Accélérer 2030 | 2020 Canadian SDG Accelerators Awards Profile

Accélérer 2030

Industry: Sustainable development


Category: Non-business

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Applicable Targets:

  • Target 17.16. Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Target 17.17. Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
  • Target 17.19. By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

Please explain why the selected SDG is a priority for your company 

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals is central to Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec’s mission: Accelerate the creation of effective and innovative partnerships between governments, the private, philanthropic, academic, and plural sectors to position Quebec as an international leader in SDGs implementation and achievement by 2030. Our organization was created to answer the need for more effective multi-stakeholder partnerships advancing the SDGs.

Through the past few years of research building, we identified that no goal can be met alone but a single company or government body, but the success of all the other goals will be built on collaboration, sharing learnings and methodologies and ultimately embedding SDG 17. 

Sustainable development has existed for a long time in Quebec. Many players have already acquired expertise and leadership in advancing these principles and our province has even adopted a Sustainable Development Act. The next government sustainable development strategy (currently in consultation process) will align with the SDGs as announced in March 2020 by our Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. That said, the best Quebec and Canadian international practices in sustainable development evolve rapidly and are not centralized, to facilitate adoption. Our industries take different approaches, often in silos, in order to advance sustainable development within their own organization. Our organization’s objective is to create coherence using the same language of the SDGs for all industries and measure our collective progress and success based off SDG targets.

Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec brings together all existing expertise and best practices in order to accelerate the application of sustainable development according to the framework of the 17 SDGs. We are creating collaborative impact opportunities by providing a space for cross-industry and multi-level institutional knowledge building.

The opportunity:

1. Organizing are increasingly realizing that they are lagging behind in their integration and in measuring their performance against the SDGs. 5 years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda by Canada, few practical resources exist to do so. Our 2020 activity report states the finding: we are just starting to talk about the SDGs in Quebec, but the collective reflection is real. Our opportunity is to accelerate that process to a new level, by empowering industries with the tools they need for adoption.

2. No current public policy encourages organizations to integrate the SDGs into their development strategy. The Sustainable Development Law came into effect before the adoption of the SDGs. We have the opportunity to build a new infrastructure for sustainable innovation “SDG Adoption Cluster”.

3.  No other organization in Quebec or the rest of Canada has yet jumped at the opportunity to create and centralize the existing expertise based on current global best practices (‘First-mover advantage’). This is our competitive advantage given we have been mobilizing and sensitizing organizations for more than 2 years to adopt the SDGs.

4. Covid-19 has highlighted the importance and necessity of collaborating across our borders, activity sectors, and generations. Our immediate response has an impact on how quickly the world will bounce back. This response will determine our ability to achieve the SDGs and allow us to be better equipped to take on urgent challenges such as the race to fight climate change, the current health crisis, making sure everyone has access to equal opportunities, fighting new forms of violence, combating racism, and dealing with the rapid evolution of technology and population growth. Accélérer 2030 provides a platform for effective collaboration, as organizations look for complementary and meaningful partnerships.

Business opportunities:

By addressing the SDG#17 : Partnerships for the Goals, Accélérer 2030 generates business opportunities across Quebec 17 administrative regions at 3 levels :

1.We facilitate business opportunities between individuals / organizations as partners and collaborators of Accélérer 2030 by retaining a % of the opportunities generated.

2.We co-develop SDG-projects with our partners to generate significant economic, social and environmental benefits.

3.We offer expertise services on the SDGs (e.g. mobilization, awareness, animation, training, impact measurement and accountability) to organizations wishing to align their priorities and / or activities with the 17 SDGs (“Expertise”). This expertise is sometimes leveraged within our pool of collaborators.


Associated risks:

1. Canadian and Quebec populations lack awareness of the SDGs. In January 2020, only 4% of the population were aware what the SDGs represented (Source: SDG Unit – Govt of Canada). Prior to implementing large scale systemic solutions to our social challenges through the lens of the SDGs, we need to equip citizens with knowledge on the SDGs, to facilitate support and awareness-building. If we fail to achieve this, it will be difficult to work in a 10-year horizon.

2. Although the collective reflection on SDG adoption in Quebec is real across all sectors consulted, our main risk is to overcome the barrier to SDG adoption in organizations as this involves resources and time (e.g: cost, new policies, re-evaluation of business practices and strategic planning, loss of market portion/consumers, etc.). The narrative to use with the SDGs as a common language is key to ensure we collectively overcome this barrier.

