Only UK city selected

Edinburgh joins global sustainability programme

Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street

Collaborative goals: Edinburgh enters new programme

Edinburgh has been announced as one of four cities – and the first in the UK – to join the Global Cities CAN B programme aimed at driving greater sustainability, prosperity, inclusivity and resilience.

It joins Barcelona in Spain, Cordoba in Argentina and Asuncion in Paraguay in looking at the challenges laid down in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by making significant progress towards their ambitious targets for 2030.

Fourteen cities applied for the programme and Edinburgh’s bid saw a number of entities in the city work together to submit the application, led by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (ECC).

ECC worked with partners from across the city including Scotland CAN B, the SDG Network Scotland, B Lab UK and Edinburgh Napier University, and hosted a kick-off event attended by more than 40 organisations. This engagement activity will increase as the CAN B movement in the city gathers pace. 

Commenting, Ewan Aitken, chairman of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Inspiring Communities group and CEO of Cyrenians, said: “Scotland was one of the first nations to adopt the SDGs into its own National Performance Framework, so as one of the key drivers of our country’s economic growth, Edinburgh has to lead by example.

“We now have a fantastic opportunity to take a globally recognised model of better sustainability and implement it here.

“For too long, we have divided different sectors into silos, with the end result being that the private sector, public sector and third sector compete against each other, rather than collaborating and becoming more than the sum of their parts. Now we can change that. Edinburgh is already a great place to live and work and Cities CAN B is a great opportunity for us to make it even better.” 

Jane Clark-Hutchison, president of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are all increasingly aware of the need to adopt more sustainable practices to meet the challenges of the 21st century, which is why the SDGs laid out in 2015 were so welcome. The next stage was to work out the practical steps and actions that we can take to meet such ambitious, yet necessary, goals.

“Cities CAN B is an outstanding, forward-looking programme that drives this agenda forward and we at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce are delighted that our city has been selected for inclusion.

“We want to make Edinburgh the best place to do business and a truly socially inclusive city. We will now look to bring together communities and businesses across Edinburgh to turn these ambitions into reality.”  

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