the city’s inclusion in the panel -- but emphasized that its partnerships were key as well.

“I know that by working with our university and foundation partners we will keep building momentum to make Pittsburgh a better city for all,” he said.

Amanda Palleschi