3. Last, we are faced with an important paradigm shift decision. Implementing the SDG framework at a large-scale in the province requires industries to work together like never before, to provide a real-time measurement on the progress we are making. Lowering the barriers to collaboration requires time and the sense of urgency is unevenly shared among stakeholders. Failing to mobilize enough financial resources is a core risk.

Please describe the initiatives/programs that your company is taking to address the TARGETS of your primary SDGs. 

Our main initiative is the creation of Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec consortium. The initiative addresses our three primary targets. 

The consortium creation is itself innovative: it is the genesis of a societal transformation project for the common good, which is based on complementary efforts from actors representing different industries. The consortium brings together more than 50 organizations, including major companies, private and public foundations, governments, academic institutions, research centers and other groups from the plural sector to achieve a common objective: accelerate the achievement of the 17 SDGs in the Quebec context by 2030. 

The reason behind the creation of the consortium was to optimize the dialogue between Quebec organizations in order to accelerate the achievement of SDGs. Its objective is to promote the creation of public, private, and philanthropic partnerships – as agreed with the Canadian government in September 2019. First initiative of its kind in Canada, Accélérer 2030 SDG ecosystem is meant to be scalable across other Canadian provinces that demonstrate interest to create a local approach on the SDGs. We have the capacity to deliver all our content in english and french, which reinforces our ability to scale. We are reflecting on the creation of a social franchise model for other countries/regions to adopt a similar model of collaboration by providing a toolkit.

Our impact is direct on target 17.16, 17.17, and 17.19. It was also created following a national market analysis to address existing gaps in Quebec and collaborate with existing movements, such as Alliance 2030 and Canada SDG Unit.                                                           

Since its creation, Accélérer 2030 has implemented and will continue to implement various initiatives to create effective Partnerships for the Goals (SDG#17) between different sectors of activities and countries. Its action plan is elaborated around 4 strategic pillars: 

1.Simplify access to capital for SDG solution holders (Target 17.16);

2.Lower the barrier to collaboration between sectors of activity (Target 17.17);

3.Sustaining the development and access to tools that will make it possible to adopt and measure SDGs (Target 17.19);

4.Raising people’s awareness about the ambition of the 17 SDGs.

For each, we list an example below:

 1. Example: Workshops between private foundations and early-stage companies

The Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec consortium helps build business links and partnerships between industries that are not used to working together, but for which advancing the SDGs is a shared priority. In partnership with the BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation, the startup SDG Capital Corporation and the network of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, we raise awareness and aim to offer Canadian private foundations innovative SDG-aligned projects that are non-qualified donees. We lead workshops between SDG startups and private foundations in Quebec in order to develop a new offer of patient capital for early-stage companies, which would complement the existing financing offered on the market. Collaboration between the philanthropic sector and the innovation sector is a first in Quebec.

2. Example: Virtual panel/activities to accelerate a Decade of action in Quebec

On October 14, 2020 the opening panel of the Sustainable Innovation Summit took place, under the following theme: Accelerating a Decade of Action in Quebec: the #SDGs for a fair, inclusive and prosperous recovery. Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec is proud to have participated in the organization of this webinar, alongside Cirdodd, SDSN Canada, Concordia, McGill Systemic Initiative on Sustainability and Montréal International. Around ten experts involved in the implementation and promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals in Canada and 200 participants virtually gathered for this international panel. At the heart of the discussion: the importance of setting up collaborative processes about SDGs for all sectors of activities and creating partnerships. 

3. Example: Virtual training for young francophone entrepreneurs

Within the framework of the Decade of Action decreed by the United Nations, and with the context of the global pandemic, it is becoming more and more evident and unavoidable that we must join our concerted and collaborative efforts beyond our borders in order to resolve our most pressing social issues by collaborating internationally. In partnership with Comité 21 Québec and l’Institut de la francophonie pour le développement durable, Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec is organizing a series of virtual SDG training courses for young entrepreneurs (aged between 18 and 35) living in Francophonie. The theme: integrate the SDG#13: Measures relating to the fight against climate change into a business strategy. The training, which will take place in November and December 2020, is an opportunity for francophone entrepreneurs from 15 different countries to acquire knowledge about climate change (SDG#13) and build an international network (SDG#17). A virtual guide, available to all, will be developed for online publication.

