Our Actions and Goals

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

[Graphic illustration and the number 22]

Queen’s has 22 institutional and faculty-based research centres pursuing research that addresses grand challenges and societal issues of national and international scope.

International scope

Queen's is home to internationally recognized researchers exploring a range of environmental topics including climate change, renewable energy, and water. Our research centres and institutes work collaboratively with each other and with international organizations to develop best practice around contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

[A Mars rover built by Queen’s Space Engineering Team bearing a Queen’s University Tricolour flag at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. ]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Exploring Worlds at Home by James Xie, BASc Student (Engineering Chemistry), Mars Desert Research Station, Utah

Capturing the Art of Research

From under the stars to the top of the world, the annual Art of Research photo contest takes us behind the scenes of the everyday research experience at Queen’s. The five categories inspired by the UN SDGs shine a spotlight on the intrinsic connection between research and social impact and our institutional mission guided by the Queen's Strategy.

[The structural βIII-tubulin component of mouse corneal nerves at their convergence point.]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Corneal Fingerprint by Cassandra Brand, MSc Student (Translational Medicine), Queen's University

Teaching and student life

Socially responsive scholarship

In 2023, the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs launched the Queen's Public Scholars Program to support graduate students whose research directly impacts local, national, an global communities. The program empowers community-centred efforts that work toward a more equitable and sustainable future through practical research dissemination, interdisciplinary and intersectoral thinking, and skills development within the next generation of scholars and leaders.

Educating responsible leaders of tomorrow

The world needs leaders who are passionate about making a change and are ready to tackle challenging issues. The Smith School of Business Certificate in Social Impact integrates social impact approaches into core business strategies and business models to inform the next generation of change leaders. Students have the opportunity to engage with industry leaders who are advancing social impact and grow their network through events offered through the Centre for Social Impact.

Community impact

Enhancing impact

In 2023, the Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor appointed Queen's researchers Wendy Craig and Heather Aldersey as Special Advisor to the Principal on Community Engagement and Special Advisor to the Principal on United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, respectively. These appointments will help advance the Queen's Strategy with a focus on mobilizing our community to address real-world challenges, achieve shared goals, and enhance student learning and impact.

A musical message of support

In 2022, more than 100 Kingston professional musicians and youth ensembles, including DAN School of Music faculty, performed a concert at Queen's Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts to support the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal Fund. Proceeds from the event were donated to raise funds for humanitarian aid for those affected by the war in Ukraine.

[A group of musicians from the Canta Arya School for Strings standing in front of St. James Anglican Church. ]

Global reach

“[The SDGs] provide a shared language which helps universities in diverse geographical, political, and socio-economic locations understand and build upon the commonality of their work in both teaching and research.”

– Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

A new vision

Queen's Global Engagement Strategic Plan launched in 2023 presents six interrelated objectives for advancing the university's ability to have global impact. In keeping with the centrality of connectedness, the first objective focuses on mutually beneficial partnerships with external stakeholders, which forms the basis of our values-driven approach to global engagement. Together the objectives aim to build capacity and empower the Queen's community to embed global engagement across all aspects of university life.

Supporting society

Principal Patrick Deane is the President of the Magna Charta Observatory Governing Council, the oversight body that protects and promotes the Magna Charta Universitatum (MCU). Close to 1,000 universities around the world have signed the MCU, which celebrates the deepest values of university traditions such as academic freedom, autonomy, integration of teaching and research, and social responsibility that unites them through these common bonds. At their most recent anniversary conference presided over by Principal Deane, more than 170 higher education leaders from 45 countries assembled to discuss how universities can support society during challenging times and advance the UN SDGs.

[Group of university leadership wearing academic regalia at the Magna Charta Universitatum conference at the University of Bologna, Italy. ]

Partnering for a better world 

In 2022, Queen's hosted leader of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) to discuss research collaborations, educational and professional development, and the network's priorities for the next five years. Founded in 2010, the MNU is a global group of leading universities, including Queen's, recognized as leading, research-intensive institutions providing high-quality student experience and focused on international impact.

Administration and operations

A commitment to de-carbonize

In 2023, we published the inaugural Responsible Investing Annual Report as part of our commitment to de-carbonize the university's investments through a holistic, collaborative, and comprehensive strategy across our entire $1.9 billion investment portfolio, with an approach that also remains consistent with our fiduciary responsibility. Between December 2021 and December 2022, we posted a 5% decrease in the carbon footprint of our Pooled Endowment Fund, resulting in a carbon footprint that is 12% lower than the carbon emissions of the global benchmark index.

Advancing our contributions to the SDGs

We are extremely proud of the Queen's community for our continued ranking among the global top 10 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings. Queen's is the only Canadian university to achieve three top-10 placements since the rankings began in 2019, earning third place worldwide and first place in North America in 2023. However, we are not content to on our laurels. We are committed to continuing to advance our work around each of the SDGs, to promote meaningful education on these goals across the university, as well as in our city and beyond our borders. This report complements over 15 annual reports produced by various units and departments across the university that provide evidence of our contributions to sustainability and social impact through efforts in research, teaching, and outreach.

[Line drawing depicting Queen's research infrastructure]