Orlando & the Sustainable Development Goals

September 20, 2021 – ORLANDO, FL – During the third annual American Leadership in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals event co-hosted by the United Nations Foundation and Brookings Institution, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the release of the City of Orlando’s first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Orlando and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Voluntary Review of Progress.

The VLR is a local government assessment effort that ensures the city’s Green Works Orlando sustainability goals are aligned with the SDGs. The SDGs, which were agreed to by all 192 countries, at the United Nations in 2015, outline 17 universal goals to achieve by 2030 to protect the planet, end poverty, and improve the quality of life for this and forthcoming generations. They offer a globally recognized framework for measuring progress and advancing evidence-based policies.

“In Orlando, sustainability and resiliency are a top priority, but real climate action doesn’t happen with one city working alone,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This is why we are excited to share our Voluntary Local Review, and to join cities and countries worldwide to better assess our collective progress toward preserving our planet for generations to come.” 

The city of Orlando is the fourth in the United States to complete a VLR, joining the cities of Los Angeles, New York, and Pittsburgh.  Some highlights of efforts that Orlando has already taken toward the SDGs, include:

  • Hiring the first Equity Official to assess and embed equity and inclusion into city programs and initiatives.
  • Nearly 13% of the city’s energy needs are met through clean, renewable energy sources, which includes 52 city buildings that are subscribed to the OUCommunity Solar Program.
  • Advancing electrification efforts by installing 100 new electric vehicle charging stations citywide and converting the LYMMO bus fleet to zero-emission electric buses.
  • Establishing partnerships through the East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative and Florida Race to Zero to work together toward carbon neutrality and resiliency.
  • Leveraging public policy to advance sustainable efforts by banning single use plastics at city facilities and mandating recycling at commercial and multi-family properties.

“The SDGs provide us with a unifying framework for a better world. Goal 17 of the SDGs, representing partnership, is a reminder that none of the prior 16 goals can be achieved without working together,” said Christopher Castro, Director of Sustainability and Resilience at City of Orlando. “In that spirit, we look forward to continuing to work alongside our fellow city partners and community leaders to advance a more equitable, more resilient, and more sustainable future for all.” 

The City of Orlando partnered with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA to complete an SDG mapping to share Green Works Orlando’s contributions to the global community.

“By partnering with ICLEI, Orlando’s lessons will inform the efforts of a network of hundreds of local governments throughout the United States,” said Angie Fyfe, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. “The partnership was initiated with this intent from the outset and demonstrates Orlando’s commitment to act as a leader and learner within a network of local governments advancing together.” 

As an active member of the SDG Leadership Cities network, a global group of cities facilitated by the Brookings Institution, that are in the vanguard of advancing sustainable development worldwide, Orlando’s VLR draws on lessons and innovations from counterparts in the U.S. to enable and build leadership on the SDGs.

“Mayor Dyer and the city of Orlando continue to exhibit transparent and accountable leadership on the most pressing issues of our day with the publication of this VLR,” said Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. “They are ready to press forward with an ambitious agenda and objectively measure their progress – while benefiting from being part of a global movement of local leaders that share their commitment.”

“The city of Orlando is a vanguard in the United States, embracing the SDGs to build community partnerships centered on advancing sustainable development that includes social, economic, environmental and climate dimensions,” said Kaysie Brown, Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at the United Nations Foundation. “This report captures the important work underway, identifies what more needs to be achieved, and fosters an environment for making the commitments a reality.”

Interested in working with ICLEI to develop an SDG-review for your community?  Contact us at iclei-usa@iclei.org.