For more details on the event:

4. Example: Publication and distribution of Accélérer 2030 first activity report

As part the #GlobalGoalsWeek – on September 24, 2020 – Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec published and distributed its very first activity report, positioning the consortium as the leader on the SDGs advancement Quebec. An important awareness tool accessible to all, the document outlines the consortium’s action plan for the coming years and, above all, provides a portrait of the state of the SDGs in Quebec. It identifies 4 key findings concerning the SDGs in the province, insisting on the importance of building a new infrastructure of collaboration in order to address them. 

To view the full report: 

Please highlight the key impacts and results of the mentioned initiatives.

Most of the cited initiatives above are recent and/or under development. As such, we will focus on presenting the key impact and results from the creation of Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec consortium (our core initiative), which was unveiled publicly on May 22nd, 2020 during Canada’s National Forum on the SDGs, Together-Ensemble 2020.

The initiative was created following a first forum on SDGs held April 25, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec in collaboration with Alliance 2030 network, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, the McConnell Foundation and Community Foundations of Canada. One of the recommendations cited in this forum report was to create a cross-industry leadership group in Quebec to facilitate coordination and actions on the SDGs. Our founding team proposed the creation of a consortium for Agenda 2030: Accélérer 2030 to respond to this need.

Our results & impact as a new initiative are counted from that date.

Key impact in 2019-2020 from the creation of Accélérer 2030:

–  Uniting more than 50 Quebec-based organizations/networks, representing all of our sectors of activity, as collaborators to accelerate the SDG movement and raise awareness (May 2019 – August 2020)

–  Creating a preliminary action plan centered around 4 strategic priorities to accelerate the SDGs implementation and adoption in Quebec (Sept 2020)

– Support from Canadian Federal Governement and Quebec Provincial Government


–    4 co-creation workshops (May 2019, December 2019, January 2020, July 2020) with mutli-stakeholders to define Accélérer 2030 mission, strategic focus and action plan

–    6 key partnerships with governments (federal, provincial), foundations and academia

–    2 press release and 4 media articles

–    6 large-scale events organized to raise awareness on SDGs

–    10+ national/international events to reprensent an SDG voice for Quebec

–    5,600 visitors to page launched in May 2020

–    Publishing a first activity report as part of Global Goals Week 2020

As for the 4 cited initiatives in preceding question relating to our action plan, here are the ‘expected results & impact’ based on our objectives: 

Initiative 1: Co-creation workshops between private foundations and early-stage companies in partnership with Governement of Quebec

– Raising awareness on the SDGs for Canadian private foundations

– Increase access to patient capital for SDG solution holders in collaboration with private foundations and a new sustainable infrastructure of collaboration (SDG Capital) 

Initiative 2: Virtual panel for accelerating a Decade of action in Quebec in partnership with SDSN Canada, CIRODD, McGill University, Concordia University (Oct 14)

– Report of recommendation to lower the barriers to collaboration between sectors of activity and outlining the key elements of the panel.

– 200+ participants registered from across the province 

Initiative 3: Virtual SDG training for youth francophone entrepreneurs : 

The training for youth francophone entrepreneurs is taking place virtually in November and December 2020 in partnership with Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. As of today, the number of participants registered for training is 300+ and growing daily. Nearly 15 countries of the Francophonie will be represented during this event, including Senegal, Togo, Mauritania, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and France. This initiative is the first of its kind within Francophonie region.

– Position Quebec as an international leader within Francophonie region to accelerate joint efforts to achieve and implement the SDGs in developing countries

– Lead the development of toolkits and SDG adoption material in French language

Initiative 4: Publication and distribution of an Activity report 

The publication of the report in French/English on September 24, 2020 provides a tool to present Accélérer 2030 to prospective local, national and international partners and allows to crystallize our role as an accelerator for the SDGs. The report lays a foundation to execute our SDG action plan starting in 2021.

Please describe how your company is building awareness for the selected SDG


In order to support the team in the development of awareness and knowledge related to the SDGs, especially the SDG #17, Accélérer 2030 participates in events of regional, national and international scope. Not only are these events a learning opportunity for our team, but also a unique chance for Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec to represent an SDG voice for Quebec. 

Below are some of the events in which the team participated in 2019-2020: 

-November 2019: Summit of Minds by Business Families Network, Baie St-Paul and Grande rencontre des jeunes entrepreneurs du monde francophone (Large meeting of young entrepreneurs from the Francophone world), Strasbourg, France 

-December 2019: Responsible Leaders Forum by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Merida, Mexico 

– January 2020: Expo Entrepreneurs, Montreal 

– May 2020: National Canadian Forum on SDGs — virtual 

– June 2020: U.N. Global Compact Summit — virtual 

– July 2020: United Nations High-Level Political Forum — virtual and Startupfest — virtual

To ensure we embody partnerships across all sectors and generations, each member of the team and the Board is responsible to represent Accélérer 2030 with a specific type of audience to allow us to play to our strengths in building effective and innovative partnerships (e.g. Youth, Francophonie, Foundations, Governments, Private Sector, Startups, etc).                                


 1. Raising awareness by organizing and co-creating events :

In partnership with other key actors in the field of sustainable development in Quebec and worldwide, Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec has organized and will continue to organize a number of events (panels and training sessions) aimed at people and organizations from all sectors of activity. While all of these events relate to different SDGs issues, they are linked by a common theme: the importance of creating partnerships and setting up a new collaborative infrastructure to ensure sustainable development in Quebec. Mobilizing various sector networks, they have been organized to raise awareness about he ambition of the 17 SDGs, especially the SDG#17. 

Past panels and training courses:  

– October 2019: Organization of the #RadicalGenerosity for SDGs event in association with SheEO Ventures and Le Tableau Blanc3.

– January 2020: Workshop entitled, Philanthropy & Agenda 2030: The SDG Framework as an Opportunity in Canada in association with Phillanthropic Foundations Canada, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and Canada’s SDG Unit.

– March 2020 (cancelled Covid): SDG Digital Forum in partnership with CEFRIO. The forum invited 169 multi-sector leaders to discuss our preliminary roadmap for SDGs in Quebec.

 – July 2020: Presentation of Accélérer 2030 to CSR committee from Conseil Patronal de l’Environnement du Québec to raise awareness on the movement with the private sector.

 – October 2020 : Opening panel of the Sustainable Innovation Summit, under the following theme: Accelerating a Decade of Action in Quebec: the #SDGs for a fair, inclusive and prosperous recovery.     

Upcoming – November and December 2020: virtual SDG training courses for young entrepreneurs from the Francophonie in partnership with Comité 21 Québec and l’Institut de la francophonie pour le développement durable.

2. Raising awareness by creating engaging digital content: 

Externally, Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec raises awareness about the SDG#17 by creating engaging content. Its communication efforts are central to the mobilization of partners around the adoption of the SDG framework in Quebec. 

In fact, the main color used in all our communications is the navy blue from SDG17 to respect our mission engagement.

Engaging content created by Accélérer 2030: 

– November 2019: Announcing the creation of Accélérer 2030 through a press release 

– May 2020:

  •   Guest blog for Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC)
  •   Webinar PFC: Data, Covid-19 & Global response, 
  •   Launch of the website and social media networks
  •   Articles published in the French-language newspaper Les Affaires, le Grenier aux nouvelles, le Quotidien, and l’Agence de presse de l’Université de Montréal (the Université de Montréal press agency) 

 – September 2020: Publication and distribution of the first Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec activity report                            

As part of the Global Goals Week – on September 24, 2020 – Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec published and distributed its very first activity report, positioning the consortium as the benchmark on the SDGs in the province. Important awareness tool accessible to all, the document outlines the consortium’s action plan for the coming year and, above all, provides a portrait of the state of the SDGs in Quebec. It identifies 4 key findings concerning the SDGs in the province, insisting on the importance of building a new infrastructure of collaboration in order to address them. 

Through our social media channels, we promote the 4 strategic pillars identified by the consortium after two years and a half of mobilization, each in relationship with SDG17: 

Finding 1: SDG solutions exist on the ground 

Quebec is brimming with sustainable innovation projects (SDG) with a high potential for social impact.

Action plan: When it comes to implementing impactful SDG innovations in Quebec, financial, technical, and human resources can be difficult to obtain or even inaccessible. We need to simplify access to philanthropic, private, and public funds through a standardized process and a common measurement framework in order to support innovative projects that will have a long-term impact for Quebec. This requires an unprecedented collaboration between capital holders.

Finding 2: Willingness is present within all sectors consulted

The various activity sectors consulted (private, philanthropic, academic, public, plural) have adopted various strategies when it comes to integrating, measuring, and promoting SDGs.

Action plan: We must centralize and coordinate everyone’s efforts in all sectors in order to work together towards a common goal and prevent the duplication of efforts. This will enable us to take collective action, more quickly.

Finding 3: The collective opportunity is unique

Using a common language and framework to measure outcomes and performance indicators for all industries and sectors of activity would make it possible to measure our collective progress in real time, with an added level of transparency and accountability.

Action plan: Access to new integration and measurement tools will simplify the steps required to adopt SDGs by organizations of all types. We must pinpoint where Quebec is currently positioned in order to adopt a long-term action plan that is coherent, evolutionary and adapted to our local context.

Finding 4: The population is asking us to rebuild sustainably

The vulnerabilities of multiple sectors have been highlighted by the pandemic. Many are calling for a fair and green recovery.

Action plan: Our action plan, independently led, must be based on facts and data to meet the needs of citizens. First of all, we must inform and equip citizens, businesses, and networks to stimulate the commitment towards the 17 SDGs and create environments for the exchange of best practices.

To view the full report:

Upcoming (November 2020): Le Grand Défi ODD Campaign / The SDG Challenge 

In November 2020, Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec will launch a public call for action named Le Grand Défi ODD de la Décennie d’Action du Québec. This marketing campaign will be targeted at decision-makers to raise awareness about the SDGs, particularly the SDG#17, and foremost mobilize them to make a public commitment to achieving the SDGs for 2030 by becoming a collaborator of the consortium. 

In order for this campaign to reach its full potential, we collaborate with Agence Republik, marketing partner of Accélérer 2030 pour le Québec. Their reputation and expertise are well established as a creator of social capital. It is the only advertising agency to have signed the U.N. Global Compact as well as the only one in Quebec to work exclusively with brands that seek to have a positive impact.

Please outline the plans your organization has for being committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in response to COVID-19

Short term: Mobilize individuals and organizations at scale towards an SDG long-term action plan to ‘build back better’ across urban and rural areas within Quebec’s 17 administrative regions

2020 is the start of a ‘Decade of Action’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It represents a unique moment to pledge collectively our engagement for the SDGs.

As Quebec and Canada emerge from the public health emergency of COVID-19, there is a need to take right now this opportunity to ‘build back better’, to advance the SDGs and to create a more sustainable and equitable country. The COVID-19 context reinforces the importance to tackle our local challenges collectively (SDG17) which is at the heart of Accélérer 2030’s mission. 

As such, we unveiled our consortium publicly right in the middle of the crisis (May 2020) and continue to host virtual activities to foster meaningful conversations around accelerating a decade of action to build back better. Accélérer 2030 consortium is presented as an action plan aligned with the SDGs emerge stronger from the crisis, by using a common language for all.

Additionally, Accélérer 2030’s plan in response to the COVID-19 to achieve the SDGs is to find effective ways to represent the impact of the crisis through the lens of the SDGs. What started as a health crisis (SDG#3) has severe impacts on multiple SDGs (1: No poverty, 5: Gender equality, 8: Decent work and economic growth, etc). Using the existing framework of the SDGs to highlight the impact of the crisis provides a common language of understanding across our industries.

For example, we collaborate with Femmessor’s 100 women entrepreneurs changing the world campaign (SDG-aligned). launched in fall 2020, as member of the jury.

Medium-Long term: Build an SDG infrastructure for sustainable collaboration for all our industries (transversal)

The next step following mobilization at scale during the pandemic is for Accélérer 2030 to create a sustainable infrastructure of collaboration for the SDGs in Quebec (SDG Adoption Cluster)- which will enable organizations to work together more efficiently through new partnerships, standardized processes and technology. The sharing of best practices, resources and tools to emerge stronger from the COVID crisis will be made available through the new infrastructure.

The needs and social gaps highlighted by the pandemic – centered around specific SDGs and data – will be easier to tackle through specific SDG-related partnerships. We will facilitate the collaboration of stakeholders around specific local challenges through Accélérer 2030 infrastructure and ensure we can measure in real-time data relating to specific SDG gaps.

New partnerships: Scale our systemic model at national and international levels

Proving the innovativeness of the ecosystem model will allow to build bridges with regional and international partners to scale our ecosystem infrastructure model. The key to build back better using the SDGs is to partner with associations and networks that have the expertise and influence to effect change at scale (E.g. Global Affairs Canada, ISED, UN Global Compact Canada, B Lab Canada, etc.)

The expertise that we are developing in Quebec – to build a sustainable SDG ecosystem in times of crisis – should be readily scalable to other regions and areas and will require key partnerships and coalition to do so. Prior to doing so, large sums of capital need to be unlocked across our different sectors (public, philanthropic, private) to bridge the financing estimated gap for SDG coordination, which represent the first priority of our preliminary action plan.